Code Section Group

Labor Code - LAB

DIVISION 4. WORKERS' COMPENSATION AND INSURANCE [3200 - 6002]

  ( Heading of Division 4 amended by Stats. 1979, Ch. 373. )

PART 2. COMPUTATION OF COMPENSATION [4451 - 4856]

  ( Part 2 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 90. )

CHAPTER 2. Compensation Schedules [4550 - 4856]

  ( Chapter 2 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 90. )

ARTICLE 4. Death Benefits [4700 - 4709]
  ( Article 4 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 90. )

4700.
  

The death of an injured employee does not affect the liability of the employer under Articles 2 (commencing with Section 4600) and 3 (commencing with Section 4650). Neither temporary nor permanent disability payments shall be made for any period of time subsequent to the death of the employee. Any accrued and unpaid compensation shall be paid to the dependents, or, if there are no dependents, to the personal representative of the deceased employee or heirs or other persons entitled thereto, without administration.

(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 142, Sec. 103.)

4701.
  

If an injury causes death, either with or without disability, the employer shall be liable, in addition to any other benefits provided by this division, for all of the following:

(a) Reasonable expenses of the employee’s burial, in accordance with the following:

(1) Up to two thousand dollars ($2,000) for injuries occurring prior to January 1, 1991.

(2) Up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 1991, and prior to January 1, 2013.

(3) Up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2013.

(b) A death benefit, to be allowed to the dependents when the employee leaves any person dependent upon him or her for support.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 363, Sec. 61. (SB 863) Effective January 1, 2013.)

4702.
  

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section and Sections 4553, 4554, 4557, and 4558, and notwithstanding any amount of compensation paid or otherwise owing to the surviving dependent, personal representative, heir, or other person entitled to a deceased employee’s accrued and unpaid compensation, the death benefit in cases of total dependency shall be as follows:

(1) In the case of two total dependents and regardless of the number of partial dependents, for injuries occurring before January 1, 1991, ninety-five thousand dollars ($95,000), for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 1991, one hundred fifteen thousand dollars ($115,000), for injuries occurring on or after July 1, 1994, one hundred thirty-five thousand dollars ($135,000), for injuries occurring on or after July 1, 1996, one hundred forty-five thousand dollars ($145,000), and for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2006, two hundred ninety thousand dollars ($290,000).

(2) In the case of one total dependent and one or more partial dependents, for injuries occurring before January 1, 1991, seventy thousand dollars ($70,000), for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 1991, ninety-five thousand dollars ($95,000), for injuries occurring on or after July 1, 1994, one hundred fifteen thousand dollars ($115,000), for injuries occurring on or after July 1, 1996, one hundred twenty-five thousand dollars ($125,000), and for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2006, two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000), plus four times the amount annually devoted to the support of the partial dependents, but not more than the following: for injuries occurring before January 1, 1991, a total of ninety-five thousand dollars ($95,000), for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 1991, one hundred fifteen thousand dollars ($115,000), for injuries occurring on or after July 1, 1994, one hundred twenty-five thousand dollars ($125,000), for injuries occurring on or after July 1, 1996, one hundred forty-five thousand dollars ($145,000), and for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2006, two hundred ninety thousand dollars ($290,000).

(3) In the case of one total dependent and no partial dependents, for injuries occurring before January 1, 1991, seventy thousand dollars ($70,000), for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 1991, ninety-five thousand dollars ($95,000), for injuries occurring on or after July 1, 1994, one hundred fifteen thousand dollars ($115,000), for injuries occurring on or after July 1, 1996, one hundred twenty-five thousand dollars ($125,000), and for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2006, two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000).

(4) (A) In the case of no total dependents and one or more partial dependents, for injuries occurring before January 1, 1991, four times the amount annually devoted to the support of the partial dependents, but not more than seventy thousand dollars ($70,000), for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 1991, a total of ninety-five thousand dollars ($95,000), for injuries occurring on or after July 1, 1994, one hundred fifteen thousand dollars ($115,000), and for injuries occurring on or after July 1, 1996, but before January 1, 2006, one hundred twenty-five thousand dollars ($125,000).

