If you work a job that has higher-than-average risks, like forestry or construction, you likely balance the risk that you incur on the job with the income that you earn, which allows you to support your family.
Your spouse and children likely depend on your income as their primary source of financial stability, if not the sole source. While you may have a life insurance policy that will offer a one-time payout to your family members if something tragic were to happen to you, the truth is that the financial impact of your loss will likely exceed any health insurance that you have.
Before you call your insurance agent to take out another, more expensive, policy, you should also consider the benefits that might be available through workers’ compensation if you die because of your work.
California workers’ compensation offers death benefits to surviving family members
You are likely aware of the medical benefits that workers’ compensation offers because of mandatory signs that your employer will have posted somewhere at your job.
What you may be less familiar with is the right of your surviving dependents to make claims against workers’ compensation if you died due to a work-aquired illness or a deadly incident on the job.
Although death benefits primarily protect spouses and dependent children, in some situations other dependents, like parents or even siblings, could have a claim to these benefits if they rely on you for support and money.
What benefits will be available if your loved ones need them?
Workers’ compensation can financially protect your loved ones in several ways if you were to die on the job. The first form of protection involves the full coverage and payment of your medical bills related to your injury or illness. Your loved ones won’t have to cover the cost of medical care to attempt to save your life or treat you after a workplace incident.
Additionally, your family members can receive up to $10,000 to offset burial or funeral costs. There are also wage replacement benefits that vary in amount and duration depending on your average weekly wage and the size of your household. These benefits can help replace the wages that you would have contributed to the family.
While these benefits are no replacement for having a loved one returned home safely from work, they can be critical as people struggle to adjust to life without a member of their immediate family. It’s important to ensure that your family members know about workers’ compensation benefits, as well as other forms of protection that you have, such as your life insurance policy, so that they can make use of them if a tragedy does occur.