The Oklahoma state legislature recently introduced changes to Section 47 (“Beneficiaries in case of death”) of the state’s workers’ compensation law. Oklahoma House Bill 1738 addresses important provisions related to the compensation amounts provided to surviving spouses and children in the event that an injury or occupational illness causes an employee’s death.
Key changes include the following revised death benefit amounts for surviving spouses and children:
- If there is a surviving spouse and one child, the child will receive a lump-sum payment of $25,000 and 15% of the deceased employee’s average weekly wage or the state average weekly wage, whichever is less.
- If there is more than one child but less than five, each child will receive a lump-sum payment of $25,000 and a pro rata share of 30% of the deceased employee’s average weekly wage.
- In cases with five or more children, each child will receive a pro rata share of $100,000 and a pro rata share of 30% of the deceased employee’s average weekly wage.
The amendments to the workers’ compensation law become effective on January 1, 2024, and apply to claims with a date of accident occurring on or after the effective date.Please review the full text of the newly enacted bill for a comprehensive understanding of the changes. You can access the bill here.