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Seeking workers’ compensation benefits after a fatality

Some professions in Oklahoma are more dangerous than others. For example, construction work can cause serious injuries, whether it is due to falls, a lack of safety equipment or operating dangerous heavy machinery. Unfortunately, sometimes these workplace injuries are fatal. When a family loses a loved one in a workplace accident, the family must not only cope with the emotional trauma that follows a death, but also with the loss of income their loved one provided.


While many in Oklahoma may know that the state’s workers’ compensation system can help those who are injured in workplace accidents, they may not know that the workers’ compensation system can also help surviving spouses and children of those killed in workplace accidents. In Oklahoma, under the workers’ compensation system, a spouse who survives a worker killed on-the-job may be able to seek a lump sum benefit payment. This may also be true of any dependent children the deceased had.


Furthermore, a spouse who survives a worker killed on-the-job along with the worker’s other dependents may be able to seek weekly benefits and may seek compensation for funeral costs. The weekly benefits may be calculated based on the worker’s pay prior to his or her death. If the surviving spouse remarries, he or she may no longer seek benefits, although he or she may still seek a one-time payment that is equal to 24 months worth of compensation. Children’s benefits will cease being paid once the child is 18 years old, although in some cases if the child is still in school they could last until the child is 23 years old.


Workers’ compensation benefits in Oklahoma can be an essential financial resource for those who lose a loved one in a workplace accident. This post cannot replace the advice of an attorney, and cannot promise a specific result when it comes to applying for workers’ compensation benefits after a loved one’s death. Therefore, those who need more information about how to apply for benefits may want to speak to a personal injury attorney.

Source: Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court of Existing Claims, “Employee’s FAQ,” Accessed Nov. 29, 2015


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