32.0617 Death benefits.

Cite as [A.S.C.A. § 32.0617]

(a) If an injury causes death, the compensation shall be known as a death benefit and shall be payable in the amounts, and to or for the benefit of the individuals following:

(1) Reasonable funeral expenses not exceeding $1,000;

(2) if there is a surviving wife or dependent husband and no child of the deceased, to such surviving wife or dependent husband, 35 percent of the average wages of the deceased, during widowhood, or dependent widowhood, with 2 years compensation in one sum upon remarriage; and if there is a surviving child or children of the deceased, the additional amount of 15 percent of such wages for each child;

(3) In the case of the death or remarriage of such surviving wife or dependent husband, if there is one surviving child of the deceased employee, such child shall have his compensation increased to 35 percent of such wages; and if there is more than one surviving child of the deceased employee, to such children, in equal parts, 35 percent of such wages increased by 15 percent of such wages for each child in excess of one; provided, that the total amount payable shall in no case exceed two-thirds of such wages;

(4) If there is one surviving child of the deceased, but no surviving wife or dependent husband, then for the support of such child, 35 percent of the wages of the deceased; if there is more than one surviving child of the deceased, but no widow or dependent husband, then for the support of such children, in equal parts, 35 percent of such wages increased by 15 percent of such wages for each child in excess of one; the total amount payable under this paragraph shall in no case exceed two-thirds of such wages:

(5) If there is no surviving wife or dependent husband or child, or if the amount payable to a surviving wife or dependent husband and to children shall be less in the aggregate than 66 2/3 percent of the average wages of the deceased, then for the support of grandchildren or brothers and sisters, if dependent upon the deceased at the time of injury, 15 percent of such wages for the support of each such individual, and for the support of each parent or grandparent of the deceased dependent upon him at the time of the injury, 25 percent of such wages during such dependency. In no case shall the aggregate amount payable under this paragraph exceed the difference between 66 2/3 percent of such wages and the amount payable as hereinbefore provided to a surviving wife or dependent husband and for the support of a surviving child or children.

(b) In computing death benefits, the average weekly wages of the deceased may not be considered to be more than $205 nor less than $40, but the total weekly compensation may not exceed the weekly wages of the deceased.

(c) All questions of dependency shall be determined as of the time of the injury.

(d) Compensation paid under this section to aliens not residents or about to become nonresidents of the United States, the Territory of American Samoa, Western Samoa or Canada shall be the same in amount as provided for residents. Dependents in any foreign country shall be limited to a surviving wife and child or children, or if there is no surviving wife or child or children, to a surviving father or mother whom the employee has supported, either wholly or in part, for the period of one year prior to the date of the injury. The Commission may, at its option or upon the application of any party in interest, commute all future installments of compensation to be paid to such aliens by paying or causing to be paid to them a percentage or not less than one-half of the commuted amount of such future installments of compensation as determined by the Commission.

(e) The Commissioner may, in his discretion, require the appointment of a guardian for the purpose of receiving the compensation of a minor child. In the absence of such a requirement the appointment of a guardian for such purposes shall not be necessary.

History: 1967, PL 10-45; amd 1977, PL 15-45; amd 1981, PL 17-25 § 1.

Amendments: 1977 Subsection (a) (1): raised expense amount from $400 to $1,000.