How Much Is Your Workers Compensation Death Claim Worth If Your Family Member Died At Work?


If your family member died on the job or from a work-related injury or illness, you are eligible to file a death claim through California’s workers compensation system. But how to calculate the value of your claim? How much can you actually recover if you file a death claim?

While it is understandable that no money in the world can compensate for the loss of your loved one, Californian laws help those who financially dependent on their family member, who died as a result of a job-related injury or illness, by making them eligible to receive what is known as “death benefits.”

Only an experienced death claims lawyer in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California can estimate the full value of your workers compensation death claim after examining all of the circumstances and facts in your particular case.

Calculating the value of a workers comp death claim

While there is no exact formula to determine the dollar value of your death claim, our Los Angeles death claims attorney at the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach says that California workers comp law established basic death benefits for the loss of a family member at work. And the amount of these basic death benefits depends on the number of dependents:

  • For one total dependent, $250,000;
  • For two total dependents, $290,000;
  • For three or more total dependents, $320,000.

Who is a total dependent?

Our best workers compensation lawyers in California explain that a “total dependent” is to a person who totally and financially depended on the family member who died as a result of a work-related injury or illness.

Note: If there are two or more total dependents, the total amount of death benefits will be equally divided between them regardless of their status or relationship with the deceased employee.

Note #2: Besides these basic death benefits, the employer and his/her insurance company will also be required to pay for the funeral and burial expenses.

What about partial dependents?

But you may be eligible to receive death benefits not only if you were totally dependent on someone who died on the job, but also if you are a partial dependent.

A rule of thumb that if there are no total dependents in your family, you and other partial dependents will be awarded an amount that is eight times the amount you had received from the deceased annually, but no more than $250,000. Partial dependents are eligible to receive workers compensation death benefits only if there are no total dependents or if there is only one total dependent.

When there is one total dependent, who will receive his or her $250,000, the partial dependents will separately receive an amount that is four times what they had received in annual support, but no more than $290,000. If there are multiple partial dependents, the total amount of death benefits will be split between them in the amount that corresponds to the level of their dependency on the deceased.

Find out more about workers comp death claims in California

“Needless to say, if there are no surviving eligible dependents, no death benefits will be awarded after the death of an employee,” says our Los Angeles death claims attorney.

More often than not, death benefits are paid to the eligible dependents in installments, at the amount of no less than $224 per week. When the total amount of death benefits has been reached, totally dependent children under 18 and incapacitated children will continue to receive these benefits until the youngest child turns 18.

Determining the value of your workers compensation death claim on your own is often impossible, which is why it is highly advised to seek legal advice from our experienced lawyers at the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach. Call at 818-609-7005 or complete this contact form for a free case evaluation.

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