Minnesota employees who are injured in job-related accidents can be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits in some cases. These benefits can cover lost wages, out-of-pocket medical expenses and vocational retraining. When a workplace accident claims the life of a victim, the workers’ compensation program may pay death benefits to surviving family members. Therefore, it is important for people to understand what these benefits are and how eligibility is defined.
According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, these benefits may be payable to spouses, children or other dependents. Also payable are costs to cover burials. Up to $15,000 can be received for this purpose for incidents that occurred after April 28, 2000.
The 2015 Minnesota Statutes further define how the state identifies who is and who is not eligible to receive these death benefits, as follows:
- A surviving spouse cannot receive death benefits if the couple were voluntarily living apart at the time that the fatal injury or death occurred.
- Children must be under the age of 18 or under the age of 25 if full-time students.
- Children 18 and older who are unable to work and earn a living due to physical or mental handicaps can qualify.
- Other dependents can be parents, parental in-laws, grandparents, grandchildren and siblings.
For the latter group, persons can be deemed to be wholly or partially dependent upon the decedent. Benefits to any eligible person would be proportioned based upon this classification.
The minimum amount of compensation to a dependent through the workers’ compensation program is $60,000.