Death Benefits

When a compensable workplace injury results in the death of a covered employee, Death Benefits are available to the surviving dependents. Death Benefits are paid by the insurance company or self-insured employer and are to replace lost wages. These benefits are not paid by the Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

Wage Replacement Benefits

For a date of death on or after July 1, 2023, if a deceased employee leaves a dependent spouse and/or dependent children, 66 2/3 % of the deceased employee’s average weekly wages shall be paid to the dependent(s), subject to the maximum weekly benefit. When the deceased employee leaves no dependents, $20,000 shall be paid to their estate. See Tennessee Code Annotated § 50-6-210 for more information and/or other categories of dependents. For a date of death before July 1, 2023, those payment rates are slightly different for a dependent spouse only.

Circumstance Wage Replacement Benefit Amount
No dependents $20,000 (paid to estate)
Surviving Spouse, and/or dependent child(ren) 66 2/3% of average weekly wage

Burial Expenses

For death-resulting injuries, occurring on or after May 19, 2017, the burial expenses is $10,000.00. Amounts paid are not to exceed $7,500.00 for deaths occurring prior to May 19, 2017.

Burial Benefit Amount Maximum Effective Dates
$10,000 On or after May 19, 2017
$7,500 Prior to May 19, 2017

Court Approval Needed

 All claims must be settled and approved by the Court of Workers' Compensation Claims, or subject to a hearing producing a final order.


Having trouble receiving your benefits? Learn how our Mediation Program can help.


It is illegal for any party (the employee, employer, insurance adjuster, or medical provider) to knowingly and intentionally defraud another party of a property or monetary gain.

Need More Help?

If you have additional questions, please call 615-532-4812 or (800) 332-2667 or contact us by email at