You probably already realize that workers' compensation protects you in the event that you get hurt while working. These important insurance policies not only cover the medical costs of workplace injuries or illnesses, but also lost wages via both temporary and permanent disability benefits.
As an employed adult, you are not the only person in your family who is eligible for protection from workers' compensation insurance in Maryland. Your spouse, as well as your dependent children, also have certain protections that are available under the program.
In the event that a work accident proves fatal for you, your loved ones will have the right to file a claim for death benefits. Those benefits offer a critical financial safety net for the people who depend on you as a wage-earner.
Workers compensation covers medical costs from a fatal injury
An injury that later proves to be fatal may require immediate medical attention. Intensive trauma care and emergency medical services are usually quite expensive. Thankfully, workers' compensation will cover 100 percent of the medical costs associated with workplace injuries.
Both ambulance transportation to the hospital and surgery can cost thousands of dollars, but your family will not need to worry about those expenses. This allows your family to focus on something other than financial stressors while they struggle with grief in the wake of an unexpected loss.
Your family can have steady income to face the future
Grief can make it very difficult for people to plan for the future. Your spouse and children may struggle with handling practical concerns after a sudden loss. To help make ends meet, your family will receive a portion of your wages through the death benefits program.
Your minor children can receive benefits until they turn 18 (or 23 if they enroll in college). A spouse may receive death benefits for life. The amount of compensation will vary depending on your average weekly wage. Workers' compensation will pay up to two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum amount set by the state. There is a cutoff for benefits after the payment of $45,000.
After that point, your family will need to establish that they remain dependent. If your spouse obtains a job, they may still qualify for partial dependent benefits. Those benefits will end if your spouse remarries. They will also end if your spouse is only partially dependent after payments total $75,000.
Knowing that your family has financial protection in the event of a work accident can provide you with peace of mind. It's important to ensure that everyone in your family understands their rights under Maryland's workers' compensation program.