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Death Benefits Following a Workplace Accident or Occupational Disease

Workers’ compensation is most commonly associated with providing benefits to workers injured on-the-job. However, it can also give financial support to the surviving family of a worker who passes away in a workplace accident, or due to a life-threatening occupational illness. Benefits of this type are called “death benefits.”

If a worker dies as a result of a workplace accident or occupational disease, under Missouri law the family is entitled to:

  • Burial expenses up to $5,000.
  • Weekly benefit payments, divided among the surviving spouse and children, until:
    • The children reach age 18, or age 22 if enrolled in school or the armed forces, at which time that child’s portion is divided among the others, and;
    • The spouse dies or remarries, at which time that portion is divided among the others, or;
    • If there are no surviving children under the age of 22, and no surviving spouse, then no benefits are owed beyond the burial expense.

The amount of the weekly payment will be equal to 66-2/3% of the average weekly wages of the decedent at the time of the injury, accident, or disease’s contraction. The amount given through death benefits cannot exceed a maximum amount set by law, which changes often for inflation.

Call Our St. Louis Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for Assistance

At Buchanan, Williams & O'Brien, P.C., we help families whose loved ones have passed away in work-related accidents. We offer free initial consultations to our clients so that you may discuss your concerns with an experienced attorney without having to first reach for your pocketbook. Contact us online or call our St. Louis office at (314) 635-7606 to schedule a case evaluation of your own. Be sure to ask about our evening and weekend appointments, home and hospital visits for your convenience, and our contingency fee agreements – no attorney fees unless you collect a verdict, settlement, or benefits!

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