The right of an injured employee to receive benefits is separate from any right of his or her dependents to receive benefits upon the employee’s death. The injured employee’s right to benefits arises at the time of the work-related injury; while, the dependents’ entitlement to benefits arises when the injured employee dies.
The death of a claimant abates all action on his or her particular claim, except for timely claims for allowed medical services. At that time, the dependent has one year to file a death claim to gain the benefits the injured worker may have been entitled to receive before the worker died.
In addition, an injured worker’s dependent may file for death benefits, which are separate benefits paid to the dependent of a deceased injured worker. To be eligible for death benefits, a dependent must produce evidence of the proximately casual relationship between the employee’s work-related injury or occupational disease and the employee’s death. Ohio Revised Code § 4123.60 permits the surviving spouse to file an application for death benefits on his or her own behalf and on the behalf of any minor children. If all of the dependents are minor children, the guardian of the dependents must file the application.