Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Families of Deceased Workers
For clients who have been classified with a permanent partial disability for injuries occurring after March 13, 2007, recent case law may provide some security for your family should the unthinkable happen. As you are likely aware, your benefits are subject to a durational cap on how long the insurance company has to pay your weekly benefits. These limits are generally for cases involving injuries to the back and neck which have resulted in you being permanently out of work or earning less due to your injuries.
In previous years, if you passed away prior to the expiration of your weekly compensation checks due to conditions not related to your Workers Compensation case, the insurance company would no longer have to pay. The Appellate Division for the State of New York, however, ruled last year that for cases involving the cap, the insurance carrier may still have to pay. Specifically, the Court found that should an injured worker pass away prior to the end of his or her monetary benefits, the Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier would still have to pay a surviving spouse or minor child for however long the insurance company was supposed to pay if the person had not passed away.
This decision does not affect clients who have a permanent partial disability for injuries that occurred prior to March 13, 2007. These cases are not subject to Workers’ Compensation durational limits on how long an insurance company has to pay if a person has a permanent partial disability and is out of work. The Court specifically indicated it was not making a ruling on these cases.
This ruling regarding Workers’ Compensation benefits may be subject to an appeal to the highest court in New York, i.e. the Court of Appeals. At this time, this case does provide some security should something unthinkable happen.
Please keep this in mind as the attorneys and staff at Segar & Sciortino continue to assist your family in securing the compensation benefits your widow or children would be entitled to under the law. If you have any questions please call or text us at (585) 475-1100, or, for more information on workers comp, please visit us online.