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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Death And Workers Comp Benefits

    My husband who was 46 years old died suddenly while he was working as a truck driver. We live in PA but the death occurred in TN. My husband had just started this job in Novenmber 07, the company told me he was 5 days away from his benefits. I then inquired about Worker comp and they said it was speculation but they were not sure he was on his log book, does this mean he is not covered under the law? We have 2 minor children and an 8,000 funeral bill and I am not sure what I should do in reference to the laws and I do not understand the whole log book issue. PLEASE HELP!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Death And Workers Comp Benefits, HELP!!

    Also, I did call the trucking company and told them I wanted to file a claim and the lady I need to speak to will not be until Monday. I did this under the advice of my auto insurance carrier. I have not officially opened a claim because I need to make contact with the proper person Monday.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Death And Workers Comp Benefits, HELP!!

    Hello dana! I am so sorry for your loss. My deepest simpathy goes out to you and your children.
    What you may want to do is review each states (meaning the state your husband was employed by, the state he died in, and your state PA) WC statutes since each state is different and some states are better than others. When your occupation has you travel you have the option to choose the state that works best for you. Don't get in too much of a hurry just keep on top of it and don't get let the system get you down because that is there goal. Some employers are just as bad when in comes to a WC claims. This is a good place to get advice on getting you on the right track. I would also suggest getting an a board certified WC ATTY since they will have the knowledge of what it will take to get your husbands employer (ER) and isurance company (IC) to do the "right" thing.
    The best of luck to you dana.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,928

    Default Re: Death And Workers Comp Benefits, HELP!!

    Hey Dana my deepest condolences as well. I too am an OTR truck driver. That log book will most likely contribute to the deciding factor in determining IF WC is responsible to cover your husbands expenses or not.

    It will also depend on what caused your husbands death. From the limited information in your OP it sounds like he may have had a heart attack or some other health problem rather than an accidental injury. I don't mean to sound heartless here Dana but the reality of the matter is most states WC does NOT cover death due to health conditions one suffers even if they are on the clock when the death occurs. WC does cover for an accidental injury that causes a death when on the clock, most of the time.

    Do you have the cause of death established for your husband yet? That is going to be much more the deciding factor as to weather WC is responsible or not. A very few states cover for things like heart attacks and other stress related health issues and only when it can be proven that the job is what caused the condition. In your husbands case he was only employed there since last November or for just short of five months at best. IF my speculation is correct, in that he did not have an accident, you would be hard pressed to prove that the stress of the job contributed to a health condition in that short of amount of time.

    What type of work has your husband done in the past and was it for a long period of time with the same employer? IF he passed from a health condition instead of an evidential injury you "might" find that a previous employer's WC may come into play here. Just a thought but don't get your hopes up as I am basically stabbing in the dark due to the limited amount of information you have provided.

    As DB has suggested you need to research all states WC laws that might be involved here. WC is governed by each state on an individual basis and each state has a slightly different version of what is or isn't covered under the law. (There is also a federal version for federal workers but I don't see where that would apply here.)

    SpiritGirl has offered some excellent advise. You need to file a written claim as soon as possible, once you determine which state to file in that is. I don't know what state she is referring to for a 30-C but I assume she is referring to a "first report of injury" or something of that nature. Regardless of what the form is called or what number is used it is the legal basis for a claim and needs to be filed as soon as you can do it.

    Also have you filed for Social Security survivor benefits for your children? The SS death benefit is a joke at best. Last time I checked it was something like $225.00 but that is NOT what I am talking about. I am referring to the survivor benefits that your minor children are entitled to until they turn 18 or graduate high school which ever comes later. You might also be entitled to benefits depending on "if" you worked outside the home or was a stay at home mom with small kids.

    These benefits are available based on your husbands income and assuming he has enough work credits to qualify. Most adults in their 40's would have more than enough work credits for these benefits to be available. I realize this will do little to nothing to help with the funeral expenses but it would be a source of income to help raise your children, at least until they graduate high school.

    Please post back and give us a bit more detail as to what caused your husbands death, if you know. Was there an accidental injury or was it from other causes? That will go a very long way in helping us help you concerning the WC issues.

    Again Dana may most sincere condolences on the loss of your husband. You take care.

    Steel
    "He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client"
    Abraham Lincoln


    Take Care and Be Well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,021

    Default Re: Death And Workers Comp Benefits, HELP!!

    The WC law that will have jurisdiction will be the laws of the state where the ER is located, and where your husband is employed.

    You can most likely expect a initial denial of the claim for WC benefits, as the first criteria is AOE/COE, meaning did the injury/death occur ''due to and in the course of the employement''...did his job contribute/provide 'cause' to the injury/death, or was this due to an outside influence...eg. heart failure/attack..due to 'natural' causes..something that would have occured even if he wasn't working.
    The ER/IC will have 90 days (as a rule) to investigate the claim an make a determination to accept/deny.

    Go to your state web site and you will find the WC laws covering the benefits you/your children are/may be entitled to.
    Here is the url for the Pennsylvania WC Act...http://www.dli.state.pa.us/landi/lib...s/wc/wcact.pdf

    Sec 305.2 (a) pg 14, provides the answer for jurisdiction and your childrens entitlement to benefits.
    Section 307 pg 30 provides the basic information regarding death benefits and how they are to be paid and to whom.

