33 U.S. Code § 909 - Compensation for death

If the injury causes death, the compensation therefore shall be known as a death benefit and shall be payable in the amount and to or for the benefit of the persons following:
(a) Reasonable funeral expenses not exceeding $3,000.
(b) If there be a widow or widower and no child of the deceased, to such widow or widower 50 per centum of the average wages of the deceased, during widowhood, or dependent widowerhood, with two years’ compensation in one sum upon remarriage; and if there be a surviving child or children of the deceased, the additional amount of 162/3 per centum of such wages for each such child; in case of the death or remarriage of such widow or widower, if there be one surviving child of the deceased employee, such child shall have his compensation increased to 50 per centum of such wages, and if there be more than one surviving child of the deceased employee, to such children, in equal parts, 50 per centum of such wages increased by 162/3 per centum of such wages for each child in excess of one: Provided, That the total amount payable shall in no case exceed 662/3 per centum of such wages. The deputy commissioner having jurisdiction over the claim may, in his discretion, require the appointment of a guardian for the purpose of receiving the compensation of a minor child. In the absence of such a requirement the appointment of a guardian for such purposes shall not be necessary.
(c) If there be one surviving child of the deceased, but no widow or widower, then for the support of such child 50 per centum of the wages of the deceased; and if there be more than one surviving child of the deceased, but no widow or dependent husband, then for the support of such children, in equal parts 50 per centum of such wages increased by 162/3 per centum of such wages for each child in excess of one: Provided, That the total amount payable shall in no case exceed 662/3 per centum of such wages.
(d) If there be no surviving wife or husband or child, or if the amount payable to a surviving wife or husband and to children shall be less in the aggregate than 662/3 per centum of the average wages of the deceased; then for the support of grandchildren or brothers and sisters, if dependent upon the deceased at the time of the injury, and any other persons who satisfy the definition of the term “dependent” in section 152 of title 26, but are not otherwise eligible under this section, 20 per centum of such wages for the support of each such person during such dependency and for the support of each parent, or grandparent, of the deceased if dependent upon him at the time of the injury, 25 per centum of such wages during such dependency. But in no case shall the aggregate amount payable under this subsection exceed the difference between 662/3 per centum of such wages and the amount payable as hereinbefore provided to widow or widower and for the support of surviving child or children.
(e) In computing death benefits, the average weekly wages of the deceased shall not be less than the national average weekly wage as prescribed in section 906 (b) of this title, but—
(1) the total weekly benefits shall not exceed the lesser of the average weekly wages of the deceased or the benefit which the deceased employee would have been eligible to receive under section 906 (b)(1) of this title; and
(2) in the case of a claim based on death due to an occupational disease for which the time of injury (as determined under section 910 (i) of this title) occurs after the employee has retired, the total weekly benefits shall not exceed one fifty-second part of the employee’s average annual earnings during the 52-week period preceding retirement.
(f) All questions of dependency shall be determined as of the time of the injury.
(g) Aliens: Compensation under this chapter to aliens not residents (or about to become nonresidents) of the United States or Canada shall be the same in amount as provided for residents, except that dependents in any foreign country shall be limited to surviving wife and child or children, or if there be no surviving wife or child or children, to surviving father or mother whom the employee has supported, either wholly or in part, for the period of one year prior to the date of the injury, and except that the Secretary may, at his option or upon the application of the insurance carrier shall, commute all future installments of compensation to be paid to such aliens by paying or causing to be paid to them one-half of the commuted amount of such future installments of compensation as determined by the Secretary.

Source

(Mar. 4, 1927, ch. 509, § 9,44 Stat. 1429; June 25, 1938, ch. 685, § 6,52 Stat. 1166; June 24, 1948, ch. 623, § 3,62 Stat. 602; July 26, 1956, ch. 735, § 4,70 Stat. 655; Pub. L. 87–87, § 2,July 14, 1961, 75 Stat. 203; Pub. L. 92–576, §§ 5(d), 10, 20(c)(2),Oct. 27, 1972, 86 Stat. 1253, 1257, 1265; Pub. L. 98–426, §§ 9, 27 (a)(2),Sept. 28, 1984, 98 Stat. 1647, 1654.)
Amendments

