The Dalles, OR asked in Workers' Compensation for Illinois

Q: I have a Workman's Compensation Settlement being processed. If I pass away, will my spouse then receive it?

I'm waiting to receive money from a Workman's Compensation Settlement. If I were to pass away before I actually receive the money, does my spouse still get it?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Charles Candiano
Charles Candiano
  • Workers' Compensation Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: It depends upon what you mean by "being processed." If you have entered into a settlement agreement and that settlement agreement was approved by an arbitrator or a Commissioner, it must be paid within 30 days and is usually paid in 10 days or less. If you should die before you received the check, the check would need to be re-issued and the money would become part of the residue of your estate. If you die without a will (intestate), and you are married but have no children, the money will go to your spouse. If you are survived by any of your children that have no will, your spouse will receive one half of the money and half of the money would be distributed to your surviving children. It is actually a bit more complicated but that is what would happen.

If when you say that the settlement is "being processed" you mean that you are still negotiating the settlement and it has not yet been approved by the Commission, your attorney would have to file an amended application naming your estate as Petitioner but the end result would be the same as noted above. It is important to understand that if your work injury in any way contributed to what you view as your imminent demise, you may be entitled to death benefits which are almost certainly more money than what you have negotiated plus sufficient money to cover your funeral expenses which are not insignificant. You would be doing yourself and your family an enormous disservice if you do not consult an experienced Worker's Compensation attorney ASAP. Good luck.

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