(a) If there is an eligible child or grandchild and an eligible spouse, half of the death benefits shall be paid to the eligible spouse and half shall be paid in equal shares to the eligible children. If an eligible child has predeceased the employee, death benefits that would have been paid to that child shall be paid in equal shares per stirpes to the children of the deceased child.
(b) If there is an eligible spouse and no eligible child or grandchild, all the death benefits shall be paid to the eligible spouse.
(c) If there is an eligible child or grandchild and no eligible spouse, the death benefits shall be paid to the eligible children or grandchildren.
(d) If there is no eligible spouse, no eligible child, and no eligible grandchild, the death benefits shall be paid in equal shares to surviving dependents of the deceased employee who are parents, stepparents, siblings, or grandparents of the deceased.
(d-1) If there is no eligible spouse, no eligible child, and no eligible grandchild, and there are no surviving dependents of the deceased employee who are parents, siblings, or grandparents of the deceased, the death benefits shall be paid in equal shares to surviving eligible parents of the deceased. A payment of death benefits made under this subsection may not exceed one payment per household. Total payments under this section may not exceed 104 weeks regardless of the number of surviving eligible parents.
(d-2) Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, to be eligible to receive death benefits under Subsection (d-1), an eligible parent must file with the division a claim for those benefits not later than the first anniversary of the date of the injured employee’s death from the compensable injury. The claim must designate all eligible parents and necessary information for payment to the eligible parents. The insurance carrier is not liable for payment to any eligible parent not designated on the claim. Failure to file a claim in the time required bars the claim unless good cause exists for the failure to file a claim under this section.
(e) If an employee is not survived by legal beneficiaries or eligible parents, the death benefits shall be paid to the subsequent injury fund under Section 403.007.
(f) In this section:
(1) “Eligible child” means a child of a deceased employee if the child is:
(A) a minor;
(B) enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited educational institution and is less than 25 years of age; or
(C) a dependent of the deceased employee at the time of the employee’s death.
(2) “Eligible grandchild” means a grandchild of a deceased employee who is a dependent of the deceased employee and whose parent is not an eligible child.
(3) “Eligible spouse” means the surviving spouse of a deceased employee unless the spouse abandoned the employee for longer than the year immediately preceding the death without good cause, as determined by the division.
(4) “Eligible parent” means the mother or the father of a deceased employee, including an adoptive parent or a stepparent. The term does not include a parent whose parental rights have been terminated.
Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 269, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.
Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 265 (H.B. 7), § 3.128, eff. September 1, 2005.
Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1007 (H.B. 724), § 5, eff. September 1, 2007.
Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1007 (H.B. 724), § 6, eff. September 1, 2007.
Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 344 (H.B. 1058), § 1, eff. September 1, 2009.