Widows and Survivors are Eligible for Death Benefits
The loss of a loved one to a job injury is a devastating tragedy. This page is designed to help the survivors of an L&I fatality make good decisions in their time of need. If you are involved in the handling of the affairs of someone diseased because of a job injury you are facing challenges and obstacles. Read this page and take action so that you can protect yourself financially. Nothing will bring back your loved one, however it is important that you take the time to understand the information we have here for you. Do not let yourself be so devastated by your loss that you lose your benefits. Later on or even now these things will become very important and they need to be handled before it’s too late. You will be glad you did.
From a mechanical standpoint you simply file an application for benefits. From a practical standpoint this process is very complex. Get some legal advice. it can make a big difference.
Apply for L&I death benefits.
A successful claim for L&I death benefits makes you eligible for:
A one-time immediate payment will be made when a death is related to an industrial injury or occupational disease if there is a spouse/registered domestic partner, child, or dependent. The amount of the immediate payment is 100 percent of the average monthly wage in the state. (See Death and Burial Rates Chart), or Contact us.
A burial benefit and funeral expenses are payable when a death is related to the industrial injury or occupational disease. The maximum amount paid is up to 200 percent of the average monthly wage in the state. (See Death and Burial Rates Chart) For information on exactly which expenses are covered or reimbursed see policy 15.70, or Contact us.
This is the brass ring of survivor benefits. You owe it to yourself to make this happen. The amount of a monthly pension varies depending upon who gets it. The pension first goes to the surviving spouse or if applicable the registered domestic partner. If none then the children, or other dependents. The variations are:
A monthly benefit of 35 percent of the worker’s wage is paid to the guardian of a minor dependent. Another 15 percent of the wage is paid for each additional child up to a maximum benefit equal to 65 percent of the wage at the time of injury. If there is more than one child, benefits are divided equally among them. Benefits end for minor dependents when they reach age 18 (up to 23 if they are full-time students in an accredited school).
The worker leaves no surviving spouse or child then qualified dependents can receive payments if they were dependent on the worker’s earnings RCW 51.32.050(5). Dependents can include such relatives as a father, mother, grandparents, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews. RCW 51.08. The benefit is equal to half the average monthly support received by the dependent during the year preceding the injury. The benefit limit is 65 percent of the worker’s wage or maximum benefit level, whichever is less, for all dependents. The payments end when the necessity that created the dependency would have ended had the injury not occurred.
Yes there is. One year for injuries. Two years or more for occupational diseases. Miss your deadline and you lose your claim. Get legal advice about this if you are in doubt.
Not all on the job fatalities result in L&I claims. For example, a person who dies of a heart attack while doing non stressful work will not have a death which would likely result in an L&I claim.
The fatality may not be job related, but there may still be a personal injury claim. For example many commutes to and from the job are not covered by L&I. However a commuting fatality can still result in a personal injury claim against the negligent driver who caused the death.
Suicide is different. L&I has been known to look unfavorably on suicides. If the death is or might be a suicide you must see this link for advice: L&I & Suicide
Don’t believe everything L&I tells you. If they deny a claim they could be wrong. If common sense or the doctor tells you some job somewhere could have contributed to this death than contact us or protest before it’s too late.
Cause of Death. If any job contributed to the death then file an L&I claim:
There are many fatalities which were caused, at least in part by the job, but nobody files a claim. Don’t let that happen to you! THE SOLUTION IS TO GET LEGAL HELP . Call on us for a free consultation.
-Should there be an investigation?
-How to start an investigation
– Types of investigations
Wrongful death is a concept important in personal injury law. It is a death caused by someone else’s fault. Wrongful death requires proof of fault as do all personal injury claims. See Wrongful Death for details. This is different then the L&I death benefit where proof of fault is not required. Said another way, a claim for L&I Death Benefits requires that the death happened on the job. A personal injury wrongful death claim requires the fault of another person, a person who is not the employer or co-employee of the decedent. These are two different claims.
Yes you can have both an L&I Death Benefit Claim and a Wrongful Death Claim. When you have both, the wrongful death claim is called a third party claim. Get advice how to proceed with both claims. If you wish, contact us.
Nobody taught you how to handle an L&I fatality claim. This stuff is complicated. Now suddenly this has become your job. You owe it to your spouse and yourself to make something of this. Call on us. We can help. The Sharpe Law Firm gets Death Benefits for survivors 206-343-1988