1984—Pub. L. 98–426, § 9(a), amended generally provision preceding subsec. (a), striking out “or if the employee who sustains permanent total disability due to the injury thereafter dies from causes other than the injury,” after “injury causes death”.
Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–426, § 9(b), substituted “$3,000” for “$1,000”.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 98–426, § 9(c), amended subsec. (e) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (e) read as follows: “In computing death benefits the average weekly wages of the deceased shall be considered to have been not less than the applicable national average weekly wage as prescribed in section 906 (b) of this title but the total weekly benefits shall not exceed the average weekly wages of the deceased”.
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 98–426, § 27(a)(2), substituted “Secretary” for “commission”. See Transfer of Functions note set out under section 902 of this title.
1972—Pub. L. 92–576, § 5(d), added to introductory provision that the compensation shall be known as a death benefit if the employee who sustains permanent total disability due to the injury thereafter dies from causes other than the injury.
Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 92–576, § 10(a), substituted “$1,000” for “$400”.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 92–576, §§ 10(b), 20(c)(2), substituted “50” for “35” per centum in three places and “162/3” for “15” per centum in two places and “widow or widower” for “surviving wife or dependent husband” in three places.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 92–576, §§ 10(b), 20(c)(2), substituted “50” for “35” per centum in two places and “162/3” for “15” per centum and “widow or widower” for “surviving wife or dependent husband”.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 92–576, §§ 10(c), 20(c)(2), in first sentence, substituted “husband or child,” and “husband” for “dependent husband or child” and “dependent husband” and “20” for “15” per centum, and inserted “and any other persons who satisfy the definition of the term ‘dependent’ in section 152 of title 26, but are not otherwise eligible under this section” after “time of the injury,” and “during such dependency” after “support of each such person”, and in second sentence, substituted “widow or widower” for “surviving wife or dependent husband”, respectively.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 92–576, § 10(d), substituted “less than the applicable national average weekly wage as prescribed in section 906 (b) of this title but the total weekly benefits shall not exceed the average weekly wages of the deceased” for “more than $105 nor less than $27 but the total weekly compensation shall not exceed the weekly wages of the deceased”.
1961—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 87–87increased the maximum limitation with respect to average weekly wages from “$81” to “$105” in the computation of death benefits.
1956—Subsec. (e). Act July 26, 1956, substituted “$81” for “$52.50” and “$27” for “$18”.
1948—Subsec. (a). Act June 24, 1948, increased funeral expenses from $200 to $400.
Subsec. (b). Act June 24, 1948, increased benefits to children of deceased workmen from 10 percent to 15 percent.
Subsec. (c). Act June 24, 1948, increased death benefits of orphaned children from 15 percent to 35 percent.
Subsec. (e). Act June 24, 1948, correlated basis for computing death benefits with basis for computing disability benefits under section 906 (b) of this title.
1938—Subsecs. (b) to (d). Act June 25, 1938, struck out references to children as being under eighteen years of age.
Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by section 9 ofPub. L. 98–426applicable with respect to any death after Sept. 28, 1984, and amendment by section 27(a)(2) ofPub. L. 98–426effective Sept. 28, 1984, see section 28(d), (e)(1) ofPub. L. 98–426, set out as a note under section 901 of this title.
Effective Date of 1972 Amendment

Amendment by section 20(c)(2) ofPub. L. 92–576applicable only with respect to deaths or injuries occurring after Oct. 27, 1972, see section 20(c)(3) ofPub. L. 92–576, set out as a note under section 902 of this title.
Amendment by Pub. L. 92–576effective 30 days after Oct. 27, 1972, see section 22 ofPub. L. 92–576, set out as a note under section 902 of this title.
Effective Date of 1961 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 87–87effective as to death sustained on or after July 14, 1961, see section 4 ofPub. L. 87–87, set out as a note under section 906 of this title.
Effective Date of 1956 Amendment

Amendment by act July 26, 1956, applicable only with respect to injuries and death occurring on or after July 26, 1956, see section 9 of act July 26, 1956, set out as a note under section 906 of this title.
Effective Date of 1948 Amendment

Amendment by act June 24, 1948, applicable to death or injuries occurring after June 24, 1948, see section 6 of act June 24, 1948, set out as a note under section 906 of this title.

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33 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large

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20 CFR - Employees' Benefits

20 CFR Part 718 - STANDARDS FOR DETERMINING COAL MINERS' TOTAL DISABILITY OR DEATH DUE TO PNEUMOCONIOSIS

20 CFR Part 722 - CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING WHETHER STATE WORKERS' COMPENSATION LAWS PROVIDE ADEQUATE COVERAGE FOR PNEUMOCONIOSIS AND LISTING OF APPROVED STATE LAWS

20 CFR Part 725 - CLAIMS FOR BENEFITS UNDER PART C OF TITLE IV OF THE FEDERAL MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT, AS AMENDED

20 CFR Part 726 - BLACK LUNG BENEFITS; REQUIREMENTS FOR COAL MINE OPERATOR'S INSURANCE

20 CFR Part 801 - ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION OF THE BOARD

20 CFR Part 802 - RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

 

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