In 2022, 69 workers lost their lives in work-related accidents and 147 people died from occupational diseases. In addition to taking measures to minimize the number of work-related deaths in Quebec, the CNESST pays death benefits to the families or loved ones of workers who have died because of a work-related accident.
Our Montreal lawyers explain what to do following a word-related death.
Claiming a death benefit from the CNESST
Initially, after suffering a work-related accident, the employee in question must fill out a Worker’s Compensation Claim form (Réclamation du Travailleur). If the worker dies as a result of the accident, either immediately or in the weeks following the accident, the spouse, child (of legal age) or family must complete this form within 6 months of the death.
It should be noted that if no claim is lodged within 7 years of the death, all rights to compensation will be permanently lost.
Here is some information that you will be asked to provide when filling out the form:
- Information on the deceased worker (personal information, social insurance number, date of event and death, etc.)
- Employer information (employer name, address, postal code, etc.)
- Location and description of the event
- Information needed to calculate and pay the benefit.
What documentation is required to apply for death benefits?
In addition to the worker’s claim form, other documents must be sent to the CNESST to support your claim for compensation following a fatal accident at work.
Whether the worker who suffered a work accident died of his injuries on the spot or shortly after, it is essential that you keep all medical certificates.
If the worker died on the spot, you must send the CNESST a death certificate with the reasons that led to this loss of life. Of course, this document must be provided by a physician.
If the worker succumbed to his or her injuries in the days or weeks following the fatal accident, then you will also have to send the CNESST all receipts and medical documents associated with the victim (medical interventions, prescriptions, etc.). This will support your claim and possibly allow you to receive reimbursement for certain expenses.
How long does it take to process a claim?
If you are wondering how long it takes to process a claim with the CNESST, the answer is it depends. It can be difficult to give a precise answer, but the “average” length of time to get an answer is 41.2 days for a work accident and 92.1 days for an occupational disease.
You will receive an initial response from the CNESST by telephone or in writing, informing you whether or not your claim is accepted. If your claim is rejected, you can contact the manager of your file for further explanation.
If you are not satisfied with the verdict, you may wish to seek professional assistance to contest a CNESST decision.
How is the compensation to the family calculated?
The compensation that the beneficiary may receive following the death of his or her spouse, parent or family member will be calculated according to several criteria.
The compensation received will be proportional to the deceased worker’s gross annual income in relation to his or her age category (at the date of death). For more information, contact a CNESST work accident lawyer who will be able to answer all your questions.
Compensation options in the event of death in the workplace
Lump-sum compensation for spouse
The spouse of a deceased worker may receive a lump-sum payment ranging from $124,497 to $273,000, calculated on the basis of the deceased’s gross annual salary and the spouse’s age. This compensation takes into account marital status or civil union and cohabitation.
Example of how a lump-sum compensation for a spouse may be calculated
To illustrate, let’s take the example of a 35-year-old spouse. If the deceased worker had a gross annual salary of $50,000, the surviving spouse would be entitled to a lump-sum benefit of $125,000, calculated according to a multiplication factor associated with the age bracket.
Pension for spouse or disabled spouse
A monthly pension may be granted to a spouse who is suffering from serious and long-term disability. This pension is equivalent to 55% of the worker’s income replacement indemnity, and is adjusted according to the age of the surviving spouse.
Lump-sum compensation for a spouse with a disability
A disabled spouse is also entitled to the higher of two potential lump-sum payments. One is based on the worker’s gross annual salary, and the other is double the amount provided for under the relevant legislation, depending on the spouse’s age at the date of death.
Death benefits for children
Children who are minors receive a monthly pension until they become adults, with additional lump-sum benefits available for children attending an educational institution or who are disabled as adults. These allowances are tailored to meet the specific needs of each child, and are determined according to age and the specific educational or medical situation.
Allowances for adult children and children, in cases where there is no surviving spouse
Lump-sum payments are also available for children under 25 years of age who are full-time students. If the deceased had no spouse, a special indemnity may be awarded to a minor or adult child who was financially dependent on the worker.
Have a certified lawyer assist you in your compensation process
Whether you need to contact a professional to contest the CNESST’s decision or to take the necessary steps to maximize your chances of having your case accepted, Me Bégin is your trusted partner.
As a member of the Quebec Bar, Me Bégin is a lawyer who has specialized for nearly 30 years in victim protection. He is committed to ensuring that you obtain what is rightfully yours.
If you have any additional questions, please contact us today. You will benefit from the experience and advice of a lawyer who specializes