4123.59 Benefits in case of death - dependency.

In case an injury to or an occupational disease contracted by an employee causes his death, benefits shall be in the amount and to the persons following:

(A) If there are no dependents, the disbursements from the state insurance fund is limited to the expenses provided for in section 4123.66 of the Revised Code.

(B) If there are wholly dependent persons at the time of the death, the weekly payment is sixty-six and two-thirds per cent of the average weekly wage, but not to exceed a maximum aggregate amount of weekly compensation which is equal to sixty-six and two-thirds per cent of the statewide average weekly wage as defined in division (C) of section 4123.62 of the Revised Code, and not in any event less than a minimum amount of weekly compensation which is equal to fifty per cent of the statewide average weekly wage as defined in division (C) of section 4123.62 of the Revised Code, regardless of the average weekly wage; provided however, that if the death is due to injury received or occupational disease first diagnosed after January 1, 1976, the weekly payment is sixty-six and two-thirds per cent of the average weekly wage but not to exceed a maximum aggregate amount of weekly compensation which is equal to the statewide average weekly wage as defined in division (C) of section 4123.62 of the Revised Code; provided that when any claimant is receiving total disability compensation at the time of death the wholly dependent person is eligible for the maximum compensation provided for in this section. Where there is more than one person who is wholly dependent at the time of the death of the employee, the administrator of workers' compensation shall promptly apportion the weekly amount of compensation payable under this section among the dependent persons as provided in division (D) of this section.

(1) The payment as provided in this section shall continue from the date of death of an injured or disabled employee until the death or remarriage of such dependent spouse. If the dependent spouse remarries, an amount equal to two years of compensation benefits at the weekly amount determined to be applicable to and being paid to the dependent spouse shall be paid in a lump sum to such spouse and no further compensation shall be paid to such spouse.

(2) That portion of the payment provided in division (B) of this section applicable to wholly dependent persons other than a spouse shall continue from the date of death of an injured or disabled employee to a dependent as of the date of death, other than a spouse, at the weekly amount determined to be applicable and being paid to such dependent other than a spouse, until he:

(a) Reaches eighteen years of age;

(b) If pursuing a full time educational program while enrolled in an accredited educational institution and program, reaches twenty-five years of age;

(c) If mentally or physically incapacitated from having any earnings, is no longer so incapacitated.

(C) If there are partly dependent persons at the time of the death the weekly payment is sixty-six and two-thirds per cent of the employee's average weekly wage, not to exceed sixty-six and two-thirds per cent of the statewide average weekly wage as defined in division (C) of section 4123.62 of the Revised Code, and shall continue for such time as the administrator in each case determines.

(D) The following persons are presumed to be wholly dependent for their support upon a deceased employee:

(1) A surviving spouse who was living with the employee at the time of death or a surviving spouse who was separated from the employee at the time of death because of the aggression of the employee;

(2) A child under the age of eighteen years, or twenty-five years if pursuing a full-time educational program while enrolled in an accredited educational institution and program, or over said age if physically or mentally incapacitated from earning, upon only the one parent who is contributing more than one-half of the support for such child and with whom he is living at the time of the death of such parent, or for whose maintenance such parent was legally liable at the time of his death.

It is presumed that there is sufficient dependency to entitle a surviving natural parent or surviving natural parents, share and share alike, with whom the decedent was living at the time of his death, to a total minimum award of three thousand dollars.

The administrator may take into consideration any circumstances which, at the time of the death of the decedent, clearly indicate prospective dependency on the part of the claimant and potential support on the part of the decedent. No person shall be considered a prospective dependent unless such person is a member of the family of the deceased employee and bears to him the relation of surviving spouse, lineal descendant, ancestor, or brother or sister. The total award for any or all prospective dependency to all such claimants, except to a natural parent or natural parents of the deceased, shall not exceed three thousand dollars to be apportioned among them as the administrator orders.

In all other cases, the question of dependency, in whole or in part, shall be determined in accordance with the facts in each particular case existing at the time of the injury resulting in the death of such employee, but no person shall be considered as dependent unless such person is a member of the family of the deceased employee, or bears to him the relation of surviving spouse, lineal descendant, ancestor, or brother or sister.

(E) An order issued by the administrator under this section is appealable pursuant to sections 4123.511 to 4123.512 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 10-20-1993