When a worker suffers an injury on the job, he and his family can claim medical benefits and lost income through workers’ compensation.
But what happens when an employee dies as a result of a workplace accident? Learn about the limits of coverage and compensation to surviving family members under Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Law.
Eligibility for Workers' Compensation Survivor Benefits in Florida
A death doesn't have to occur in the workplace––or even on the date of the accident—in order to qualify for compensation. By law, any work-related death that happens within one year of the accident date or after five years of continuous disability qualifies survivors to receive the following payments from an employer:
- Funeral expenses. Employers must pay any funeral expenses up to $7,500 within 14 days after receiving the bill.
- Compensation for dependents. Family members are owed compensation for the loss of the deceased employee’s wages. Benefits can be paid of up to two-thirds of the average weekly wage, but cannot exceed a total of $150,000.
A surviving spouse with no children may be granted 50 percent of the average weekly wage. A surviving spouse with children may be given the entire two-thirds of the lost wages, or a judge may appropriate the wages between spouse and children to what best benefits the survivors. If the surviving spouse remarries, the spouse may be paid a lump sum payment of 50 percent of the average weekly wage at 26 weeks of compensation, up to the $150,000 limit.
If there is no spouse, 25 percent of wages shall be paid to each of the deceased’s parents. If there are no parents, 15 percent of the lost wages may be paid to each surviving brother, sister, or grandchild.
- Educational benefits. A surviving spouse may have to go back to school in order to support the family. In these cases, employers may be liable for payment of all postsecondary student fees or career courses up to seven years after the death of the lost employee.
If you lost someone you love as the result of an accident on the job, you should speak to an attorney before accepting your workers' comp settlement. Call us today or fill out the form on this page to find out what your next steps should be.