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Death Benefits under New Jersey’s Workers’ Compensation Laws


It’s more common to think of workers’ compensation benefits in the context of a temporary or permanent partial or total disability. But the New Jersey workers’ compensation laws also provide for payments to be made to surviving family members, should a breadwinner die of an occupational disease or in a workplace accident. Here are the benefits available for the wrongful death of a worker.

If your loved one died because of a work-related accident or as the result of an occupational illness, you have the right to recover up to 70% of the deceased’s average weekly wage for the 26 weeks immediately prior to their death. There are some statutory limits to the amount that can be paid.

For purposes of the workers’ compensation laws, a surviving spouse and any biological children who lived with the deceased at the time of death are considered to be dependents and eligible to receive workers’ compensation payments. All other potential dependents must demonstrate to the workers’ compensation judge that they were actual dependents at the time of death in order to obtain eligibility. In addition, a surviving spouse or natural child who was not part of the household at the time of death must also provide proof of dependency. A child is a dependent until age 18, or, if in school, until age 23. Offspring with physical or mental disabilities may be entitled to additional benefits.

The workers’ compensation insurance company has liability for up to $3,500 in funeral and burial expenses for a work-related death, payable to whoever has legal responsibility to pay the funeral expenses.

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We handle all personal injury cases on a contingency basis. There will be no attorney fees unless we get compensation for your losses.

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