Death Benefits

Wheaton and Schaumburg Attorneys for Workers’ Compensation Claims


Unexpectedly losing a loved one in a workplace accident is one of the most devastating things that can happen to a family. Not only are you heartbroken, but you may be feeling overwhelmed thinking about your family’s financial future as well, especially if the decedent was the primary breadwinner. If you have lost a loved one due to a work-related accident, it is advisable to seek the help of an experienced Wheaton and Schaumburg workers’ compensation lawyer. At Therman Law Offices, we have extensive experience handling cases involving fatal workplace accidents and can apply our knowledge of the potential available benefits to your case.


Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Illinois


In Illinois, the Workers’ Compensation Act allows for surviving family members of a worker who died in a workplace accident to collect death benefits. These benefits are designed to help keep the family financially afloat in the aftermath of such a tragedy. In other words, death benefits, also sometimes known as survivor benefits, refer to the employer’s obligation to compensate the family of a worker who died on the job in an effort to help the family and other dependants when the deceased worker’s income and support has suddenly been removed.


Death Benefits


When a worker is killed on the job, his or her spouse and dependant minor children are considered primary beneficiaries and are entitled to full benefits. In fact, beneficiaries become eligible for death benefits the day after the worker’s death. Under Illinois law, even if the spouse of a deceased worker eventually remarries, the surviving spouse and children continue to receive benefits. However, if there were no surviving children and the surviving spouse remarries, that spouse is entitled to a final lump sum payment that is equal to two years of compensation. Once this amount is paid, the benefits stop. Benefits are paid to children until they reach the age of 18 or until the age of 25 if the individual is a full time student. If the child suffers from a physical or mental disability then the benefits continue for the duration of the incapacity.


If no primary beneficiaries exist, then the death benefits can be paid to the dependant parents of the deceased worker. If dependant parents do not exist, benefits can be paid to individuals who were at least 50 percent financially dependent on the worker before his or her death.


When you unexpectedly lose a loved one, even the cost of laying them to rest can become incredibly overwhelming. Fortunately, Illinois law takes this reality into account. In addition to the benefits mentioned above, dependents of a deceased worker may also be entitled to burial benefits, which are designed to cover the cost of a funeral and burial. The benefits are paid to the person who paid the deceased worker’s burial and funeral costs. The current benefit amount is set at $8,000 and this number is adjusted periodically. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer can help you pursue this and other amounts.


The Workers’ Compensation Claims Process


The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) is the government agency that handles all workers’ compensation claims in Illinois. The IWCC calculates the amounts that workers receive for their claims, including death benefits. Death benefits are calculated by taking the average of the worker’s gross weekly wages for the 52 weeks before his or her death. The benefit is equal to two-thirds of the worker’s average gross weekly wage and is subject to minimum and maximum thresholds set forth by the IWCC.


Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for Schaumburg and Wheaton


If you have lost a loved one in a workplace accident, we are here to help. At Therman Law Offices, our Schaumburg and Wheaton attorneys will evaluate your case and help you understand your legal options. The last thing you should have to worry about after you’ve lost a loved one is filing a claim for benefits or an appeal. Our team can handle the legalities of your case so that you can focus on healing. Please note that we proudly serve clients from Oakbrook Terrace, Clarendon Hills, Westmont, Downers Grove, Darien, Lisle, and Bolingbrook. To discuss your case with a trusted legal advocate, please call us today at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.



Chicago 773-839-8944
Wheaton & Schaumburg 847-744-8400

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