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Who is entitled to benefits when a worker dies on the job?

by Chris Booberg on May 05, 2015

When a worker dies on the job in Virginia, you might think that his family or loved ones would automatically receive his death benefits.  Often, it is not as simple as that.  

The Virginia Code specifies who is entitled to receive death benefits:

(1)  a spouse who was living with the deceased worker and was dependent on him or her at the time of death;

(2) a child under the age of 18

(3) a child over the age of 18 if physically or mentally unable to earn a living

(4) a child under the age of 23 who is enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited educational institution.

The Virginia code includes stepchildren, legally adopted children and acknowledged illegitimate children within the definition of children who can receive death benefits.

People in the four categories above are entitled to payment of 500 weeks of benefits from the date of the worker's death.