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Death Benefits Under LHWCA

Workers in the shipyard, repair and ship building industries, or in the harbor or port, can be hectic, very physical, and full of accident hazards. There is always the risk of fatal injuries caused by fall accidents, electrocutions, as well as the risk of death due to occupational illnesses.

When a worker, who is covered under the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act dies due to his injuries, his survivors may be eligible for death benefits. The widow or the widower of the deceased worker may be eligible for benefits. Eligible survivors may also include the parents of the deceased, children, brothers, sisters, grandparents and grandchildren, if these people were dependent on the deceased.

If the original survivor is the widow or the widower, then he or she may be eligible for LHWCA benefits that equal 50% of the average weekly wage of the deceased for the rest of his or her life. The benefits continue until the person gets remarried. If the widow or widower gets remarried, then he or she receives compensation for 2 years in the form of a lump sum payment.

If it is the children who are the sole survivors of the deceased and are eligible for benefits, then they will receive 50% of the deceased’s average weekly wage for the first child. In case there is more than one child benefits, they receive benefits to a limit of 66 2/3%, which will be shared equally among all the children.

Benefit payments that are made to children can continue until the child reaches the age of 18. However, the payment can be extended to the age of 23, if he or she is a student.

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