It is time to fix our shameful workers’ compensation system and provide adequate death benefits in Michigan.
A companion Detroit Free Press article shows little justice for families when a relative is killed on-the-job.
We have blogged about death benefits on several different occasions. Qualifying dependents can receive up to 500 weeks of wage loss benefits. A $6,000 burial expense is also available. Not exactly a big payout for families who lose a spouse or parent.
A spouse is required to show factual dependency and will be disqualified if more than 50% of his or her support comes from another source. This is usually the case in two income families. Even when a spouse can show partial dependency, the weekly comp rate gets chopped by other income. All benefits stop upon remarriage.
Children under the age of 16 at the time of death are presumed wholly dependent and entitled to 500 weeks of wage loss benefits. This amount is shared among all children. After 500 weeks, children may be entitled to continuing benefits until age 21 if special conditions are met.
Proving dependency for children over 16 is difficult. Evidence must be presented showing how much support the deceased parent actually gave to the child. This can be complicated when spouses are divorced and have multiple children.
It is time we fix our complicated and inadequate workers’ compensation system. All spouses and children under the age of 18 should be considered wholly dependent regardless of other income. Dependents should also be able to seek additional benefits after 500 weeks if more support is needed.
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.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Images_of_Money.