Your Right to Death Benefits in a Workers’ Compensation Case

You Have a Right to Pursue Death Benefits When a Family Member is Killed on the Job.

Michael Pyrros
January 12, 2018

Under the New York workers’ compensation laws, when you are hurt on the job or contract an illness because of exposure to toxic conditions or substances at work, you have a right to pursue temporary or permanent benefits. But what if the injury is fatal? Do your survivors have a right to seek death benefits in a workers’ compensation claim? The answer—a resounding yes!!

When a worker dies from work-related injuries, his or her spouse has a right to seek compensation for the death in a workers’ compensation proceeding. If there is no surviving spouse, dependent children or parents may pursue damages, and, in the absence of parents, children or a spouse, the deceased’s estate may seek death benefits.

As a general rule, a surviving spouse can typically anticipate receiving monthly workers’ compensation benefits for the rest of his or her life, unless he or she remarries. In those situations, the surviving spouse is entitled to a lump sum payment of two years benefits. The Workers’ Compensation Board will pay up to $6,000 in funeral and burial expenses, and, when there is no spouse of surviving children, $50,000 is paid to the parents or to the estate.

About The Author

Michael C. Pyrros received his bachelor’s degree from American University in Washington, D.C. in 1985. A graduate of Hofstra Law School, Mr. Pyrros has devoted his professional career to representing injured workers. Vast trial experience before the New York Workers’ Compensation Board has ...

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