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Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Families of Workers Killed On the Job

The heartbreaking loss of life at Foundation Food Group in Gainesville, Georgia has left many people wondering how or if the families of the deceased workers and the injured victims will be compensated. In all cases of workplace injury or death in Georgia, the first financial compensation (and often the only compensation) comes from the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act. Under Georgia workers’ comp law, the families of the workers who die on the job are entitled to funeral expenses up to $7,500.00. And there can be other benefits as well.

In addition to the funeral benefit, the “dependents” of workers killed on the job are entitled to a weekly check.  While the question of who qualifies as a dependent can get complicated, the spouse and the children are presumed to be dependents. The amount of the weekly benefit is equal to 2/3 of the worker’s average weekly wage, with the maximum benefit being $675.00.  Unfortunately, most poultry plant workers do not earn anywhere near enough to qualify for the maximum benefit of $675.00.   For example, a worker making $10.00 an hour for 40 hours a week has an average weekly wage of $400.00. That worker’s dependents would be entitled to a workers’ comp check equal to 2/3 of the $400.00 or  $266.00.  The dependents of a worker killed on the job do not each get the full weekly benefit. Instead, the weekly benefit is apportioned among the dependents, or in the case of a spouse with dependent children, the whole check goes to the spouse for the care of the children.  How long the family receives the check depends on a number of factors including the age of the children and the age of the spouse.

Stow Garvin & Glenn has been in Gainesville since the 1960’s and has represented hundreds, if not thousands, of injured poultry workers.  Our lawyers have experience in catastrophic and death claims.  We treat our clients as we would treat our own family members. If your family lost a loved one in the Foundation Food disaster or has an injured family member, we would be happy to provide a free consultation. Interpreters available.