New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits Are Based on Your Dependents
The major concept of New Jersey’s workers’ compensation death benefits is centered on the number of dependents you have at the time of your death. Your New Jersey workers’ comp lawyer will help your estate and dependents determine exactly how much compensation they are entitled to after your passing.
Who Is a Dependent?
New Jersey Worker’s Compensation Law defines a dependent as a decedent’s spouse and natural children under 18 years of age who were actually part of the decedent’s household at the time of death. More specifically, the following are considered to be a dependent under the statute: husband, wife, parents, step-parents, grandparents, children, step-children, brothers, sisters, half-siblings, nieces and nephews.
If a married couple is separated, whether the leaving spouse is considered a dependent for worker’s compensation benefits will depend upon if they have clearly and unequivocally asserted complete independence.
Determining Compensation Rate
The rate of compensation depends upon the amount of the petitioner’s wage and the number of dependents. For one dependent, the compensation rate is 50% of the wages. This rate increases 5% as the number of dependents increases, for a maximum of 70% of the wage for five or more dependents.
The surviving spouse is entitled to payments for a period of 450 weeks, continuing until the spouse either dies or gets remarried. In the event that the spouse remarries, they are paid the balance of the compensation award or 100 times the weekly award received immediately prior to their marriage, whichever is smaller.
As for dependent children, they are entitled to compensation until they reach their eighteenth birthday, unless they are enrolled in school, in which case they are entitled to benefits until the age of 23. If the child is either physically or mentally handicapped, they are entitled to the entire 450 weekly benefits.
Contact an Experienced New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Attorney
For more information about New Jersey workers’ compensation death benefits, call the Law Offices of Dan T. Matrafajlo at (908) 248-4404.
We will schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our experienced New Jersey workman’s compensation lawyers to provide you with the information you need and assist you in getting the maximum benefits to which you are entitled. We have offices in Elizabeth, North Brunswick and Newark, New Jersey to better serve you.