Death benefits are provided under the Michigan workers compensation laws. When a worker dies or is killed due to a work-related injury, his dependents are entitled to receive death benefits. A dependent is a child or the wife of the deceased and they must prove that they were dependent on the worker for food, shelter, clothing, and other needs. If the worker is not married and has no children, this death benefit provision does not apply.
The amount of the death benefits is eighty percent of the after-tax value of worker’s wages at the time of the injury. There is a minimum death benefit rate of fifty percent of the state average weekly wage as of the date of injury. This can occasionally exceed the standard maximum eighty percent of the after-tax value of the injured worker’s earnings.
Death benefits are paid for a total of 500 weeks except where the worker is survived by minor children, in which the period can be longer. A surviving spouse can only receive the 500 week maximum. If a child is physically or mentally incapacitated, then the benefits can continue indefinitely.
Despite these laws, employers and insurance companies often look for reasons not to pay death benefits. It can either be just the refusal to pay the benefits or an argument that the death was no work related. If you or someone you know is entitled to death benefits but has been denied payment, you should contact our Michigan workers’ compensation lawyers today at (800) 606-1717 to discuss your case and to see how we can help receive your workers’ compensation death benefits.