Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, Workers' Compensation Division
Payment of Death Benefits
If death results from a worker’s compensable injury or occupational disease, benefits must be paid as follows:(1) Final disposition of the body and funeral expenses.(a) The insurer must pay the cost of final disposition of the body and funeral expenses, up to the maximum benefit under ORS 656.204 (Death)(1); and(b) The worker’s estate, beneficiaries, or other parties may submit bills related to final disposition of the body and funeral up to 60 days after the date of death or date of claim acceptance, whichever is later. Any portion of the benefit that remains unpaid after this period must be paid to the worker’s estate.(2) Payments to surviving beneficiaries. The following applies to benefits paid under sections (3) through (5) of this rule:(a) Benefits payable for a partial month must be calculated by dividing the monthly benefit by the actual number of days in the month and multiplying that result by the number of days payable;(b) Unless otherwise specified, monthly benefits to beneficiaries must be paid up to the date of any status change; and(c) Payments must be paid within the timeframes established in OAR 436-060-0150 (Timely Payment of Compensation)(6).(3) Benefit to surviving spouse. If a worker is survived by a spouse, the insurer must pay monthly benefits in an amount equal to 4.35 times 66-2⁄3 percent of the state average weekly wage to the surviving spouse. Benefits under this section must be paid through the end of the month in which the spouse is no longer eligible to receive benefits under ORS 656.204 (Death)(2).(4) Benefit to surviving child. If a worker is survived by a child under 19 years of age, the insurer must pay a monthly benefit to each child equal to 4.35 times 25 percent of the state average weekly wage, subject to the following:(a) Total monthly benefits paid under this section must not exceed 4.35 times 133-1⁄3 percent of the state average weekly wage. If the sum of the individual benefits exceeds this maximum, the insurer must reduce the benefit for each child proportionally;(b) The insurer may make payment of benefits due under this section to the child’s parent, legal guardian, or person having custody of the child. If the child becomes sui juris, the insurer must begin making payment of benefits directly to the child immediately upon the child’s written request; and(c) The insurer must send each child Form 5332, “Notice to Beneficiary of Entitlement to Benefits” at least 90 days before their 18th birthday, informing the child of his or her right to receive benefit payments directly under subsection (b), and of his or her entitlement to higher education benefits.(5) Benefit to surviving dependent. If a worker is survived by a dependent, the insurer must pay a monthly benefit to each dependent that is equal to 50 percent of the average monthly support the dependent actually received from the worker during the 12 months preceding the occurrence of the accidental injury, subject to the following:(a) Payments to the dependent must continue until:(A) The dependent becomes 19 years of age, if the dependent is under the age of 19 years at the time of the accidental injury; or(B) The time the dependency would have terminated had the injury not happened, if the dependent is 19 years of age or older at the time of the accidental injury;(b) Within five business days after the date of receipt of a request for benefits from an eligible dependent, the insurer must mail the dependent a request for verifiable documentation of the support the dependent actually received from the worker during the 12 months preceding the occurrence of the accidental injury. The request must:(A) Inform the dependent what verifiable documentation the dependent must submit to the insurer to calculate the dependent’s benefit; and(B) Clearly state that if the insurer does not receive the required documentation within 60 days of the mailing date of the request, the insurer will determine the dependent’s monthly benefit based only on the information in the insurer’s possession;(c) Upon receipt of verifiable documentation or the expiration of the 60-day period in paragraph (5)(b)(B) of this rule, the insurer must:(A) Determine the dependent’s monthly benefit and begin payment under OAR 436-060-0150 (Timely Payment of Compensation)(6); or(B) Notify the dependent that the information in the insurer’s possession was not sufficient to determine the dependent’s monthly benefit and provide information about how the dependent may appeal this decision; and(d) As used in this section, “verifiable documentation” means any written record of financial support provided to the dependent by the worker including, but not limited to, receipts, billing statements, bank account statements, or signed affidavits.(6) Benefit to child or dependent attending higher education. The insurer must pay up to 48 months of benefits during any period in which an eligible child or dependent is between the ages of 19 and 26 and is completing secondary education, is obtaining a general educational development certificate, or is attending a program of higher education, including vocational or technical training.(a) Benefits under this section must be paid for an entire month. The child or dependent may claim a full month’s benefit for any month in which the child is completing secondary education, obtaining a general educational development certificate, or attending a program of higher education for at least one day.(b) The child or dependent must provide the insurer with documentation that enables the insurer to determine the child’s or dependent’s eligibility for monthly benefits.(A) As used in this section, “documentation” includes, but is not limited to, verification of enrollment in a secondary school, general education development certificate program, or program of higher education.(B) The child or dependent may use Form 5332, “Notice to beneficiary of entitlement to benefits,” to satisfy the requirements of this section.(7) Death during permanent total disability. If a worker dies during a period of permanent total disability:(a) The insurer must pay the costs of final disposition of the body and funeral expenses in the same manner and same amounts as provided in section (1) of this rule, subject to the following:(A) For claims with a date of injury before July 1, 1973, burial benefits are due only if death results from the accidental injury causing the permanent total disability; and(B) For claims with a date of injury on or after July 1, 1973:(i) Burial benefits are due if death results from the accidental injury causing the permanent total disability; or(ii) Burial benefits are due regardless of the reason for death, if the worker was survived by an eligible beneficiary;(b) The insurer must pay benefits to surviving beneficiaries in the same manner and same amounts as provided in sections (2) through (6) of this rule:(A)Permanent total disability benefits must be paid through the date of death. Benefits under this section begin to accrue the following calendar day; and(B) Benefits payable for a partial month must be calculated by dividing the monthly benefit by the actual number of days in the month and multiplying that result by the number of days payable;(c) The insurer is not required to reopen and close the claim to begin making payments under this section; and(d) The insurer may not recover an overpayment of permanent total disability benefits from benefits payable to a beneficiary other than the beneficiary that received the overpayment.