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Workers’ Compensation Benefits from a Work Injury Death

Have you been injured at work? Speak with one of the Workers Compensation Attorneys at Prior, Criner & Edwards.

Call today to discuss your options (910) 341-3202


Has a family member passed away due to a previous work-injury? It’s possible you may be entitled to benefits through workers’ compensation. Keep in mind that in order to receive benefits, the death must have been caused by a workplace injury or occupational disease. You also have to file a claim within two years of the employee’s date of death. Here’s what you need to know about death benefit eligibility, potential wages, and how long it will last.

What is My Eligibility?

If you’re trying to obtain death benefits, be aware that they’re typically limited to spouses, children, and other members of the family that not only live with the deceased employee, but also rely on him/her for financial support. If there are multiple “wholly dependent” people who live with the deceased and rely on his/her income, then the death benefits are shared equally. When there is only one person, such as a spouse, that is dependent on the employer, then that person is given all benefits that are payable. Even if a spouse makes more income than the deceased worker, he/she is still considered a dependent. Legal dependents also include children under 18 years of age, and for children over 18 that have certain physical or mental disabilities.

If an employee passes away and there are no legal “wholly dependents,” then anyone who is partially dependent (self-supporting) is entitled to weekly benefits, based on the amount of support the deceased provided them. If there are no whole or partial dependents, benefits are divided into a lump sum to the “next of kin.” Finally, if a deceased worker has no dependents or “next of kin,” only the burial benefit is covered.

What’s Included in Death Benefits?

In North and South Carolina, death claims are typically paid weekly. The payment is based on two-thirds of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage. Death benefits must also be legally provided for a minimum of 500 weeks. It’s common for payable benefits to exceed 500 weeks, including situations where a minor child must receive benefits until the age of 18, or if the deceased’s widow or widower is disabled at the time of death, he/she will receive death benefits until his/her own death or until remarried.

In addition to weekly payables, workers’ compensation always pays a portion of burial expenses. That pay range can be anywhere from a few thousand dollars to more than ten thousand. Workers’ compensation also covers any medical bills for treatment and care an employee received due to a work-related injury or disease. North and South Carolina workers’ compensation agencies will review all medical bills to ensure that treatment was necessary and related to the injury.

Losing a loved one is a painful situation, especially when it’s the result of a workplace injury or disease. Having the support and expertise of a workers’ compensation lawyer, like The Workers’ Compensation Law Firm, ensures you’ll make a claim for death benefits correctly and proceed through the process smoothly. Don’t wait another day to figure your situation out – contact us so we can get started on your case.

Call today for a free consultation and explore your options - (910) 341-3202

Our Attorneys

Our attorneys specialize in workman's comp, personal injury, and dispute resolution services.

We have have a long history of building long-term client relationships founded on trust and mutual respect.


Frank Prior - Attorney

Frank Prior

With over 25 years of experience in civil litigation and thousands of cases mediated, Frank specializes in the fields of workers compensation and personal injury law.

Sherman Lee Criner - Attorney

Sherman Lee Criner

Sherman is Licensed to Practice Law in North and South Carolina. He has extensive education in law and the mediation practice, professional experience and impressive memberships in many noteworthy political, civic and business organizations.

Ashley Edwards - Attorney

Ashley M. Edwards

Ashley is a NC attorney and certified mediator in North and South Carolina, Ashley has represented hundreds of clients and mediated thousands of cases for attorneys, insurance carriers and private companies. 

Client Feedback

“These guys are awesome and care about their clients very much. I would suggest anyone hurt on the job to contact them. Cannot express my appreciation enough to them!"

Trevor P.

“Ashley Edwards genuinely cares about his clients and holds himself to the highest standards in all of his professional interactions. I am happy to recommend him to anyone who needs help navigating the workers compensation process."

Patrick H.

“Ashley has been practicing compensation law in the greater Wilmington area for 15+ years. I have often turned to him for advice and counsel. He knows the law, is trustworthy, listens to his clients, and fights to do the right thing for them. He is my first call!"

Channing E.

“Mr Edwards made my case feel like it was his most important case. He is so caring and attentive."

Renee M.

“This was the first and only law firm I contacted after being injured. Everyone there has been on point concerning my case and extremely professional. I highly recommend contacting workers comp first if injured. It will be as if it's the most important case they have and they will not disappoint. Thank you to the entire team."

Stephen H.

“Wonderful Experience under difficult circumstances. They helped me understand my rights and options under the law. Mr. Edwards took the time to help and meet with me whenever I had questions. He is highly recommended for his expert advice and service. "

Ashley M.

“This is the place to go if you get hurt on the job Ashley and his paralegal Janet are really nice and super easy to talk to and they take the time to really listen to your problems and get you the help you need and deserve."

Anthony R.

“They came out took out time to listen very smart he knows what he's talking about he heard me out and took my case under difficult sircumstances and i highly advise this is the law firm to consider."

Marlo C.

“Sherman is one of the best mediators that I know---he is extremely proficient in Workers' Compensation Law and he is an outstanding communicator. I give Sherman my highest rating!"

Peer Review - Lawyers.com

“Great Experience with a caring lawyer who took the time to actually meet with me. He handled my case to the end and explained everything. Highly recommended."


“Ashley is very knowledgeable and relatable to his clients, to opposing counsel, and to all parties when acting as mediator. "

Peer Review - Lawyers.com

“Ashley didn't always tell me what I wanted to hear but he always told me the truth. He is very knowledgeable and professional... I would highly recommend Ashley if you feel the need to hire an attorney. "


Get in touch with our team for a free consultation.

Call (910) 341-3202 or complete the form on this page and we'll follow-up with you as soon as possible.


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