    There are 360 pages to the Act, there may be additional benefits to you other than I mentioned here.
    First though, there will have to be the AOE/COE evaluation/investigation.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,109

    Default Re: Death And Workers Comp Benefits, HELP!!

    dana:
    work comp coverage begins the moment an an employee is hired. You should file a written notice of injury with the employer as soon as possible. just a brief letter stating your intention that they pay/provide work comp death and dependency benefits.
    You can get information as to what those benefits are and how/when they'll be awarded by contacting the pensylvania work comp helpline:
    Helpline voice telephone numbers:
    toll free inside PA: (800) 482-2383
    local & outside PA: (717) 772-4447

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 1971
    Posts
    3,362

    Default Re: Death And Workers Comp Benefits, HELP!!

    I just read your post..so sorry for your loss. I would advise you to get an attorney a.s.p. Be carefull about speaking to his employer or contacting anyone, you might contaminate your case. In cases such as yours, the laws can be very complicated, let a lawyer specializing in worker comp handle it for you..it's way to complicated for the common person to deal with. I hope you take my advice to heart and protect your rights..I can assure you, noone else will.
    Tony
    Moderator
    We reserve the right to forbid any user from participating in this forum, and to close any user account, at any time, for any reason. In the interest of the community, this may be done without prior notice or warning.
    http://www.workerscompensationinsura...inks/index.htm

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Death And Workers Comp Benefits, HELP!!

    Im sorry for your loss, know people will be prayin for you , therr is som who realy care and will help you here.

    please take the abov advice!!! You gota be like a pitbull.. and not let go!
    Whatever~~~~~~~~~~

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Death And Workers Comp Benefits, HELP!!

    My husband worked for a company based here in PA but he died in Tennesee. He died of a heart attack, just out of the blue. Tennesee law requires any death that is incurred while working receive an autopsy and this report is not yet back it has been 5 weeks. I have not even received death certificates to date either.

    My husband's previous job he held for 23 years and it was as a material handler at a local company here in PA.

    When this all happened the employer told me he was 5 days away from his benefits life insurance etc. He has a large bill from the trauma center in TN because there was no health insurance at the point of his passing.

    I checked with his previous job and his life insurance there was a term policy and when he left it was no longer active.

    Quote Quoting SteelMagnolia View Post
    Hey Dana my deepest condolences as well. I too am an OTR truck driver. That log book will most likely contribute to the deciding factor in determining IF WC is responsible to cover your husbands expenses or not.

    It will also depend on what caused your husbands death. From the limited information in your OP it sounds like he may have had a heart attack or some other health problem rather than an accidental injury. I don't mean to sound heartless here Dana but the reality of the matter is most states WC does NOT cover death due to health conditions one suffers even if they are on the clock when the death occurs. WC does cover for an accidental injury that causes a death when on the clock, most of the time.

    Do you have the cause of death established for your husband yet? That is going to be much more the deciding factor as to weather WC is responsible or not. A very few states cover for things like heart attacks and other stress related health issues and only when it can be proven that the job is what caused the condition. In your husbands case he was only employed there since last November or for just short of five months at best. IF my speculation is correct, in that he did not have an accident, you would be hard pressed to prove that the stress of the job contributed to a health condition in that short of amount of time.

    What type of work has your husband done in the past and was it for a long period of time with the same employer? IF he passed from a health condition instead of an evidential injury you "might" find that a previous employer's WC may come into play here. Just a thought but don't get your hopes up as I am basically stabbing in the dark due to the limited amount of information you have provided.

    As DB has suggested you need to research all states WC laws that might be involved here. WC is governed by each state on an individual basis and each state has a slightly different version of what is or isn't covered under the law. (There is also a federal version for federal workers but I don't see where that would apply here.)

    SpiritGirl has offered some excellent advise. You need to file a written claim as soon as possible, once you determine which state to file in that is. I don't know what state she is referring to for a 30-C but I assume she is referring to a "first report of injury" or something of that nature. Regardless of what the form is called or what number is used it is the legal basis for a claim and needs to be filed as soon as you can do it.

    Also have you filed for Social Security survivor benefits for your children? The SS death benefit is a joke at best. Last time I checked it was something like $225.00 but that is NOT what I am talking about. I am referring to the survivor benefits that your minor children are entitled to until they turn 18 or graduate high school which ever comes later. You might also be entitled to benefits depending on "if" you worked outside the home or was a stay at home mom with small kids.

    These benefits are available based on your husbands income and assuming he has enough work credits to qualify. Most adults in their 40's would have more than enough work credits for these benefits to be available. I realize this will do little to nothing to help with the funeral expenses but it would be a source of income to help raise your children, at least until they graduate high school.

    Please post back and give us a bit more detail as to what caused your husbands death, if you know. Was there an accidental injury or was it from other causes? That will go a very long way in helping us help you concerning the WC issues.

    Again Dana may most sincere condolences on the loss of your husband. You take care.

    Steel

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Death And Workers Comp Benefits, HELP!!

    Thank You so much, this is so hard.

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