(B) In the case of no total dependents and one or more partial dependents, eight times the amount annually devoted to the support of the partial dependents, for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2006, but not more than two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000).

(5) In the case of three or more total dependents and regardless of the number of partial dependents, one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000), for injuries occurring on or after July 1, 1994, one hundred sixty thousand dollars ($160,000), for injuries occurring on or after July 1, 1996, and three hundred twenty thousand dollars ($320,000), for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2006.

(6) (A) In the case of a police officer who has no total dependents and no partial dependents, for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2003, and prior to January 1, 2004, two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) to the estate of the deceased police officer.

(B) For injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2004, in the case of no total dependents and no partial dependents, two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) to the estate of the deceased employee.

(b) A death benefit in all cases shall be paid in installments in the same manner and amounts as temporary total disability indemnity would have to be made to the employee, unless the appeals board otherwise orders. However, no payment shall be made at a weekly rate of less than two hundred twenty-four dollars ($224).

(c) Disability indemnity shall not be deducted from the death benefit and shall be paid in addition to the death benefit when the injury resulting in death occurs after September 30, 1949.

(d) All rights under this section existing prior to January 1, 1990, shall be continued in force.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 119, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2007.)

4703.
  

Subject to the provisions of Section 4704, this section shall determine the right to a death benefit.

If there is any person wholly dependent for support upon a deceased employee, that person shall receive a full death benefit as set forth in Section 4702 for one total dependent, and any additional partial dependents shall receive a death benefit as set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 4702 to a maximum aggregate amount of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000).

If there are two or more persons wholly dependent for support upon a deceased employee, those persons shall receive the death benefit set forth in subdivision (a) of Section 4702, and any person partially dependent shall receive no part thereof.

If there is more than one person wholly dependent for support upon a deceased employee, the death benefit shall be divided equally among them.

If there is more than one person partially dependent for support upon a deceased employee, and no person wholly dependent for support, the amount allowed as a death benefit shall be divided among the persons so partially dependent in proportion to the relative extent of their dependency.

(Amended by Stats. 1981, Ch. 210, Sec. 1.)

4703.5.
  

(a) In the case of one or more totally dependent children, as defined in Section 3501, after payment of the amount specified in Section 4702, and notwithstanding the maximum limitations specified in Sections 4702 and 4703, payment of death benefits shall continue until the youngest child attains 18 years of age, or until the death of a child physically or mentally incapacitated from earning, in the same manner and amount as temporary total disability indemnity would have been paid to the employee, except that no payment shall be made at a weekly rate of less than two hundred twenty-four dollars ($224).

(b) (1) Notwithstanding the age limitation in subdivision (a), the payment of death benefits shall continue until the youngest child attains 19 years of age if the child is still attending high school and is receiving the death benefits as a child of an active member of a sheriff’s office, an active member of a police or fire department of a city, county, city and county, district, or other public or municipal corporation or political subdivision, an individual described in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code who is primarily engaged in active law enforcement activities, active firefighting member of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or an active member of any county forestry or firefighting department or unit killed in the performance of duty.

(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply with respect to a child of a person whose principal duties are clerical or otherwise do not clearly fall within the scope of active law enforcement or active firefighting services, such as stenographers, telephone operators, and other office workers.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 786, Sec. 2. (AB 607) Effective January 1, 2014.)

4703.6.
  

The provisions of Section 4703.5 shall also apply to a totally dependent minor child of a local safety member as defined in Article 4 (commencing with Section 20420) of Chapter 4 of Part 3 of Division 5 of Title 2 of the Government Code, or a safety member as defined in Section 31469.3 of the Government Code, other than a member performing duties related to juvenile hall group counseling and group supervision, or a safety member subject to any public retirement system, or a patrol member as defined in Section 20390 of the Government Code, if that member was killed in the line of duty prior to January 1, 1990, and the totally dependent minor child is otherwise entitled to benefits under Section 4703.5.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 296, Sec. 1. Effective August 28, 2002. Applicable from January 1, 2002, by Sec. 2 of Ch. 296.)

