If you are an injured worker who is receiving worker's compensation, keep careful notes of all correspondence, payments, and other communications. Not only will those give you the benefit of being able to find information when you need it, but if something happens to you as a result of the accident that injured you, those notes could help your dependents receive benefits. Dealing with worker's compensation can be confusing, and the last thing you need is your family missing out on money that could help them just because you didn't stay organized.

Death Benefit

Worker's compensation has something known as a death benefit. This pays money to your spouse or dependent children if you die as a result of the injury or illness you sustained or developed due to your work. If you are currently receiving worker's compensation, create a record of what money you receive and how, and how to contact the division of worker's compensation in your state. Include your attorney's contact information. Your family can use this to apply for those death benefits.

Benefit Denial

This sounds rather straightforward, but if your family has no idea who to contact, whether you have any identifying numbers that you use regarding your worker's compensation payments, or whether there are any additional issues that need to be addressed with the division that handles worker's compensation in your state, then they could miss an important deadline. If that happens, that could affect the money they receive.

For example, in Nevada, the dependents of someone receiving worker's compensation can be denied the death benefit if they don't file a claim within one year of the death of the injured person. Imagine trying to settle an unorganized estate and not knowing how to deal with the one department that could provide a substantial and very helpful financial benefit. Remember that even "cheap" funerals can be quite expensive, and your dependents are going to need all the help they can get.

Ensure that at least two other people in your family or close circle of friends knows where you've put the notes that could help your dependents apply for benefits in a timely manner. That way, if something happens to one of those people, there will be another person who knows where everything is. While you want to maintain privacy regarding personal matters, you have to leave a trail that is strong enough for your family to follow in an emergency.

If you'd like more information on how to set up a well-organized file for your family regarding your worker's compensation death benefit, contact a worker's compensation lawyer (such as David Ewens) as soon as possible.