Workers Compensation Death Benefits

South Carolina Workers’ Comp Lawyers

Funeral Costs, Medical Bills, Weekly Compensation

Workers’ Compensation coverage is elective for employers in South Carolina with three or less employees. Anyone employing four or more employees is required to have workman’s compensation insurance, which provides benefits in the event that an employee is killed related to a workplace accident.

When a loved one is killed in a work accident, a spouse and each child may receive weekly compensation.

Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits

Medical: Medical expenses related to the employee’s death will be paid and/or reimbursed.

Services: Funeral expenses as set forth pursuant to South Carolina Code Section 42-9-290.

Paid compensation: Financial assistance in the form of compensation benefits will be paid according to the following terms:

All workers’ compensation death benefits are exempt from the claims of creditors and all estate taxes.
2/3 of the employee’s weekly wage will be paid to a spouse, or a spouse and dependent children. The weekly benefit will not be less than $75 or more than the annual compensation rate limit. (For 2010, this is $689.71.) The benefits will be paid up to a maximum of 500 weeks with two exceptions: 1. Weekly benefits already paid to the employee (and family) during injury will be subtracted from the death benefit limit. 2. When a spouse remarries, a two-year lump sum is payable to the spouse upon remarriage and weekly benefits cease.

Children receive benefits beyond age 19 if disabled, or until age 23 if they are full-time students.

Who Receives Death Benefits When There Are No Dependents?

If there are no dependents, workers comp death benefits will be paid out among partially dependent persons.
If there are no dependents at all, workers’ comp death benefits will be paid to non-dependent children.
If the deceased employee does not have children, the worker’s comp death benefits will be paid to the employee’s parents.
A claim for death benefits must be filed within two years of the employee’s death.

Click here to find out what to do if your employer denies your benefits and/or your claim to compensation under the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act.

By: Pete Strom, South Carolina Workers Comp Attorney