4704.
  

The appeals board may set apart or reassign the death benefit to any one or more of the dependents in accordance with their respective needs and in a just and equitable manner, and may order payment to a dependent subsequent in right, or not otherwise entitled thereto, upon good cause being shown therefor. The death benefit shall be paid to such one or more of the dependents of the deceased or to a trustee appointed by the appeals board for the benefit of the person entitled thereto, as determined by the appeals board.

(Amended by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1513.)

4705.
  

The person to whom the death benefit is paid for the use of the several beneficiaries shall apply it in compliance with the findings and directions of the appeals board.

(Amended by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1513.)

4706.
  

(a) If a dependent beneficiary of any deceased employee dies and there is no surviving dependent, the payments of the death benefit accrued and payable at the time of the death of the sole remaining dependent shall be paid upon the order of the appeals board to the heirs of the dependent or, if none, to the heirs of the deceased employee, without administration.

(b) In the event there is no surviving dependent and no surviving heir, the appeals board may order the burial expense of the deceased employee, not to exceed the amount specified in Section 4701, paid to the proper person, without administration.

(Amended by Stats. 1972, Ch. 1334.)

4706.5.
  

(a) Whenever any fatal injury is suffered by an employee under circumstances that would entitle the employee to compensation benefits, but for his or her death, and the employee does not leave surviving any person entitled to a dependency death benefit, the employer shall pay a sum to the Department of Industrial Relations equal to the total dependency death benefit that would be payable to a surviving spouse with no dependent minor children.

(b) When the deceased employee leaves no surviving dependent, personal representative, heir, or other person entitled to the accrued and unpaid compensation referred to in Section 4700, the accrued and unpaid compensation shall be paid by the employer to the Department of Industrial Relations.

(c) The payments to be made to the Department of Industrial Relations, as required by subdivisions (a) and (b), shall be deposited in the General Fund and shall be credited, as a reimbursement, to any appropriation to the Department of Industrial Relations for payment of the additional compensation for subsequent injury provided in Article 5 (commencing with Section 4751), in the fiscal year in which the Controller’s receipt is issued.

(d) The payments to be made to the Department of Industrial Relations, as required by subdivision (a), shall be paid to the department in a lump sum in the manner provided in subdivision (b) of Section 5101.

(e) The Department of Industrial Relations shall keep a record of all payments due the state under this section, and shall take any steps as may be necessary to collect those amounts.

(f) Each employer, or the employer’s insurance carrier, shall notify the administrative director, in any form as the administrative director may prescribe, of each employee death, except when the employer has actual knowledge or notice that the deceased employee left a surviving dependent.

(g) When, after a reasonable search, the employer concludes that the deceased employee left no one surviving who is entitled to a dependency death benefit, and concludes that the death was under circumstances that would entitle the employee to compensation benefits, the employer may voluntarily make the payment referred to in subdivision (a). Payments so made shall be construed as payments made pursuant to an appeals board findings and award. Thereafter, if the appeals board finds that the deceased employee did in fact leave a person surviving who is entitled to a dependency death benefit, upon that finding, all payments referred to in subdivision (a) that have been made shall be forthwith returned to the employer, or if insured, to the employer’s workers’ compensation carrier that indemnified the employer for the loss.

(h) This section does not apply where there is no surviving person entitled to a dependency death benefit or accrued and unpaid compensation if a death benefit is paid to any person under paragraph (6) of subdivision (a) of Section 4702.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 119, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2007.)

4707.
  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), no benefits, except reasonable expenses of burial not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), shall be awarded under this division on account of the death of an employee who is an active member of the Public Employees’ Retirement System unless it is determined that a special death benefit, as defined in the Public Employees’ Retirement Law, or the benefit provided in lieu of the special death benefit in Sections 21547 and 21548 of the Government Code, will not be paid by the Public Employees’ Retirement System to the surviving spouse or children under 18 years of age, of the deceased, on account of the death, but if the total death allowance paid to the surviving spouse and children is less than the benefit otherwise payable under this division the surviving spouse and children are entitled, under this division, to the difference.

