What Are Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits?The workers’ compensation system exists to offer medical care and wage replacement to employees who suffer on the job injuries. These benefits are available to employees regardless of who was at fault for the accident and cover a variety of injuries, including death. Death benefits are paid to surviving family members to cover burial expenses and to continue the stream of income that was being earned by the deceased. These benefits are paid to family members for various amounts of time, depending on each unique situation.
Who Qualifies to Receive Iowa Death Benefits Workers' Compensation?In Iowa, death benefits are typically paid only to a surviving spouse and dependent children, including stepchildren if they were being supported by the deceased. In rare situations, exceptions can be made for other family members who lived with the deceased and could be considered dependent upon him.
How Long Can Family Members Continue to Receive Death Benefits?The aim of the workers’ compensation system is to ease any undue financial hardship an injured employee or his family may experience when an injury prevents that person from working and earning income. Death benefits are no different. These benefits can be paid for many years, depending on the family situation. The compensation can offered to:
- A surviving spouse. Benefits last for life or until re-marriage. At the time of remarriage, the surviving spouse can receive payments for two more years if there are no dependent children.
- Children under 18. Benefits extend until the 18th birthday.
- Children under 25. If a dependent child is enrolled in a higher education institution as a full-time student, benefits can be received until the 25th birthday.
- Children over 25. Benefits can be awarded for life if a dependent child is physically or mentally incapacitated at the time of the employee’s death.