In addition to monetary benefits for workers who suffer a job-related injury or occupational disease, Florida’s workers’ compensation program also provides benefits to the dependents of workers killed as a result of work-related injuries or illnesses. Workers’ compensation benefits for dependents include payments to cover medical, funeral and burial expenses, and to assist with lost income.
Workers’ compensation death benefits are particularly important to dependents, those who relied on the deceased worker’s income. The reimbursement checks and weekly payments help many families survive after a terrible loss, and they should not be denied or short-changed because of a system that proves too complex for a grieving family to negotiate.
At the Orlando law office of Frank M. Eidson our workers’ compensation lawyer represents injured workers and the families of employees killed by work-related accidents or illnesses. During more than 20 years of legal practice in Florida, he has recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients. If you have lost your family’s breadwinner to an occupational illness or injury in Central Florida, contact our Orlando office and schedule a consultation about obtaining the workers’ compensation benefits you and your family deserve.
Florida Workers’ Compensation after a Death
Florida’s workers’ compensation laws provide monetary benefits for survivors of those employees who are killed as a result of work-related accidents or illnesses. These benefits are designed to replace the lost stream of income the deceased worker provided to support his or her family.
Survivors are eligible for benefits based upon a percentage of the employee’s wages up to a total of $150,000 if a worker dies from a work-related injury within one year of the date of accident or after five years of continuous disability. Available benefits include:
- Funeral expenses up to $7,500
- Payments to dependents, as defined by law
- Educational benefits to the surviving spouse.
Dependents eligible for weekly payments include an employee’s surviving spouse and children, and surviving parents, siblings and grandchildren if they were dependents of the deceased worker.
Florida law defines the percentages of the deceased worker’s weekly pay that will make up survivors’ benefits. For instance, the benefit to the spouse is to be 50 percent of the employee’s weekly wages, with another 162/3 percent added if there are children. If there are children but no spouse, each child is to receive a weekly benefit equal to one third (33 1/3 percent) of their late parent’s pay. Additional payments are defined for additional survivors.
If a surviving spouse remarries, he or she is entitled to a lump-sum payment equal to 26 weeks of compensation at the rate of 50 percent of their deceased spouse’s average weekly wage, unless the compensation they have already received has exceeded the $150,000 limit. In that case, the lump sum payment will be equal to the available balance.
The law also provides that if a Judge of Compensation Claims (JCC) determines it is appropriate, he may order that the worker’s entire death benefit be paid to the children, and not the surviving spouse.
These few citations of law pertaining to workers’ compensation death benefits in Florida indicate how complicated the program is. Not knowing or misunderstanding eligibility for benefits, or how to prove what payments to a worker’s survivor should be, can prove costly to someone who needs this assistance. Yet, because of the program’s complexity and the number of claims processed, many valid death benefit claims are wrongly denied or settled incorrectly.
Survivors who are seeking workers’ compensation death benefits will undoubtedly fare better with the assistance of an independent party who understands the Florida workers’ compensation system. This is the assistance that Orlando workers’ compensation lawyer Frank M. Eidson has been providing Central Florida families for more than two decades. He knows what benefits should be provided to survivors when a worker dies from a job-related injury, and to whom they should go.
By retaining the services of the law firm of Frank M. Eidson, P.A., you can rest assured that every avenue of compensation through the Florida workers’ compensation system is being explored and accessed on your behalf. As a client of Frank M. Eidson, you will also be ready to make a claim if your family situation changes, such as if you, a surviving spouse, plan to remarry.
Contact Our Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits Lawyer
Don’t struggle with the bureaucracy of the Florida workers’ compensation system on top of your grief if you have lost your family’s breadwinner to a work-related injury or illness. Let the law office of Frank M. Eidson, P.A., assist you with your workers’ compensation benefits claim and ensure that you obtain all of the compensation you and your family deserve.
For more than 24 years, Frank M. Eidson has helped families in Orlando, Winter Park and other Central Florida communities work through changes in their lives that have resulted in the need to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. As the only lawyer in his practice, he meets with every client and learns how his services can provide for their individual needs and their family’s needs.
If you believe you qualify for Florida workers’ compensation benefits as a dependent of a deceased worker, contact Frank M. Eidson, P.A., to put an experienced Orlando workers’ compensation benefit claims lawyer to work for you and your family. Experience counts when dealing with government benefits programs, and with Frank M. Eidson on your side, experience is what you have. Call us today.