My husband/wife died at work. Who will support our children?

Survivors’ benefits for children who lost a parent in a workplace accident and the complicated rules of dependency in Michigan.

We have devoted this week of blog postings to survivors’ benefits. Today we are going to discuss children and the complicated rules of dependency in Michigan.

If a parent dies in the course of his or her employment, the exclusive remedy against the employer is workers’ compensation. This means a family cannot sue for pain and suffering. But children can seek up to 500 weeks of wage loss benefits.

Wage loss benefits are calculated based upon the deceased parent’s average weekly wage. The amount paid should equal 80% of the after-tax value of what the parent was earning while alive.  Children must share with other qualifying dependents.

Children under the age of 16 and living with the parent at the time of death are presumed to be wholly dependent and entitled to 500 weeks. Additional benefits may be requested until the child reaches the age of 21 if special need is shown.

Children over the age of 16 may also be considered wholly dependent and entitled to 500 weeks of benefits if they are physically or mentally incapacitated and living with the parent at the time of death.

Children over the age of 16 at the time of death must show factual dependency to qualify for wage loss benefits. This requires proof of how much support the deceased parent provided to the child.

Adoption of the child and remarriage of the surviving parent may play a role in dependency. Illegitimate and unborn children can also make claims as dependents.

Rules of dependency can be very complicated and it is best to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer about your own situation. Insurance companies routinely dispute benefits without fully understanding Michigan law.

Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.

Related information:

I’m sorry for your loss. Take $6,000 and go away.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos.

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