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Death benefits under New York’s workers’ compensation law

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

The recent deaths caused by the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore has called the public’s attention to the relationship between workers’ compensation injury benefits and workers’ compensation death benefits.


In both situations, the injury or death must be caused by an on-the-job accident. According to media reports, six men who were re-surfacing the bridge when it was struck by a freighter all died because of the accident. Assuming that the media reports are accurate, the survivors of the six men are now entitled to receive death benefits under New York’s workers’ compensation laws. If any workers were injured (no such reports appeared in the media), they would be entitled to benefits for their injuries.

Amount of benefits payable

If a worker dies from an injury that is compensable under the state’s workers’ compensation laws, the surviving spouse and minor children or other dependents are entitled to receive weekly cash payments equal to two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage for the 52 weeks prior to the accident. Funeral expenses not to exceed $12,5000 are covered under workers’ compensation in Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester counties. In all other counties the limit is $10,500.

Application process

Any person who wishes to receive death benefits must file a written claim together with a number of supporting documents. The claim form is identified as Form C-62. Form C-62 must be accompanied by an affidavit signed by the surviving spouse, dependent grandchildren, dependent siblings, or non-dependent parents or the estate of the deceased. Form C-62 must also be accompanied by a physician’s statement (Form C-64) demonstrating how the death was related to the work being performed.


Claims for death benefits are rarely contested by the employer or insurer unless there is lack of clarity in the facts that are used to prove the work-related nature of the injury. Worker’s compensation claims can be complicated, especially if several parties may be liable for any injuries or deaths. An experienced worker’s compensation attorney can be a valuable ally.