New Jersey Workers’ Compensation laws provide benefits to a deceased worker’s dependents in the event that the worker dies in the course of his/her employment or as a result of a work related illness. Benefits are paid at 70% of the deceased workers wages, subject to the statutory maximum. Generally speaking, dependents include family members who lived with the deceased worker, but may also include parents, siblings, illegitimate children, and grandchildren.
The spouse and children living with the deceased worker are presumed to be dependent. The period of dependency for children is up to 18 years of age or 23 years of age if they can proof they are attending school full time. Disabled adult children may be entitled to benefits beyond age 23. A widow is entitled to benefits for life, unless he/she remarries. There are any number of situations in which a non resident family member may be considered a dependent. However, the definition of dependent can be complicated and can be rebutted by the specific facts of each case. Therefore, it is important to contact an attorney who will help you determine if you are entitled to dependency benefits.