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Texas workers’ compensation death benefits are paid to eligible family members if a loved one dies in a work accident.  Regardless of who was at fault, these benefits can be paid in addition to any other lawsuit or benefit that may be available at the time.  In order to get these benefits, you must know whether you are eligible to receive them and how to apply.

How To Apply For Death Benefits

In order to get Texas workers’ compensation death benefits, you must complete and file form DWC042 with the Division of Workers’ Compensation.  As of 2020, you can fax that form to the Division at (512) 804-4378 to get it filed.  There is a one year deadline to file this form or you risk losing your right to these benefits.

Spouse & Children Are Most Common Beneficiaries

A spouse and/or a minor child are the most common beneficiaries of death benefits.  Generally, if there is both a spouse AND a kid, then the spouse gets half of the death benefits and the children split the remaining half. If there are no kids, then the spouse would get all of the death benefits.  If there are kids, but no spouse, then the kids get the benefits.

Other family members may be eligible to receive these benefits in certain circumstances.  Grandchildren, parents, and dependents may all have a claim for benefits, especially if there is no spouse of the deceased worker. These types of family members will want to consult with an attorney right away to determine if they have any claim for the money.

How Much Are Death Benefits

Death benefits pay out at 75% of the deceased workers’ average weekly wages. These benefits are sent out weekly to the beneficiaries. 

A spouse can receive Texas workers’ compensation death benefits for life or until remarriage.  Upon remarriage, a spouse is entitled to 104 additional weeks of benefits, and then they terminate. Minor children can receive death benefits until they reach the age of 18.  At that time, they can continue to receive benefits until age 25 if they are enrolled as a full-time student.