When a loved one passes away because of an injury or illness suffered at the workplace, you and other surviving dependents may be eligible to receive benefits through Montana’s workers compensation system.
These so-called “death benefits” are available to the spouse, children, and other family members of the deceased who may have relied on them for financial support.
But just who exactly is eligible? And how much are Montana’s workers compensation death benefits?
Who is eligible for Montana death benefits?
Death benefits are available to certain family members, and are designed to replace lost income from the deceased worker—with the following family members taking priority:
- The worker’s spouse, when living with or legally receiving support from the worker (at the time of the injury)
- Unmarried minor children
- Unmarried children under the age of 22 who is either a full-time student or an apprentice in an accredited program
- Mentally or physically incapacitated children of any age who qualify as dependent’s of the worker
In situations where there is no qualifying child or spouse, other family members could be eligible for benefits—such as parents, siblings, etc.
How much are Montana death benefits?
In Montana, death benefits are paid based on a percentage of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage, and not exceeding 66.67% (66 and ⅔%)of the worker’s average weekly wage (this is the total amount, which is then divided between dependents).
In addition, the total weekly payout may not exceed Montana’s state average weekly wage.
Montana death benefits are paid out in the following order and priority:
- Spouse, no children. The spouse will receive 66.67% of the worker’s average weekly wage.
- Children, no spouse. 66.67% of the average weekly wage is divided between all dependent children.
- Spouse and children. The spouse will receive 66.67% of the average weekly wage for the benefit of both himself or herself and the children.
- Dependent parents. If the worker has no dependent spouse or children, dependent parents are eligible to receive death benefits, reliant on the extent to which each parent depended on the worker for support. That means 66.67% of the worker’s average weekly wages, divided between however many dependent parents there are.
- Dependent siblings. Siblings under the age of 18 may be eligible to receive death benefits—again, up to 66.67% of the worker’s wages—divided between all qualifying siblings.
- No dependents. If the worker leaves behind no dependents, then their parents will receive a lump sum of $3,000.
How long will I receive death benefits?
The worker’s spouse will receive death benefits up to 500 weeks from the date of their spouse’s death, or until remarriage. Benefits for children continue until they turn 18—or 22, for full-time students/apprentices. Incapacitated children may receive benefits indefinitely, regardless of age.
How much are Montana burial benefits?
Workers compensation also pays for reasonable burial costs with a cap at $4,000.
Are there time limits for filing a death claim in Montana?
Yes—dependents are able to file a claim for benefits within just one year of the worker’s death, and the sooner you file, the better.
If you’re facing difficulties with your claim, act now—call us or fill out the form below immediately, and let us get to work recovering the benefits you rightfully deserve.