Fortunately, the number of workers’ compensation claims involving death benefits has been gradually declining over the last several decades. The decrease in the number of death claims can be attributed to greater emphasis on safety by employers and to the implementation of OSHA requirements.
The following discussion of death benefits in workers’ compensation is generic and is not intended to reflect the statutes of any one jurisdiction.
There have been some interesting court cases where the employee was separated from the spouse, but not divorced, and cohabiting with another person. The estranged spouse usually wins, but not always, especially when there are dependent children with the cohabiting partner. There have also been some court cases where same sex cohabiting partners have been approved for death benefits where they could prove financial dependency and about equal number of cases where they have been denied death benefits.
Podcast/Webcast: Occupational Health Strategies
WC Calculator: http://www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/calculator.php
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers’ comp issues.