The amendments to this section during the 1977–78 Regular Session shall be applied retroactively to July 1, 1976.

(b) The limitation prescribed by subdivision (a) shall not apply to local safety members, or patrol members, as defined in Section 20390 of the Government Code, of the Public Employees’ Retirement System. This subdivision shall be applied retroactively.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 589, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2002.)

4708.
  

Upon application of any party in interest for a death benefit provided by this division on the death of an employee member of the Public Employees’ Retirement System, the latter shall be joined as a defendant, and the appeals board shall determine whether the death resulted from injury or illness arising out of and in the course of his employment, for the purpose of enabling the appeals board to apply the provision of this division and the board of administration to apply the provisions of the Public Employees’ Retirement Law.

(Amended by Stats. 1969, Ch. 639.)

4709.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, a dependent of a peace officer, as defined in Section 830.1, 830.2, 830.3, 830.31, 830.32, 830.33, 830.34, 830.35, 830.36, 830.37, 830.38, 830.39, 830.4, 830.5, or 830.6 of the Penal Code, or a Sheriff’s Special Officer of the County of Orange, who is killed in the performance of duty or who dies or is totally disabled as a result of an accident or an injury caused by external violence or physical force, incurred in the performance of duty, when the death, accident, or injury is compensable under this division or Division 4.5 (commencing with Section 6100) shall be entitled to a scholarship at any qualifying institution described in subdivision (l) of Section 69432.7 of the Education Code. The scholarship shall be in an amount equal to the amount provided a student who has been awarded a Cal Grant scholarship as specified in Chapter 1.7 (commencing with Section 69430) of Part 42 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code.

(b) A dependent of an officer or employee of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation or the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Justice, described in Section 20403 of the Government Code, who is killed in the performance of duty, or who dies or is totally disabled as a result of an accident or an injury incurred in the performance of duty, when the death, accident, or injury is caused by the direct action of an inmate, and is compensable under this division or Division 4.5 (commencing with Section 6100), shall also be entitled to a scholarship specified in this section.

(c) Notwithstanding any other law, a dependent of a firefighter employed by a county, city, city and county, district, or other political subdivision of the state, who is killed in the performance of duty or who dies or is totally disabled as a result of an accident or injury incurred in the performance of duty, when the death, accident, or injury is compensable under this division or Division 4.5 (commencing with Section 6100), shall also be entitled to a scholarship specified in this section.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to allow the admittance of the dependent into a college or university unless the dependent is otherwise qualified to gain admittance to the college or university.

(e) The scholarship provided for by this section shall be paid out of funds annually appropriated in the Budget Act to the Student Aid Commission established by Article 2 (commencing with Section 69510) of Chapter 2 of Part 42 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code.

(f) The receipt of a scholarship provided for by this section shall not preclude a dependent from receiving a Cal Grant award pursuant to Chapter 1.7 (commencing with Section 69430) of Part 42 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code, any other grant, or any fee waivers that may be provided by an institution of higher education. The receipt of a Cal Grant award pursuant to Chapter 1.7 (commencing with Section 69430) of Part 42 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code, any other grant, or any fee waivers that may be provided by an institution of higher education shall not preclude a dependent from receiving a scholarship provided for by this section.

(g) As used in this section, “dependent” means the children (natural or adopted) or spouse, at the time of the death or injury, of the peace officer, law enforcement officer, or firefighter.

(h) Eligibility for a scholarship under this section shall be limited to a person who demonstrates financial need as determined by the Student Aid Commission pursuant to Article 1.5 (commencing with Section 69503) of Chapter 2 of Part 42 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code. For purposes of determining financial need, the proceeds of death benefits received by the dependent, including, but not limited to, a continuation of income received from the Public Employees’ Retirement System, the proceeds from the federal Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Act, life insurance policies, proceeds from Sections 4702 and 4703.5, any private scholarship where receipt is predicated upon the recipient being the survivor of a deceased public safety officer, the scholarship awarded pursuant to Section 68120 of the Education Code, and any interest received from these benefits, shall not be considered.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 76, Sec. 143. (AB 383) Effective January 1, 2014.)

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