Death Claims Attorney in Lima, Ohio
Losing a loved one is always painful and distressing. Losing a loved one due to a work-related incident or illness is a terrible experience, too, but if your loved one died in this situation, you may be entitled to a death claim.
At Siferd & Associates, LPA, we strive to inform grieving folks of their options to seek fair compensation through a workers’ compensation death claim. With our guidance, you can feel confident that you understand the benefits of workers’ compensation. We serve Lima, Ohio, and neighboring areas, including Allen County, Hardin County, Auglaize County, Putnam County, Hancock County, and Mercer County.
Death Benefits Through Workers’ Compensation in Ohio
Family members of deceased workers can file for death benefits through workers’ compensation. Doing so can help you along the process of grieving, give you extra support, and help with the financial struggles that came through. Here is a look at the death benefits through workers’ compensation:
Wages. In general, dependents (surviving spouse and children) may receive 66% or (sixty-six percent) or two-thirds of the deceased worker’s weekly wage. However, this amount may not be the exact one, as it may differ from state minimum and maximum wage benefits.
Funeral expenses. Dependents can claim up to $5,500 in funeral expenses. However, dependents may claim a larger amount if the death occurred outside the individual’s area of residence.
Medical bills. Dependents may also claim out-of-pocket medical bills. These include hospital, nursing, and emergency room visits. Typically, the deceased individual’s spouse pays for these expenses. So, keeping proper documentation such as bills, receipts, proof of payment, and medical reports is crucial.
Medication. Medical bills and medication expenses can be reimbursed through a workers’ compensation claim. Proper documentation is essential when filing a claim.
Please note that spouses receive death benefits until their death or remarriage. Benefits are paid weekly. If the surviving spouse remarries, they receive a lump sum payment equivalent to two years of weekly benefits.
Dependent children are eligible to receive benefits until they are 18 or 25 if they are full-time students at an accredited institution.
Who Is Eligible to Apply for Death Benefits in Ohio?
You may be wondering if you or a loved one qualify for death benefits. The following individuals are eligible to apply for death benefits:
- Spouse. A surviving spouse living with the deceased party is eligible to apply for death benefits. Additionally, a separated spouse may apply for death benefits if he or she is still legally married at the time of death.
- Dependent children. Dependent children who are 18 are eligible to receive benefits.
- Adult children over 25. Adult children over 25 may receive death benefits if they are full-time students enrolled at an accredited institution.
- Disabled or mentally incapacitated adult children. Disabled adult children are also eligible to receive death benefits through workers’ compensation. The benefit is paid to the disabled child’s guardian.
Please note that siblings may also qualify for death benefits in the absence of direct descendants. Similarly, surviving parents (biological or adoptive) may receive a minimum award of $3,000. Parents qualify if the deceased party lived with or depended on them at the time of death.
Additionally, dependents’ eligibility is determined by their status at the time of the injury or illness that led to death.
Partial dependents may also receive benefits. Partial dependents are individuals who received financial support from the deceased party for living expenses such as rent, groceries, utilities, or medical bills. Partial dependents are not necessarily family members, but they must prove that they did not rely entirely on the deceased for financial support.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Death Claim in Ohio
Eligible dependents may file a workers’ compensation death claim if they meet the following criteria:
- The applicant is an eligible dependent (spouse, child, or disabled adult child).
- The claim is filed within the one-year statute of limitations. The two-year window begins on the date of death.
- The applicant submits relevant documentation.
- The deceased party’s death was a direct result of the performance of their duty or as a consequence of performing their duty.
On the whole, filing a workers’ compensation death claim is a relatively straightforward process in Ohio. However, grieving family members may feel overwhelmed and unsure about their rights. Consequently, contacting a workers’ compensation attorney can help grieving relatives understand their rights and ensure fair compensation.
Common Reasons a Death Claim Is Denied in Ohio
There are several reasons why a death claim may be denied in Ohio:
- The application was submitted after the one-year statute of limitations window.
- The death was not determined to be a direct consequence of the individual’s job duties.
- The application documentation is incomplete.
- The applicant is ineligible to receive death benefits.
- The deceased party’s employer denies the claim.
- The deceased party’s death is attributed to a pre-existing medical condition.
- There is a lack of evidence proving a workplace accident occurred.
- Employers or insurance companies may challenge applicants’ relationship with the deceased party.
In these situations, grieving relatives should enlist the services of a professional and experienced workers’ compensation attorney. A workers’ compensation attorney can file a lawsuit to seek fair compensation for surviving relatives.
Death Claims Attorney Serving Lima, Ohio
Get the help you need when you need it most. At Siferd & Associates, LPA, we know what it is like to go through difficult experiences, and we serve Lima, Ohio, and neighboring areas, including Allen County, Hardin County, Auglaize County, Putnam County, Hancock County, and Mercer County. For empathetic guidance and skilled advocacy, reach out to our skilled death claims attorney.