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Q: My husband was killed in a work-related accident in Carlisle and my family is eligible for a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation death benefit. How will those benefits be paid?

We offer our deepest condolences on the loss of your husband. To answer your question, weekly death benefits are generally paid to a surviving spouse and children, although they may be payable to parents and siblings if the worker was unmarried and had no children.

The weekly benefit amount payable to the surviving spouse, children, or other family members is based on the worker’s average weekly wage, which cannot exceed the maximum compensation rate mandated by the state of Pennsylvania. Once the average weekly wage is established, the weekly death benefit amount is calculated using percentages outlined in the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.

Percentages for the surviving spouse and children are shown below:

  • Widow(er) Only – 51 percent of worker’s pre-injury average weekly wage
  • Widow(er) and one child – 60 percent of worker’s pre-injury average weekly wage
  • Widow(er) and two or more children – 66 2/3 percent of worker’s pre-injury average weekly wage

Losing a loved one to a work-related accident is a tragedy. The ensuing financial pressures can make a heartbreaking situation even worse. If you have lost a loved one to a work-related illness or accident or have been seriously injured on the job yourself, you need good advice and someone to look out for your best interests.

We are dedicated to helping those who have suffered work-related deaths or injuries obtain the compensation they are due. Contact a compassionate and skilled workers’ compensation attorney at Schmidt Kramer today at (717) 888-8888 for your free case evaluation—we can help!

You may also wish to download a free copy of our book Who Pays the Bills When You Are Injured at Work? for more information.