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Dependency Benefits in Georgia Workers’ Compensation Death Cases

In our Georgia workers’ compensation law practice, one of the most tragic situations that we run across is a man or woman dying as a result of a work-related injury.  When a work-related death occurs, the workers’ compensation law in Georgia provides benefits to dependents of the deceased worker.  In this series of articles, I will try to provide an understanding of what dependency benefits are available as well as to whom and for how long those benefits are available.

Presumed total dependendents – spouse and children

The initial question to answer in a case of a work-related death is what individuals were dependent on the deceased worker.  In some cases, there may be no dependents. In other cases, there are many.  Individuals with certain relationships are automatically presumed to be dependent under the Georgia workers’ compensation law.

For example, the spouse and children of the injured worker are automatically presumed to be totally dependent.  This presumption means that the spouse and children do not have to establish actual dependence to receive dependency benefits.

It is also important to note that “children” does not just include biological children.  For purposes of dependency benefits, “children” includes dependent stepchildren, legally adopted children, posthumous children, and acknowledged children born out of wedlock.

Dependents other than spouse and children

In addition to the spouse and children, other people who were dependent in whole or in part on the deceased worker can qualify as total or partial dependents.  However, in order to recover benefits, those individuals have to prove that they were actually dependent on the deceased worker.

Georgia law defines a dependent as someone who looked to the injured worker for financial support or support in order to maintain the standard of living to which that person had become accustomed.  Glen Falls Indemnity Co. v. Jordan, 56 Ga. App. 449, 193 S.E. 96 (1937).  So, in order to establish dependency, it is not necessary to prove that the potential dependent would not have been able to survive without the injured worker’s contributions as long as the person looked to the deceased worker to maintain the standard of living to which he or she was accustomed.

In my next blog post in this series, I will provide a basic overview of what dependency benefits are available under Georgia workers’ compensation law.

What if I have other questions about workers compensation?

Georgia’s workers compensation system can be very confusing.  You have to worry about getting the treatment you need and paying your bills while also worrying about not missing any deadlines that could cause you to lose your right to receive workers compensation benefits.

If you have questions, I would recommend that you try to get answers.  To find out more about how to schedule a time to talk to me about your workers compensation questions, just read this short article.

Jason Perkins is an attorney who specializes in representing injured workers.  He regularly publishes videos and write blog articles about Georgia’s workers compensation system and issues that are important to injured workers and their families.

To be notified of Jason’s new workers compensation videos, subscribe to his Georgia Workers Compensation Video Series channel on YouTube by clicking the subscribe button below.

Brittney-lee orourkeBrittney-lee orourke
05:23 18 Feb 22
Amazing! Jason and his team were very helpful and had the best communication by far. Walked me though every step with great detail and had answers for any question I had. They handled my case better then I could imagine, it was a weird case and they stayed on top of it and kept me updated every step of the way! Highly recommend this Team! Thanks so much to Jason and his Awesome team!-Brittney
China JonesChina Jones
18:58 08 Feb 22
I absolutely love this group of attorneys, when I was at my lowest they did everything they could to help me get justice for my injury. I believe if I were to have never picked my phone up and called the amazing group that helped me I definitely would not have received my idea of rights. If you have an issue and are just not sure please understand that they will help you, stay in contact, answer any question you have, and for sure get you the justice you deserve I thank them from the bottom of my heart and I will definitely refer them to anyone who has been hurt because they most definitely care about their work and clients.
Luv LocsLuv Locs
16:08 15 Jan 22
The entire law office was attentive and responsive to all of my concerns dealing with my workers compensation case.
moombimoombi
21:14 02 Jan 22
If you must get a lawyer involved, you’d do well to work with Jason Perkins and his team at Perkins Studdard Law.They were thorough in gathering information and in sharing all the steps in the workers comp process specific to my case. Jason and the team were responsive to my bevy of questions and concerns.I appreciated the informative videos and consultations provided by Jason over video meetings and multiple phone calls.I hope I’m never injured on the job again. However, if I am and if my employer responds as my previous employer did, I’ll contact Perkins Studdard Law immediately to handle the case.
Dana BessDana Bess
23:57 10 Dec 21
Everyone at Perkins Studdard was kind and professional. They were always extremely responsive and answered all questions that I had and followed up to make sure I had an understanding of what was going on along with emailing videos to explain every step of my case so I would know what to expect and be prepared. Jason is a very genuine person and I trusted him with my case. He answered so many questions for me even before I retained him as my WC lawyer. I highly recommend him and his associates at Perkins Studdard.
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