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What to do if a loved one dies in an accident at work?

Sauvetage suite au décès sur le lieu de travail

The Commission des Normes, de l’Équité, de la Santé et de la Sécurité du Travail (CNESST) provides an insurance service to workers and employers in Quebec. In fact, it guarantees compensation to employees in the event of a work-related accident or illness.

This institution also pays death benefits to the families or relatives of workers who die as a result of a workplace accident or occupational disease. Family members must follow more or less the same procedure as after a “standard” work accident.

However, certain additional documents must be sent to the CNESST. To find out more, our specialists will guide you on what to do after the death of a loved one in a work-related accident.

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. 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.

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
  • Etc.

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.

Medical certificates

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 the decision of the CNESST.

How is the compensation to the family calculated?

The compensation that the beneficiary may receive following the death of his/her spouse, parent or family member will be calculated according to several factors.

The compensation received will be proportional to the deceased worker’s gross annual income in relation to his or her age category (on the date of death). For more information, you can contact a CNESST lawyer who will be able to answer all your questions.

If the only close relative of the deceased worker is a child, then the CNESST will have to provide a pension that will vary according to the child’s age.

Have a certified lawyer assist you in your compensation process with the CNESST

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. You will benefit from the experience and advice of a lawyer who specializes in litigation against the CNESST.

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