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If a worker dies on the job, can the spouse get their benefits?

Work-related deaths happen less frequently than employee injuries. However, there is always the risk of a work accident ending in the death of the employee. When someone dies while working, you can be sure a family somewhere is suffering and in great pain.

Not only have these families and spouses lost a loved one unexpectedly, but they may also suffer financially in the following weeks and months. Many grieving families in St. Louis, Missouri, want to know if they are entitled to their deceased spouse’s workers’ compensation benefits.

You can seek death benefits instead

The workers’ compensation program provides options for those that lost a family member due to a workplace accident. For example, a qualified family member can receive up to $5,000 in burial expenses.

Those eligible may also receive cash installments based on the average weekly income of the deceased employee. The amount paid in these installments depends on when the injury occurred, but this amount will be at least $40 per week.

Who qualifies for death benefits?

Only the closest relatives of the deceased employee qualify for death benefits. The current spouse of the worker is eligible, and so are any natural, unborn or adopted children. In some cases, stepchildren may also qualify.

If the spouse remarries, they will receive a final lump-sum payment equaling two years of installments. Benefits for the children typically end when they reach the age of 18 years of age unless they are students.

If you have lost a loved one to a work accident, we suggest learning more about Missouri workers’ compensation to ensure you get the death benefits your family is due.