Workers in a broad range of different industries experience significant risks on the job. Factory workers have to deal with the dangers of heavy machinery, as well as potential chemical exposure. Hospital workers may hurt themselves lifting patients or wind up exposed to infectious bodily fluids that put them at risk or make them sick.

In other words, almost anyone can experience an injury at work, and people across many different professions could die as a result of their employment. When someone dies either due to an illness they developed because of their job or as a result of an injury suffered at work, their surviving family members have the right to claim certain benefits through California workers’ compensation.

What benefits do surviving family members get?

California offers a couple of different protections for those who lose a loved one to a workplace injury or illness. The first will be full medical coverage of any costs incurred by the deceased prior to their death. Workers’ compensation medical insurance covers 100% of the costs for necessary medical care, unlike private insurance which may leave people responsible for co-pays, deductibles and coinsurance.

Additionally, California’s workers’ compensation program offers up to $10,000 in reimbursement for burial and funeral expenses. Of course, the financial impact of losing a family member will persist long after their funeral. Family members can secure compensation similar to the disability benefits that the worker would have received if they had survived.

None of these benefits are automatic, which means you must apply for them in order to receive them. Knowing your rights will make it easier for you to protect your family after you have already experienced a significant hardship.