Calculation of Benefits

Workers' Compensation Death Claim Attorney

A surviving spouse, child and other family members who is dependent on a worker killed as a result of their employment is entitled to receive dependency benefits in New Jersey Workers' Compensation Court. The biggest component of these payments involve replacement of lost income and support resulting from a fatal work related accident or death from a compensable occupational exposure. The amount of the weekly income benefits is seventy percent (70%) of the “wages” earned by the deceased employee, subject to a maximum and minimum weekly amount. There is also the possibility of apportionment or partial payments depending on certain facts. Our firm, The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, handles workplace death claims statewide including in Bergen County, Ocean County, Mercer County, Somerset County and Morris County. To speak to Dan Santasiero, the head attorney in our workers' compensation group, you can call us at (800) 999-0897 anytime 24/7 for immediate assistance. Initial consultations are free of charge and our lawyers handle all compensation and third party claims on a contingent fee basis so that you should have no worries about paying us to prosecute your case.

Workers' Compensation Dependency Death Benefits

The starting point in calculating how much you may be entitled to in replacement income payments is pinpointing what the deceased was making at the time of his or her death. This is usually accomplished by examining the payroll and wage records for the employee prior to being killed. This calculation is frequently more complicated than you might anticipate since some workers are paid a fixed salary, some are paid by the hour with fluctuations in income based on hours worked and still others are compensated on a commission basis based on production. There are different rules for each of these scenarios, as well as workers employed part-time. Our lawyers are adept in reconstructing the wages of an employee to maximize the amount paid to a surviving wife, son, daughter or other dependent.

Maximum & Minimum Amount Recoverable. The maximum and minimum amounts vary by year and are related to the average weekly wage earned by all New Jersey employees for a given year. Traditionally, the statewide average weekly wage has risen year to year, which means the maximum and minimum weekly dependency benefits have also risen year to year. In 2019, the maximum weekly dependency benefit is $921 and the minimum weekly dependency benefit is $246.

Duration of Payments. The duration of income replacement payments hinges on the applicable category of dependent. The following is a breakdown of the maximum term for payments.

  • A surviving spouse is entitled to weekly benefits for life. The only exception is for those surviving spouses who choose to remarry. A surviving spouse who remarries is entitled to receive a lump sum payment of one-hundred (100) times the weekly benefit amount and that surviving spouse’s right to future lifetime benefits is then terminated.

  • Dependent Children (both natural and adopted) of the deceased worker are entitled to weekly benefits until reaching eighteen (18) years of age or twenty-three (23) years of age for those enrolled as full-time students.

  • Parents & Step-parents who were wholly or partially dependent upon the deceased worker are entitled to lifetime benefits based upon the percentage of support provided by the deceased worker, as compared to each relative’s total support, subject to the weekly minimum benefit amount.

  • Dependents With Physical or Mental Deficiencies . A family member who was dependent on the fatally injured worker because of a physical or mental disability is entitled to weekly benefits based upon the percentage of support provided by the deceased worker, as compared to each family member’s total support. Dependents falling within this category are entitled to receive weekly benefits for up to four hundred and fifty (450) weeks.

Other dependent individuals may also qualify for payment under the Workers' Compensation Act. However, relatives falling within this group are only entitled to receive benefits for those time periods where they are under eighteen (18) or over forty (40) years of age. There are also special rules which apply to the surviving spouse, children and other specially defined family members of Police and Firemen who die in the line of duty.

Camden NJ Workers' Compensation Death Claim Lawyers

All Camden County death and dependency cases are heard in the Camden Workers' Compensation Court. This is where your petition for benefits will be decided. The lawyers at our NJ Workers' Compensation Firm are highly experienced in handling survivor claims in this and other courts throughout the state. Whether you need to file a dependency claim in Passaic County, Union County, Essex County, Monmouth County or Middlesex County, Mr. Santasiero or another attorney with the knowledge necessary to succeed on your behalf is available by calling (800) 999-0897.