When an employee in Nevada dies from a work-related illness or injury, the employee’s spouse, children, and other dependents may be eligible for death benefits through workers’ compensation. These weekly benefits are paid to surviving family members who depended on the worker for financial support. Workers’ comp also pays for burial expenses. (To learn more about benefits available to injured workers, see our article on collecting workers’ comp in Nevada.)
Under Nevada’s workers’ compensation law, death benefits may be available to those who were dependent, in whole or in part, on the deceased worker’s earnings. The deceased worker’s surviving spouse and children are always entitled to benefits. To qualify, a child must be:
If the deceased worker has no spouse or children, the worker’s wholly dependent parents and minor siblings are entitled to benefits. Others who were wholly or partly dependent on the worker’s earnings may also be entitled to benefits.
The deceased worker’s surviving spouse is entitled to two-thirds of the worker’s average monthly wage, up to a maximum of $3,802.17 per month for the first half of 2018. This maximum is adjusted on June 30 of every year; find the current cap at the Nevada Department of Industrial Relations website.
This benefit is for the surviving spouse and any children that spouse had with the deceased worker. If the deceased worker had children by a different spouse or partner, the benefit is divided. The spouse receives half of the benefit, and the children equally share the other half.
If the worker is survived by children but no spouse, the children equally share two-thirds of the worker’s monthly wage.
If the worker has no spouse or children, the worker’s parents and minor siblings who were completely dependent on the worker’s earnings are entitled to benefits. One wholly dependent parent may receive one-third of the worker’s average monthly wage, two wholly dependent parents may share two-thirds of the worker’s average monthly wage. Any dependent siblings under 18 may receive a share of the total award. However, the award may not exceed two-thirds of the worker’s monthly wage for all beneficiaries, combined.
Other whole or partial beneficiaries may also be entitled to benefits, depending on the circumstances.
Benefits to any beneficiary terminate if the beneficiary dies. If a surviving spouse dies, the surviving children of the deceased worker share the spouse’s benefit. Benefits to children terminate when they marry or turn 18 (or turn 22, if the child is a full-time student). However, older children can continue to receive benefits if they are incapable of supporting themselves.
Partial beneficiaries may not receive benefits for more than 100 months.
Under Nevada law, workers’ comp must pay the cost of burial, up to $10,000, as well as the cost of transporting the worker’s remains. In addition, if any of the deceased worker’s dependents die while receiving death benefits, workers’ comp must pay funeral expenses of up to $10,000 for the dependent.
You must file a claim for death benefits with the insurance company within one year of the employee’s death. You can find information on what documents you will need, as well as a link to the claim form, at the website of the Nevada Attorney for Injured Workers, a state agency that assists those seeking workers’ comp benefits. (Learn more about how workers’ comp attorneys charge in Nevada.)