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Allentown Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits

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Does Workers' Compensation Pay for Death Benefits?

Under Pennsylvania's workers' comp laws, a deceased workers' family member can file a when an employee dies while on the job, so long as workplace injuries or death happened on the job. Unfortunately, employers and insurance companies may deny workers' compensation death benefits to the surviving family members, even though the injured workers' claims are valid. When this happens, an Allentown workers' compensation attorney can help your family receive the compensation you deserve.

How Much Compensation Can a Family Receive After a Worker Dies?

Personal Injury Attorney Robert Munley speaking with employeeThe compensation a family can receive following a worker's death is calculated as a percentage of the deceased worker's weekly salary. There is a weekly maximum on death benefits set by Pennsylvania law based on the state's average salary.

In Pennsylvania, roughly 85 employees died in 2021 as a result of work-related accidents. Most fatalities occur in the construction and transportation industries. When an eligible worker dies, workers' compensation insurance pays the family for funeral expenses and a percentage of the deceased worker's salary.

After a workplace injury that results in a deceased worker, workers' compensation law can give Allentown family members the following:

  • $3,000 for a funeral, and
  • Between 22 percent and 67 percent of the deceased worker's weekly salary

The percentage of salary paid and the length of time benefits are provided varies based on whether the surviving family member is a spouse, child, parent, or sibling of the deceased worker and how many children the injured employee has. Typically, a surviving spouse receives 51 percent of the worker's average weekly wage until he or she remarries, plus two years of death benefits after re-marriage.

A spouse with one dependent child under 18 living in the house is usually entitled to collect benefits equal to 60 percent of the deceased worker's average weekly wage and approximately 67 percent if they have two or more children under 18 still living at home.

Children are eligible to receive workers' compensation death benefits until the age of 18 for a deceased parent due to a workplace injury. There are circumstances in which a dependent child may be entitled to receive benefits beyond 18. For example, if a child is enrolled full-time in a university, college, or trade school, benefits may continue until the child is 23 years old. If a child is dependent on the late employee due to a disability, benefits may continue for as long as the disability exists.

If the late worker does not leave behind a widow or widower or any surviving children, other family members may receive death benefits from the Pennsylvania workers' compensation system. A parent who was partially dependent may be eligible to receive up to 32 percent of the worker's wages, and fully dependent parents may receive up to 52 percent of the prior weekly wages. If parents survive the deceased worker, siblings may also receive death benefits if they were partially or completely dependent on the late employee.

To determine if you are eligible to collect death benefits when your family member died as a result of an accident on the job, contact the experienced Allentown workers' compensation attorneys at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys. We can advise you of your rights and how to proceed in order to obtain the compensation you deserve.

Can I seek benefits if my loved one was injured at work but did not die until several months later?

Yes, even if the work-related injury or illness suffered by your loved one did not cause immediate death, you may be entitled to receive death benefits for the fatal work injury if he or she passed away within 300 weeks of suffering the injury or illness.

What Do I Do If the Workers' Compensation Claim is Denied in Allentown, PA?

According to the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act, death benefits for a fatal work injury should provide compensation to the family. Unfortunately, an employer's workers' compensation insurance company can deny the claim for several different reasons, including:

  • The incident report contains inaccurate information
  • The report was filed more than 120 days after the accident
  • The employer's insurance coverage doesn't cover the late employee or his injury
  • The employer asserts that the fatal injury happened outside of work
  • The employer accuses the deceased worker of using alcohol or drugs while at work

What can you do if your death benefits claim was denied? You can . Unfortunately, the appeals process can be time-consuming and frustrating, which is not what you want to deal with while grieving the loss of your loved one. Hiring an Allentown workers' compensation lawyer that is well-acquainted with Pennsylvania law will start the appeal process on your behalf so you can focus on other important issues.

Do you need to appeal a work comp death benefits denial in Lehigh County? Discuss your options with a qualified Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys workers' comp lawyer today. Call or contact us online to schedule a FREE initial consultation and speak to an experienced Allentown compensation attorney.

How Do I Know If My Loved One Was Covered Under Workers' Comp?

The Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act requires most Pennsylvania employers to protect their employees with workers' comp insurance, no matter how large or small the business. Employees are covered by Pennsylvania's workers' compensation system for the entire time they work, beginning on the first day of the job. Full-time, part-time, and most seasonal workers are covered. This includes employees in industries as diverse as healthcare workers, warehouse workers, office employees, restaurant workers, and much more.

Because policies ensure the family of fatally injured employees receive benefits for on-the-job accidents, all work injury claims proceed through a special process within the workers' compensation system and could be decided by a workers' comp administrative judge.

While most businesses are required to provide workers' comp coverage to their employees, some are not required. Some situations where a worker might not be covered include:

  • The worker is covered by specific workers' compensation laws, such as regulations that apply to railroad workers and federal employees,
  • Agricultural workers who work less than 30 days in a year for one employer,
  • Farm workers who earn less than $1,200 annually from one job,
  • Independent contractors who are not employees,
  • Volunteer workers, and
  • Workers who provide domestic services such as house cleaning and lawn care.

Why Should I Hire an Allentown Workers' Compensation Attorney?

In Lehigh County, the death benefits process can be complicated and time-consuming. It is a difficult, frustrating process for people who are unfamiliar with filing workers' compensation claims, especially when you are dealing with the death of a loved one. A simple mistake could put the entire work injury claim in jeopardy. Worse still, even if you're already receiving your benefits, the insurance company can decide to stop your payments earlier than allowed.

You need a highly qualified lawyer to help you secure the compensation you deserve for as long as legally possible. Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys experienced workers' compensation lawyers work hard to protect your interests and ensure you are satisfied with the outcome of your workers' compensation case.

At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, you don't just get a lawyer, you get a law firm. Our attorneys work together as a team to give you the insight, experience, and combined efforts of our entire team. Our attorneys are highly skilled in PA workers' compensation, including death benefits, and have earned status as hard-working Allentown attorneys who protect your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Our mission is to help families of fatal workplace accidents. Plus, we don't charge you a fee unless we recover money for you for your loved one's death. Call us today for a FREE case evaluation.

Call Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys for a free consultation today to speak to a qualified personal injury lawyer who can provide legal advice. Or contact us using our online form. We work on a basis, which means you only pay us for our services if and when we obtain a workers comp settlement for your claims.

Do I Have A Case?

If you think you may have a personal injury case, contact us now for a FREE consultation.

    Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys

    609 Hamilton St
    Allentown, PA 18101
    (610) 857-7424

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    BBB Accreditation Badge The information contained on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship nor should any information be considered legal advice as it is intended to provide general information only. Prior case results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
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