Where the injury proximately causes permanent partial disability, the unaccrued compensation shall first be applied toward funeral expenses, not to exceed the amount specified in s. 102.50
. Any remaining sum shall be paid to dependents, as provided in this section and ss. 102.46
, and there is no liability for any other payments. All computations under this subsection shall take into consideration the present value of future payments. If there are no surviving dependents the amount payable to dependents shall be paid, as provided in s. 102.49 (5) (b)
, to the fund created under s. 102.65
When a deceased worker dies before the level of permanent partial disability is established, the dependent's death benefit is not wiped out. “Unaccrued compensation" under sub. (2) is compensation that has not become due, or compensation for which a claim is not yet enforceable. It is not limited to compensation awarded but not yet paid. Edward Brothers, Inc. v. LIRC, 2007 WI App 128
, 300 Wis. 2d 638
, 731 N.W.2d 302
Death benefit; law enforcement and correctional officers, fire fighters, rescue squad members, diving team members, national or state guard members and emergency management personnel. 102.475(1)(1)
If the deceased employee is a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, fire fighter, rescue squad member, or diving team member, or if a deceased person is an employee or volunteer performing emergency management activities under ch. 323
during a state of emergency or a circumstance described in s. 323.12 (2) (c)
, who sustained an accidental injury while performing services growing out of and incidental to that employment or volunteer activity so that benefits are payable under s. 102.46
or 102.47 (1)
, the department shall voucher and pay from the appropriation under s. 20.445 (1) (aa)
a sum equal to 75 percent of the primary death benefit as of the date of death, but not less than $50,000 to the persons wholly dependent upon the deceased. For purposes of this subsection, dependency shall be determined under ss. 102.49
If there are more than 4 persons who are wholly dependent upon the deceased employee an additional benefit of $2,000 shall be paid for each dependent in excess of 4.
If there is more than one person who is wholly dependent upon the deceased employee, the benefits under this section shall be apportioned between such dependents on the same proportional basis as the primary death benefit.
Notwithstanding sub. (1)
, if there are partial dependents of the deceased employee who are entitled to benefits under s. 102.48
, they shall be entitled to such portion of the benefit determined under sub. (1)
that their partial dependency benefit bears to the primary benefit payable to one wholly dependent upon the deceased. No payment to a partial dependent shall be less than $1,000.
In case of dispute, dependents may file applications as provided in s. 102.17
, and ss. 102.17
shall apply. In such case, if the claim for a primary death benefit is compromised, any claim under this section shall be compromised on the same proportional basis. The attorney general shall represent the interests of the state in case of such dispute.
Benefits due to minors under this section may be paid as provided in s. 102.45
In administering this section the department or the division may require reasonable proof of birth, marriage, domestic partnership under ch. 770
, relationship, or dependency.
(7) Not to affect other rights, benefits or compensation.
The compensation provided for in this section is in addition to, and not exclusive of, any pension rights, death benefits or other compensation otherwise payable by law.
As used in this section:
“Correctional officer" means any person employed by the state or any political subdivision as a guard or officer whose principal duties are supervision and discipline of inmates at a penal institution, prison, jail, house of correction or other place of penal detention.
“Diving team member" means a member of a legally organized diving team.
“Fire fighter" means any person employed by the state or any political subdivision as a member or officer of a fire department or a member of a volunteer department, including the state fire marshal and deputies.
“Law enforcement officer" means any person employed by the state or any political subdivision for the purpose of detecting and preventing crime and enforcing laws or ordinances and who is authorized to make arrests for violations of the laws or ordinances the person is employed to enforce, whether that enforcement authority extends to all laws or ordinances or is limited to specific laws or ordinances.
“Political subdivision" includes counties, municipalities and municipal corporations.
“Rescue squad member" means a member of a legally organized rescue squad.
“State" means the state of Wisconsin and its departments, divisions, boards, bureaus, commissions, authorities and colleges and universities.
Death benefit, continued.
If no person who survives the deceased employee is wholly dependent upon the deceased employee for support, partial dependency and death benefits therefor shall be as follows:
An unestranged surviving parent or parents to whose support the deceased has contributed less than $500 in the 52 weeks next preceding the injury causing death shall receive a death benefit of $6,500. If the parents are not living together, the department or the division shall divide this sum in such proportion as the department or division considers to be just, considering their ages and other facts bearing on dependency.
In all other cases the death benefit shall be such sum as the department or the division determines to represent fairly and justly the aid to support which the dependent might reasonably have anticipated from the deceased employee but for the injury. To establish anticipation of support and dependency, it shall not be essential that the deceased employee made any contribution to support. The aggregate benefits in that case shall not exceed twice the average annual earnings of the deceased or 4 times the contributions of the deceased to the support of his or her dependents during the year immediately preceding the deceased employee's death, whichever amount is the greater. In no event shall the aggregate benefits in that case exceed the amount that would accrue to a person who is solely and wholly dependent. When there is more than one partial dependent the weekly benefit shall be apportioned according to their relative dependency. The term “support" as used in ss. 102.42
shall include contributions to the capital fund of the dependents for their necessary comfort.
