Death Benefits

In Tennessee, the maximum death benefit is 450 times the maximum weekly benefit. The present maximum weekly benefit as of July 1, 2015 is $858. Therefore, the maximum death benefit is $386,100 ($858 x 450).

For more information on determining weekly benefits see Maximum and Minimum Weekly Benefits.

Click Here for Department of Labor & Workforce Development Benefit Table.

The applicable definitions under Tennessee law are shown below.

TCA § 50-6-102. Definitions. [Effective July 1, 2014]

(14) "Maximum total benefit" means the sum of all weekly benefits to which a worker may be entitled;

(A) For injuries occurring on or after July 1, 1992, but before July 1, 2009, the maximum total benefit shall be four hundred (400) weeks times the maximum weekly benefit, except in instances of permanent total disability;

(B) For injuries occurring on or after July 1, 2009, but before July 1, 2014, the maximum total benefit shall be four hundred (400) weeks times one hundred percent (100%) of the state's average weekly wage, as determined pursuant to subdivision (15)(B), except in instances of permanent total disability. Temporary total disability benefits paid to the injured worker shall not be included in calculating the maximum total benefit;

(C) For injuries occurring on or after July 1, 2014, the maximum total benefit shall be four hundred fifty (450) weeks times one hundred percent (100%) of the state's average weekly wage, as determined pursuant to subdivision (15)(B), except in instances of permanent total disability. Temporary total disability benefits paid to the injured worker before the employee attains maximum medical improvement shall not be included in calculating the maximum total benefit;

TCA § 50-6-209. Maximum compensation.

(a) In all cases of permanent total disability of an employee covered by the Workers' Compensation Law, compiled in this chapter, sixty-six and two-thirds percent (662/3%) of the average weekly wages, as defined, shall be paid, subject to maximum compensation as follows: where there are or are not persons dependent upon each injured employee, the maximum weekly benefit per week.

(b) (1) In all cases of death of an employee covered by the Workers' Compensation Law, compiled in this chapter, sixty-six and two-thirds percent (662/3%) of the average weekly wages, as defined, shall be paid in cases where such deceased employee leaves dependents, subject to the maximum weekly benefit.

(2) In all cases of death of an employee covered by the Workers' Compensation Law, compiled in this chapter, and where such employee leaves no dependents, as provided in § 50-6-210, then the lump sum amount of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) shall be paid to the estate of such deceased employee.

(3) The total amount of compensation payable under this subsection (b) shall not exceed the maximum total benefit exclusive of medical, hospital and funeral benefits.

TCA §50-6-209 means the 450 week maximum is applied to the individual's average weekly wage subject to a maximum of the state's average weekly wage.