Death and Burial Benefits

by Luis Julia

If your loved one has died as a result of a work-related accident or occupational injury, death and burial benefits may be available to replace the portion of your family income that is lost when a breadwinner dies. A surviving spouse, minor children, dependent grandchildren or other dependents of the deceased may be eligible to receive death benefits.


Death benefits may be paid to: (1) a surviving spouse; (2) minor child(ren); (3) child(ren) who are younger than 25 years old and are enrolled in an accredited educational institution; (4) dependent grandchild(ren); (5) other dependent family member(s); or (6) nondependent parents, but only when there are no surviving eligible dependent family members.

If you and your family need assistance determining whether you are entitled to death and burial benefits for the on-the-job death of a loved one, you should immediately contact the law offices of Bailey & Galyen at 1-855-747-4878.

Death and Burial Benefits Filing Requirements:

To file a claim for death benefits, a beneficiary must complete and submit a Beneficiary Claim for Death Benefits (DWC Form-042). A beneficiary has to complete and file this form with the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation within one year of the death of the employee.

A legal beneficiary becomes eligible for death benefits the day after the employee’s death. Death benefits are paid until the beneficiary no longer meets the entitlement requirements.

The process of filing for death and burial benefits can be time consuming and complicated. For assistance in properly and timely filling out the appropriate claim forms do not hesitate to contact the law offices of Bailey & Galyen at 1-855-747-4878.

Death and Burial Benefits Distribution and Duration:

A surviving spouse may receive death benefits for the remainder of his or her life unless the spouse remarries. If there are dependent children at the time the employee dies, the death benefits are distributed equally to the surviving spouse and among the eligible children.

A surviving spouse who remarries will receive a lump sum payment of death benefits equal to two years (104 weeks) of the benefits. If there are dependent children who still qualify for the death benefit after the expiration of the 104 weeks, the entire benefit will be redistributed and divided equally among the dependent children, if there is more than one child.

A child is eligible to receive death benefits until he or she reaches age 18, or until age 25 if the child is enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited educational institution. If there is more than one eligible child, as one child loses eligibility the benefits are redistributed equally among the remaining eligible children. Children over age 18 will need to show evidence of ongoing enrollment in an accredited educational institution to remain eligible to receive the benefits.

A child with a physical or mental disability who is a dependent on the date the deceased employee died may receive death benefits until the date the child dies or no longer has the disability. An eligible child with a physical or mental disability will need to provide the insurance carrier documentation of the disability for the remainder of his or her life. An adult child who is a dependent of the deceased employee for a reason other than physical or mental disability may remain eligible for death benefits for 364 weeks after the date the deceased employee died. An eligible adult child claiming death benefits will need to provide documentation to the insurance carrier to establish dependent status and evidence of ongoing eligibility, such as medical records, to remain eligible to receive the benefits.

Grandchild(ren) may be eligible to receive death benefits if the grandchild was at least 20 percent dependent on the deceased employee at the time of the employee’s death, unless that grandchild’s own parent is eligible for the benefit. An eligible grandchild can receive death benefits until the grandchild reaches age 18. A grandchild who is eligible to receive death benefits and who is not a minor at the time of the employee’s death may be eligible to receive no more than 364 weeks of death benefits.

Other dependent family members, such as a dependent parent, stepparent, sibling or grandparent of the deceased employee may also qualify for death benefits, but only if there is no eligible surviving spouse, child or grandchild. The duration of these benefits is limited to 364 weeks.

Nondependent parents may qualify as eligible beneficiaries if there is no eligible surviving spouse, child or grandchild, and there are no surviving dependents who are parents, siblings or grandparents of the deceased. The duration of these benefits is limited to 104 weeks.

Calculating Death Benefits:

Death benefits equal 75 percent of the deceased employee’s average weekly wage and are subject to maximum and minimum benefit amount restrictions.

Application, calculation and entitlement to death and burial benefits through workers’ compensation can be daunting for family members facing the tragic loss of their loved one due to a work-related injury. Let a qualified and experienced attorney take care of the confusing and laborious paperwork for you. For assistance with your claim for death and burial benefits, please contact us immediately.

Bailey & Galyen 1-855-747-4878, we are here to help you deal with your loss.

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