Fatal workplace accidents are an unfortunate reality. Nobody expects to suffer a fatal injury on the job, but there is some solace in knowing that Minnesota provides benefits to spouses and family member in the event of a workplace death. Below, we take a closer look at the types of dependency benefits Minnesota offers in the wake of a fatal work accident.
Minnesota Dependency Benefits
Here’s how Minnesota handles death and dependency payments after a fatal work injury.
According to Minnesota Statute 176.111, Subd. 5, the dependents of a worker who suffers a fatal work accident are entitled to a minimum of $60,000 in compensation. If the injured worker has no dependents, the employer is required to pay $60,000 to the estate of the deceased employee. If the injured worker does have dependents, that figure may be higher, depending on certain factors that can be explained by your workers’ compensation lawyer.
That’s not the only compensation the family of a deceased worker can receive. Here’s a look at how payments would be calculated depending on the situation at home:
- Spouse, no dependent children – The spouse would be entitled to receive 50 percent of the worker’s weekly wage for up to 10 years, even if the spouse were to remarry. Moreover, the benefits will be adjusted annually to reflect increases in average state wages, but this increase will not exceed six percent.
- Spouse, one dependent child – The spouse and child would be entitled to receive 60 percent of the worker’s weekly wage until the child is no longer dependent. After the child is no longer considered a dependent, the spouse may be eligible to receive benefits, but at a reduced rate for a period of 10 years. A workers’ compensation judge will determine what portion of the benefits should be set aside or applied to the child, and they may even appoint a guardian to receive the money intended for the child.
- Spouse, two dependent children – The same as the above scenario, but the family would be entitled to 66 percent of the weekly wage.
- Surviving orphan or orphans – If only a dependent child is left behind, the child will receive 55 percent of the workers’ weekly wage. If there are two dependent orphans, that percentage rises to 66 and 2/3s percent.
- Surviving dependent parents – If the worker had no dependent spouse or children, but they have dependent parents, the parents would be eligible for benefits. If there are two dependent parents, they could receive 45 percent of the workers’ weekly wage, and if there’s one parent, that percentage would drop to 35 percent.
- Burial Expenses – Finally, it’s also worth noting that Minnesota death benefits allows up to $15,000 in burial expenses.
Hopefully you’ll never need to reference the above information, but if you do, Dean Margolis and his team would be available to assist you in any way possible, whether that’s in the form of filing a claim or meeting the right deadlines. Call his office at (952) 230-2700 today.
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