Except as otherwise provided, a death benefit, other than burial expenses, shall be paid in weekly installments corresponding in amount to two-thirds of the weekly earnings of the employee, until otherwise ordered by the department or the division.
See also s. DWD 80.46
, Wis. adm. code.
Additional death benefit for children, state fund. 102.49(1)(1)
Subject to any certificate filed under s. 102.65 (4)
, when the beneficiary under s. 102.46
or 102.47 (1)
is the spouse or domestic partner under ch. 770
of the deceased employee and is wholly dependent on the deceased employee for support, an additional death benefit shall be paid from the funds provided by sub. (5)
for each child by their marriage or domestic partnership under ch. 770
who is living at the time of the death of the employee and who is likewise wholly dependent on the deceased employee for support. That payment shall commence when primary death benefit payments are completed or, if advancement of compensation has been paid, when payments would normally have been completed. Payments shall continue at the rate of 10 percent of the surviving parent's weekly indemnity until the child's 18th birthday. If the child is physically or mentally incapacitated, payments may be continued beyond the child's 18th birthday but the payments may not continue for more than a total of 15 years.
A child lawfully adopted by the deceased employee and the surviving spouse or domestic partner under ch. 770
, prior to the time of the injury, and a child not the deceased employee's own by birth or adoption but living with the deceased employee as a member of the deceased employee's family at the time of the injury shall for the purpose of this section be taken as a child by their marriage or domestic partnership under ch. 770
If the employee leaves a spouse or domestic partner under ch. 770
wholly dependent and also a child by a former marriage, domestic partnership under ch. 770
, or adoption, likewise wholly dependent, aggregate benefits shall be the same in amount as if the child were the child of the surviving spouse or partner, and the entire benefit shall be apportioned to the dependents in the amounts that the department or the division determines to be just, considering the ages of the dependents and other factors bearing on dependency. The benefit awarded to the surviving spouse or partner shall not exceed 4 times the average annual earnings of the deceased employee.
Dependency of any child for the purposes of this section shall be determined according to s. 102.51 (1)
, in like manner as would be done if there was no surviving dependent parent.
In each case of injury resulting in death, the employer or insurer shall pay into the state treasury the sum of $20,000.
In addition to the payment required under par. (a)
, in each case of injury resulting in death leaving no person dependent for support, the employer or insurer shall pay into the state treasury the amount of the death benefit otherwise payable, minus any payment made under s. 102.48 (1)
, in 5 equal annual installments with the first installment due as of the date of death.
In addition to the payment required under par. (a)
, in each case of injury resulting in death, leaving one or more persons partially dependent for support, the employer or insurer shall pay into the state treasury an amount which, when added to the sums paid or to be paid on account of partial dependency and under s. 102.48 (1)
, shall equal the death benefit payable to a person wholly dependent.
The payment into the state treasury shall be made in all such cases regardless of whether the dependents or personal representatives of the deceased employee commence action against a 3rd party under s. 102.29
. If the payment is not made within 20 days after the department makes request therefor, any sum payable shall bear interest at the rate of 7 percent per year.
The department or the division may award the additional benefits payable under this section to the surviving parent of the child, to the child's guardian, or to such other person, bank, or trust company for the child's use as may be found best calculated to conserve the interests of the child. If the child dies while benefits are still payable, there shall be paid the reasonable expense for burial, not exceeding $1,500.
All payments received under this section shall be deposited in the fund established by s. 102.65
See also s. DWD 80.48
, Wis. adm. code.
In all cases in which the death of an employee proximately results from the injury, the employer or insurer shall pay the actual expense for burial, not exceeding $10,000.
The following persons are entitled to death benefits as if they are solely and wholly dependent for support upon a deceased employee:
A wife upon a husband with whom she is living at the time of his death.
A husband upon a wife with whom he is living at the time of her death.
A domestic partner under ch. 770
upon his or her partner with whom he or she is living at the time of the partner's death.
A child under the age of 18 years upon the parent with whom he or she is living at the time of the death of the parent, there being no surviving dependent parent.
A child over the age of 18 years, but physically or mentally incapacitated from earning, upon the parent with whom he or she is living at the time of the death of the parent, there being no surviving dependent parent.
Where a dependent who is entitled to death benefits under this subsection survives the deceased employee, all other dependents shall be excluded. The charging of any portion of the support and maintenance of a child upon one of the parents, or any voluntary contribution toward the support of a child by a parent, or an obligation to support a child by a parent constitutes living with any such parent within the meaning of this subsection.
