What are workers’ compensation death benefits?

You may have known that if your spouse was injured on the job in Texas, he or she would be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, which typically cover medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. However, if your spouse has died in a workplace accident, workers’ compensation laws are designed to protect you from the financial hardship caused, as well. The compensation you may be eligible to receive is known as death benefits.

The Texas Department of Insurance explains that death benefits are designed to replace a portion of the average earnings your spouse was bringing home each week before the accident. This would be 75 percent of the average weekly wage, generally, but the amount may be affected by a cap at the top end of the scale, as well as a minimum limit. If you have a minor child, half of the amount would go to him or her, and you would receive the other half. If you have two or more children, you would still receive half, and the other half would be divided between them.

If your spouse was a first responder, or if you never remarry, you continue to receive death benefits for the rest of your life. Otherwise, upon remarriage you will receive a single payment totaling the amount you would have received over the course of 104 weeks. Your child or children continue to receive benefits until the age of 18, and if you remarry, your half of the benefits is added to the payment given to your minor child, or distributed equally between children. There may be other details to your case that would affect your death benefits, therefore, this general information should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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