13 Oct Arizona Workers’ Compensation Benefits: What You Should Know
Signing Up for Death Benefits When You Start Work
Whenever you start a job with a new Arizona employer, look for the paperwork where you can fill out who your dependents are, in case you pass away from a work-related injury. Once you do that, your surviving family members will be able to claim death benefits with very little trouble.
You must, however, keep up with editing your paperwork over the years regarding any changes in your family such as the birth of a child, removing a family member who has passed away (one or both parents, siblings, child, spouse, etc.), and any other family member who is dependent on your working salary.
It is always recommended that survivors of a deceased Arizona worker hire an Arizona workers’ compensation attorney to make sure each family member receives their fair share. You can view a sample form here that your survivors will need to print, then fill out for claiming death and survivor benefits. If the form is submitted by regular mail, get it certified to verify receipt of your submission.
The dependents’ claim application can also be filled out and submitted online here. Make a copy of the online form and note when it was submitted to the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) through the portal.
While not directly related to workers’ compensation insurance, another set of papers you should fill out are your Power of Attorney forms whereby you select someone you trust to handle your medical care while hospitalized, and handle finances, property, and other assets. This can be split up between two or more people to relieve one person from the stress of having to do everything.
You should discuss these forms with an attorney to make sure that everything is set up correctly to your wishes and that there are no chances for fraud or other nasty legal issues that could occur. Check with your family doctor on whether your doctor belongs to a hospital network and consider filing your paperwork online in the network as well, so it can be easily accessed.
This becomes extremely important when you have extreme injuries from an accident and do not wish to be resuscitated (DNR). You can also request that pain medication be given until you pass, so you will not suffer during the interim.
These discussions may be unpleasant yet clarifying what you want to be done at end of life, plus setting up your survivors to have available help ready if you pass, helps your family during a very stressful time, especially when unexpected accidents occur. Avoid chaos by planning everything ahead of time.
How the Death Benefits are Calculated
Arizona death benefits are covered by A.R.S. 23-1046 and outlines who in your family gets what portion of your salary at the time of a work-related injury and subsequent death. If you are a recent survivor, such as a spouse or a parent, file immediately for your benefits. Connect with an Arizona workers’ compensation attorney to get help. Here is the bullet-point version of the calculated benefits for main family members (direct survivors):
- Burial fees: Up to $5,000 as a separate payment from monthly benefits,
- Spouse: If no children, your spouse receives sixty-six and two-thirds percent of your average monthly wage until your spouse dies, or if your spouse remarries, at which time your spouse receives a two-year lump sum to close the account,
- Spouse with children: Spouse receives thirty-five percent of the average monthly wage, until death or remarriage, with a two-year lump sum payment paid at the time of remarrying,
- Children of deceased under 18: Receives thirty-one and two-thirds percent of your average monthly wage, split equally among two or more children, until reaching the age of 18 unless enrolled full-time in an accredited educational institution, in which case the age is raised to 22 years of age; benefits continue for a child unable to support oneself after reaching age 18,
- Child over 18: If incapable of supporting oneself, the benefits continue, unless the situation changes and the child can now support themself,
- Spouse with children over 18 (or 22): Once children are no longer eligible to receive benefits, your spouse receives the full benefit amount (662/3) as if there were no children, unless your spouse remarries,
- Surviving child with no parent left or if a remaining parent remarries: Receives the full sixty-six and two-thirds percent of your average monthly wage until reaching age 18, or 22 if enrolled full-time in college; if incapable of self-support, benefits continue unless the situation changes, or if any child marries; if more than one child, the monthly benefits are split equally.
For All Other Dependent Family Members
There are benefits at lesser amounts, and with some limitations, for siblings and parents who were dependent, or partially dependent on the deceased’s wages at the time of death. The law explains this further but consults with your Arizona workers’ compensation attorney to be sure the calculations are done correctly. If there is a dispute about who gets what amount and for how long, your family’s certified workers’ compensation attorney can file the dispute and handle it for them.
If you recently had a family member pass away, due to a work-related accident, you need to file as soon as possible for your benefits. It is best to connect with a workers’ compensation attorney, in case the deceased worker did not include you on the beneficiary list but you were dependent on the worker’s salary.
Get Help Here When You Need it Fast!
Arizona Injury Law Group offers experienced and Certified workers’ compensation lawyers and legal services for injured workers. Call for your free consultation! 602-346-9009.