Federal employees work hard to make sure their jobs are done correctly. Many of these jobs are central to keeping the federal government running properly, in New York and elsewhere. Without these workers, many every day Americans would see changes to their lives. However, many of these workers also risk their lives in order to do their jobs properly.

For some, this means that they will never make it home. Fatal workplace accidents can occur for federal government workers. Just like private workers’ families, these accidents are devastating to the families of these federal employees.

According to the United States Department of Labor, compensation may be available to a worker’s family following the death of a loved one if the person died from an occupational disease or as a result of a workplace accident. The amount of compensation depends on who the surviving family members are. In any case, compensation cannot exceed 75 percent of the employee’s pay.

If the surviving family members includes only a spouse, that person is entitled to 50 percent of the employee’s pay at the time of the individual’s death. If the surviving family members include a spouse and children, then the spouse is entitled to 45 percent of the employee’s pay, and the children get 15 percent of the employee’s pay, each.

If only children survive employee’s death, then the government will pay 40 percent of the employee’s pay for one child and an additional 15 percent of the employee’s pay for each further child. The total amount of the compensation is then to be split equally between the children.

Compensation for surviving children lasts until the child turns 18-years-old, in most cases. For surviving spouses, compensation lasts until that person remarries or dies.

Additional compensation may also be available to other family members. Funeral expenses and traveling costs might also be covered following the death of the federal employee, in specific amounts for each type of cost. Families should understand their legal rights to compensation following the death of a family member. Workers’ compensation laws can be difficult to understand, and an experienced New York attorney may be able to help to explain their options.