The unfortunate tragedy of losing a loved one to a workplace accident can be devastating. The Ohio Revised Code requires that in the case of injury or occupational disease, causing the death of an employee, benefits shall be paid to the surviving spouse and children of the deceased.
If there is more than one wholly dependent person at the time of the workers’ death, R.C. § 4123.59(B) requires the Industrial Commission to apportion the award among all such dependents. The Industrial Commission may apportion the benefits “as it deems equitable in the circumstances of each particular case.” The Commission has no obligation to make an equal apportionment among those claimants who were totally dependent upon the decedent.
The payment of death benefits shall continue from the date of the death of the injured worker until the death or remarriage of any dependent spouse. A child dependent may be entitled to benefits until the child reaches eighteen years of age; or, if pursuing a full time higher education program in an accredited institution or program, until the child reaches twenty-five years of age; or ongoing if the child is mentally or physically incapacitated from having any earnings.
If your spouse has suffered a deadly work accident, it is very important that you seek the benefits you may be entitled to.