In the state of California, workers compensation will pay death benefits to an employee’s family if that employee dies due to a work-related illness or injury. Death benefits include a reasonable amount for burial expenses, not to exceed $10,000 for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2013.

The total amount of death benefits depends on the number of dependents and partial dependents. After specific payments are handed out, the youngest minor child will receive benefits until their 18th birthday. There are caps on death benefits in the state of California as follows:

Burial expenses $10,000, 1 total dependent $250,000, 2 or more total dependents $290,000, 3 or more total dependents $320,000, 1 total and 1 or more partial dependents $250,000 plus four times annual support not to exceed $290,000, 1 or more partial dependents eight times annual support not to exceed $250,000.

For a death that resulted from injuries or illness sustained prior to January 1, 2013, the payouts are the same, but death benefits for burial expenses will not exceed $5,000.

While no amount of money can replace the companionship and care of a parent, death benefits are in place to provide financial relief to families who struggle to take care of children and other dependents after one parent or guardian dies. Families should apply with the state bureau of workers compensation for any benefits they believe they are due. An attorney can help with this process.