Death Benefits in Illinois Workers’ Compensation

Jay Johnson

Each year, thousands of people die as a result of work related accidents throughout the country.  In Illinois, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act protects the families of victims of such devastating events by mandating life supporting benefits to the victim’s survivors.

The first death benefit is the payment of medical bills related to the life-ending injury.  The employer must pay these charges. A family suffering from such devastating loss are not stuck with mountains of bills that may have been incurred during life-saving efforts.

The second death benefit that Illinois law mandates is the payment of burial expenses.  Illinois law requires that the employer pay $8,000.00 for these expenses.

The final death benefit that Illinois law mandates is weekly compensation.  The surviving spouse and children of a worker killed in a work related accident generally are entitled to weekly benefits of 2/3 of the victim’s average weekly wage.  The benefit continues for 25 years or $500,000.00, whichever is greater.

In the event that a spouse remarries, he or she is entitled to an immediate two-year lump payment.  The weekly death benefits end.  The surviving children are entitled to benefits until they turn 18 years of age.  If they are enrolled as a full-time student, they are entitled to benefits until the age of 25.

In certain circumstances, dependent parents or other dependents also may be entitled to death benefits. 

Workplace fatalities are not limited to traumatic events.  Workplace fatalities also can be caused by exposures to environmental toxins such as chemicals, radioactive agents, and coal dust.  Heart attacks and strokes that lead to death, even in people who may have had preexisting (conditions), are work related if some factor of the victim’s job, such as exposure to extreme temperatures or physical activity, (brought on) the heart attack or stroke. Importantly, for first responders or essential workers that die from COVID-19, Illinois law presumes that such workers got the virus from their workplace exposure.  The families of these workers are entitled to the same death benefits.

Wrongful Death Attorneys

Contact our team to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate wrongful death attorneys. Call (630) 585-2320 or fill out an online contact form to get started.


From day one, Russell Haugen and Woodruff Johnson & Evans handled the work comp case with empathy and diligence. Highly recommended.

I would definitely recommend Woodruff Johnson & Evans to anyone I know that need legal help with a worker’s comp issue. From day one I’ve felt comfortable and was always kept informed on what was going on with my case. Mr. Haugen was always pleasant and empathetic to my case and worked diligently. I would […]

Shelia W

Jay Johnson is a good communicator and speaks to his clients in a language they can understand.

Jay always answers or returns my calls promptly. Jay is able to share information about my claim in a non-lawyer kind of way.

Chris J.

Fighting for My Workers Compensation with Attorney Lee Alhambra Gave Me Peace Of Mind And Victory.

I Had A Nasty Tumble/Fall On A Cushioned Mat Behind A Desk At Work. I Had Been Totally Misinformed And Misled By Employers About Making A Full Recovery And Legal Processes. I Did Not Understand Any Legal Issues. I Contacted Woodruff Johnson & Evans And Spoke With Leandro A. Alhambra. Lee Explained To Me How […]

Karen K

Jay Johnson Helped Me Through A Nightmare of a Lawsuit

I just want to thank Woodruff Johnson & Evans Attorney Jay Johnson and his legal secretary, Annie,  for helping me through this whole lawsuit nightmare. I appreciate your time and effort, and YES, I would  highly recommend you to anyone.

Tammy B

It was a pleasure working with Russell Haugen and the legal team at Woodruff Johnson & Evans!

It was a pleasure working with Russ and his team!!! They explained everything thoroughly and helped me with all my needs during this difficult time! I was happy with the outcome, they were a great referral to me and I will gladly refer this office on to others!

Noelia M.

I would like to thank Dexter & the whole Woodruff team on representing me.

Would like to thank Dexter & the whole Woodruff Johnson & Evans legal team for representing me. Dex, I really appreciate you for standing on my behalf with this long journey.

Kennesha W.

Jay Johnson was on top of everything when I had issues, and kept me informed, would recommend!

Jay Johnson was on top of everything when I had issues, and kept me informed, would recommend!

Timothy T

I have complete trust, confidence and satisfaction in Attorney Russell Haugen.

I have been represented by a number of lawyers in the last 3 years with no satisfaction and no confidence. That changed when Russell Haugen took my case. Russell updated me regularly and truthfully worked on my behalf. With Russell’s council, I received a fair settlement for my losses. I have complete trust, confidence and […]

Dennis C

Lee Alhambra: kind and patient when explaining things, and a calmness that is soothing in stressful situations.

Want to say thank you to Attorney Leandro Alhambra for not just being a good lawyer but for being kind and patient when explaining things. He has calmness that is soothing in stressful situations.


Lee Alhambra will represent you well and will fight for your case. Highly Recommended.

Very professional, detailed and courteous. My case was handled with ease and I’m very grateful! Woodruff Johnson & Evans Law Offices will represent you well and fight for you. Leandro Alhambra is a lawyer I would highly recommend.

Dylan C
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