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What happens to workers' compensation benefits if I die?

Are you one of the many employees in Kentucky who is receiving workers' compensation benefits for a job-related illness or injury? If so, you know how important this income is to you and your family when you are unable to work in your normal capacity. Even though payments received from workers' compensation may not be as much as what you earned from your job directly, they can help you make ends meet while you heal.

But, what happens to these benefits if you die for any reason before your benefit period is up? According to the Labor Cabinet of Kentucky, if you are married your surviving spouse may be able to receive benefits on your behalf, at least for some time. If you have children or other legal dependents, they may be eligible for benefits as well. Spouses may also have the ability to claim some Social Security benefits.

Your spouse's ability to claim workers' compensation benefits after you die may extend until or if they ever get married again or until they die. The benefit period for dependents may also end upon death or marriage. However, for dependents, the ability to support oneself and to be of legal adult age may also be factors in the receipt or ending of these benefits.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give Kentucky residents an overview of how the state approaches workers' compensation benefits in the event that a recipient dies while still receiving these benefits.

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Louisville, KY 40214

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