2017 ORS 656.204¹
Death

If death results from an accidental injury, payments must be made as follows:

(1)(a) The cost of final disposition of the body and funeral expenses, including but not limited to transportation of the body, must be paid, not to exceed 20 times the average weekly wage in any case.

(b) The insurer or self-insured employer shall pay bills submitted for disposition and funeral expenses up to the benefit limit established in paragraph (a) of this subsection. If any part of the benefit remains unpaid 60 days after the date of death or the date of claim acceptance, whichever is later, the insurer or self-insured employer shall pay the unpaid amount to the estate of the worker.

(2)(a) If a worker is survived by a spouse, monthly benefits must be paid in an amount equal to 4.35 times 66-2/3 percent of the average weekly wage to the surviving spouse until remarriage. The payment shall cease at the end of the month in which the remarriage occurs.

(b) Upon remarriage, a surviving spouse must be paid 36 times the monthly benefit in a lump sum as final payment of the surviving spousal benefit.

(c) If, after the date of the subject worker’s death, the surviving spouse cohabits with another person for an aggregate period of more than one year and a child has resulted from the relationship, the surviving spouse must be paid 36 times the monthly benefit in a lump sum as final payment of the surviving spousal benefit.

(3)(a) If a worker leaves a child under 19 years of age, a monthly benefit equal to 4.35 times 25 percent of the average weekly wage must be paid to each such child until the child becomes 19 years of age.

(b) The total benefits provided for in this subsection may not exceed 4.35 times 133-1/3 percent of the average weekly wage. If the sum of the individual benefits exceeds this maximum, the benefit for each child must be reduced proportionally.

(4)(a) If a worker leaves a dependent, a monthly payment must be made to each dependent that is equal to 50 percent of the average monthly support the dependent actually received from the worker during the 12 months preceding the occurrence of the accidental injury. If a dependent is under the age of 19 years at the time of the accidental injury, the payment to the dependent must cease when the dependent becomes 19 years of age. The payment to any dependent must cease under the same circumstances that would have terminated the dependency had the injury not happened.

(b) The total benefits provided for in this subsection may not exceed 4.35 times 10 percent of the average weekly wage. If the sum of the individual benefits exceeds this maximum, the benefit for each dependent must be reduced proportionally.

(5) If a child is an invalid at the time the child otherwise becomes ineligible for benefits under this section, the payment to the child must continue while the child remains an invalid. If a person is entitled to payment because the person is an invalid, payment must terminate when the person ceases to be an invalid.

(6)(a) If a child or dependent is between 19 and 26 years of age at the time of a worker’s death, or becomes 19 years of age after the worker’s death, monthly benefits must be paid for not more than 48 months until the age of 26 during a period in which the child or dependent is completing secondary education, is obtaining a general educational development certificate or is attending a program of higher education. The child or dependent must provide an insurer or self-insured employer with documentation that enables the insurer or self-insured employer to determine the child’s or dependent’s eligibility for monthly benefits.

(b) If a child or dependent who is eligible for benefits under this subsection does not have a surviving parent, the child or dependent must receive 4.35 times 66-2/3 percent of the average weekly wage.

(c) As used in this subsection, “attending a program of higher education” means regularly attending community college, college or university, or regularly attending a course of vocational or technical training designed to prepare the participant for gainful employment. A child or dependent enrolled in an educational course load of less than one-half of that determined by the educational facility to constitute “full-time” enrollment is not “attending a program of higher education.”

(7) As used in this section, “average weekly wage” has the meaning for that term provided in ORS 656.211 (“Average weekly wage” defined). [Amended by 1957 c.453 §1; 1965 c.285 §22; 1967 c.286 §1; 1969 c.521 §1; 1971 c.415 §1; 1973 c.497 §2; 1974 c.41 §4; 1981 c.535 §4; 1981 c.874 §15; 1985 c.108 §1; 1987 c.235 §1; 1991 c.473 §1; 1995 c.332 §13; 1999 c.927 §2; 2009 c.171 §1; 2015 c.629 §54; 2017 c.71 §2]

Note: See notes under 656.202 (Compensation payable to subject worker in accordance with law in effect at time of injury).

Note: Section 59, chapter 332, Oregon Laws 1995, provides:

Sec. 59. (1) Surviving spouses without children, whose entitlement to benefits under ORS 656.204 (Death) is based on an injury before September 20, 1985, shall have their benefits supplemented from the Retroactive Reserve. The total benefits payable, comprising the benefits in effect on the date of injury plus the Retroactive Reserve supplement, shall be equal to the total benefits payable under the formula prescribed for surviving spouses without children, whose entitlement to benefits is based on an injury occurring on September 20, 1985.

(2) The provisions of this section apply to benefits for periods beginning on and after the effective date of this 1995 Act [June 7, 1995]. [1995 c.332 §59]

Notes of Decisions

“Remarriage” means valid and subsisting marriage. Peters v. Briggs & Sons, 10 Or App 310, 499 P2d 1361 (1972)

Notwithstanding that parties were never formally married, claimant whose common law marriage to decedent worker was valid under laws of Colorado was entitled to benefits as surviving spouse of decedent. Johnston v. Georgia-Pacific, 35 Or App 231, 581 P2d 108 (1978)

Although child’s paternity has not been es­tab­lished under ORS chapter 109, Workers’ Compensa­tion Board may determine child’s paternity for purpose of determining mother and child’s rights to benefits. Amos v. SAIF, 72 App 145, 694 P2d 998 (1985)

Claimant is not re­quired to show that deceased worker provided more than 50 percent of claimant’s average monthly income in order to receive benefits as dependent. Gallegos v. Amalgamated Sugar Co., 81 Or App 68, 724 P2d 850 (1986)

Correc­tion

The permanent edi­tion incorrectly cites the case of State v. Schulman, 6 Or App 81, 485 P2d 1252 (1971), Sup Ct review denied, under this sec­tion. The case is correctly placed under ORS 435.405 to 435.495.

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Benefit increase limita­tion under 1973 law, (1973) Vol 36, p 710

Law Review Cita­tions

55 OLR 432-445 (1976); 16 WLR 519 (1979); 22 WLR 559 (1986)

Chapter 656

Notes of Decisions

Party having af­firm­a­tive of any issue must prove it by preponderance of evidence unless legislature fixes some different quantum of proof. Hutcheson v. Weyerhaeuser Co., 288 Or 51, 602 P2d 268 (1979)

Amend­ments to existing statutes and enact­ment of addi­tional statutes by 1995 legisla­tion generally apply to pending cases and to orders still ap­pealable on June 7, 1995, effective date. Volk v. America West Air­lines, 135 Or App 565, 899 P2d 746 (1995), Sup Ct review denied

Amend­ments to existing statutes and enact­ment of addi­tional statutes by 1995 legisla­tion do not extend or shorten procedural time limita­tions with regard to ac­tions taken prior to June 7, 1995, effective date. Motel 6 v. McMasters, 135 Or App 583, 899 P2d 1212 (1995)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Benefit unavailability for inmates engaged in prison work programs, (1996) Vol 48, p 134

Law Review Cita­tions

24 WLR 321, 341 (1988); 32 WLR 217 (1996)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 656—Workers’ Compensation, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors656.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 656, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano656.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.