No person shall be considered a dependent unless that person is a spouse, a domestic partner under ch. 770
, a divorced spouse who has not remarried, or a lineal descendant, lineal ancestor, brother, sister, or other member of the family, whether by blood or by adoption, of the deceased employee.
If for 8 years or more prior to the date of injury a deceased employee has been a resident of the United States, it shall be conclusively presumed that no person who has remained a nonresident alien during that period is either totally or partially dependent upon the deceased employee for support.
No person who is a nonresident alien shall be found to be either totally or partially dependent on a deceased employee for support who cannot establish dependency by proving contributions from the deceased employee by written evidence or tokens of the transfer of money, such as drafts, letters of credit, microfilm or other copies of paid share drafts, canceled checks, or receipts for the payment to any bank, express company, United States post office, or other agency commercially engaged in the transfer of funds from one country to another, for transmission of funds on behalf of said deceased employee to such nonresident alien claiming dependency. This provision shall not be applicable unless the employee has been continuously in the United States for at least one year prior to his or her injury, and has been remuneratively employed therein for at least 6 months.
(3) Division among dependents.
If there is more than one person wholly or partially dependent on a deceased employee, the death benefit shall be divided between those dependents in such proportion as the department or the division determines to be just, considering their ages and other facts bearing on their dependency.
(4) Dependency as of the date of death.
Questions as to who is a dependent and the extent of his or her dependency shall be determined as of the date of the death of the employee, and the dependent's right to any death benefit becomes fixed at that time, regardless of any subsequent change in conditions. The death benefit shall be directly recoverable by and payable to the dependents entitled to the death benefit or their legal guardians or trustees. In case of the death of a dependent whose right to a death benefit has become fixed, so much of the benefit as is unpaid is payable to the dependent's personal representatives in gross, unless the department or the division determines that the unpaid benefit shall be reassigned under sub. (6)
and paid to any other dependent who is physically or mentally incapacitated or a minor. For purposes of this subsection, a child of the employee who is born after the death of the employee is considered to be a dependent as of the date of death.
(5) When not interested.
No dependent of an injured employee shall be deemed a party in interest to any proceeding by the employee for the enforcement of the employee's claim for compensation, nor with respect to the compromise thereof by such employee. A compromise of all liability entered into by an employee is binding upon the employee's dependents, except that any dependent of a deceased employee may submit the compromise for review under s. 102.16 (1)
(6) Division among dependents.
Benefits accruing to a minor dependent child may be awarded to either parent in the discretion of the department or the division. Notwithstanding sub. (1)
, the department or the division may reassign the death benefit as between a surviving spouse or a domestic partner under ch. 770
and any children specified in sub. (1)
and s. 102.49
in accordance with their respective needs for the death benefit.
(7) Certain defense barred.
In proceedings for the collection of primary death benefit or burial expense it shall not be a defense that the applicant, either individually or as a partner or member, was an employer of the deceased.
See also s. DWD 80.48
, Wis. adm. code.
A posthumously born illegitimate child does not qualify as a dependent under sub. (4). Claimants not falling within one of the classifications under sub. (2) (a) will not qualify for benefits, regardless of dependency in fact. Larson v. DILHR, 76 Wis. 2d 595
, 252 N.W.2d 33
Sub. (5) has no application to a claim for a death benefit because a death benefit claim is not an “employee's claim for compensation." While sub. (5) prohibits a dependent from being a party to a worker's claim for disability benefits, a dependent claiming a death benefit is prosecuting only his or her own claim. Edward Brothers, Inc. v. LIRC, 2007 WI App 128
, 300 Wis. 2d 638
, 731 N.W.2d 302
Permanent partial disability schedule.
In cases included in the following schedule of permanent partial disabilities indemnity shall be paid for the healing period, and in addition, for the period specified, at the rate of two-thirds of the average weekly earnings of the employee, to be computed as provided in s. 102.11
The loss of an arm at the shoulder, 500 weeks;
The loss of an arm at the elbow, 450 weeks;
The loss of a palm where the thumb remains, 325 weeks;
The loss of a thumb and the metacarpal bone thereof, 160 weeks;
The loss of a thumb at the proximal joint, 120 weeks;
The loss of a thumb at the distal joint, 50 weeks;
The loss of all fingers on one hand at their proximal joints, 225 weeks;
Losses of fingers on each hand as follows:
An index finger and the metacarpal bone thereof, 60 weeks;
An index finger at the proximal joint, 50 weeks;
An index finger at the second joint, 30 weeks;
An index finger at the distal joint, 12 weeks;
A middle finger and the metacarpal bone thereof, 45 weeks;
A middle finger at the proximal joint, 35 weeks;
A middle finger at the second joint, 20 weeks;
A middle finger at the distal joint, 8 weeks;
A ring finger and the metacarpal bone thereof, 26 weeks;
A ring finger at the proximal joint, 20 weeks;
A ring finger at the second joint, 15 weeks;
A ring finger at the distal joint, 6 weeks;