As Amended by House Commettee

          Session of 1998
By Committee on Taxation
          10             AN ACT concerning workers compensation; relating to death benefits
11             provided thereunder; amending K.S.A. 44-570 and K.S.A. 1997
12             Supp. 44-510b and repealing the existing section sections.
14       Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
15           Section 1. K.S.A. 1997 Supp. 44-510b is hereby amended to read as
16       follows: 44-510b. Where death results from injury, compensation shall be
17       paid as provided in K.S.A. 44-510 and amendments thereto, and as fol-
18       lows:
19           (a) If an employee leaves any dependents wholly dependent upon the
20       employee's earnings at the time of the accident, all compensation benefits
21       under this section shall be paid to such dependent persons. Such de-
22       pendents shall be paid weekly compensation, except as otherwise pro-
23       vided in this section, in a total sum to all such dependents, equal to 662/3%
24       of the average gross weekly wage of the employee at the time of the
25       accident, computed as provided in K.S.A. 44-511 and amendments
26       thereto, but in no event shall such weekly benefits exceed, nor be less
27       than, the maximum and minimum weekly benefits provided in K.S.A. 44-
28       510c and amendments thereto, subject to the following:
29           (1) If the employee leaves a surviving legal spouse or a wholly de-
30       pendent child or children, or both, who are eligible for benefits under
31       this section, then all death benefits shall be paid to such surviving spouse
32       or children, or both, and no benefits shall be paid to any other wholly or
33       partially dependent persons.
34           (2) A surviving legal spouse shall be paid compensation benefits for
35       life or until remarriage, except as otherwise provided in this section.
36           (3) Any wholly dependent child of the employee shall be paid com-
37       pensation, except as otherwise provided in this section, until such de-
38       pendent child becomes 18 years of age, except that any such dependent
39       child who is not physically or mentally capable of earning wages in any
40       type of substantial and gainful employment, or who is enrolled as a full-
41       time student in an accredited institution of higher education or vocational
42       education shall be paid compensation until such dependent child be-
43       comes 23 years of age.

HB 2982--Am.


  1           (4) If the employee leaves no legal spouse or dependent children
  2       eligible for benefits under this section but leaves other dependents wholly
  3       dependent upon the employee's earnings, such other dependents shall
  4       receive weekly compensation benefits as provided in this subsection until
  5       death, remarriage or so long as such other dependents do not receive
  6       more than 50% of their support from any other earnings or income or
  7       from any other source, except that the maximum benefits payable to all
  8       such other dependents, regardless of the number of such other depend-
  9       ents, shall not exceed a maximum amount of $18,500 $50,000 $25,000.
10           (b) Upon the remarriage of a surviving legal spouse receiving com-
11       pensation under this section, the benefits being paid to such spouse shall
12       terminate, except that upon such remarriage 100 weeks of benefits at the
13       highest rate paid to such spouse under this section shall be paid to such
14       spouse in one lump sum, except that such lump-sum payment shall be
15       subject to the maximum amount of compensation payable under this sec-
16       tion as prescribed by subsection (h) (i).
17           (c) Where the employee leaves a surviving legal spouse and depend-
18       ent children who were wholly dependent upon the employee's earnings
19       and are eligible for benefits under this section 1/2 of the maximum weekly
20       benefits payable shall be apportioned to such spouse and 1/2 to such de-
21       pendent children.
22           (d) If an employee does not leave any dependents who were wholly
23       dependent upon the employee's earnings at the time of the accident but
24       leaves dependents, other than a spouse or children, in part dependent on
25       the employee's earnings, such percentage of a sum equal to three times
26       the employee's average yearly earnings but not exceeding $18,500
27       $50,000 $25,000 but not less than $2,500, as such employee's average
28       annual contributions which the employee made to the support of such
29       dependents during the two years preceding the date of the accident, bears
30       to the employee's average yearly earnings during the contemporaneous
31       two-year period, shall be paid in compensation to such dependents, in
32       weekly payments as provided in subsection (a), not to exceed $18,500
33       $50,000 $25,000 to all such dependents.
34           (e) If an employee does not leave any dependents, either wholly or
35       partially dependent upon the employee, a lump-sum payment of $25,000
36       shall be made to the legal heirs of such employee in accordance with
37       Kansas law. However under no circumstances shall such payment escheat
38       to the state. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, no such
39       payment shall be required if the employer has procured a life insurance
40       policy, with beneficiaries designated by the employee, providing coverage
41       in an amount not less than $25,000.
42           (e) (f) The administrative law judge, except as otherwise provided in
43       this section, shall have the power and authority to apportion and reap-

HB 2982--Am.


  1       portion the compensation allowed under this section, either to wholly
  2       dependent persons or partially dependent persons, in accordance with
  3       the degree of dependency as of the date of the accident, except that the
  4       weekly payment of compensation to any and all dependents shall not
  5       exceed the maximum weekly benefits provided in subsection (a).
  6           (f) (g) In all cases of death compensable under this section, the em-
  7       ployer shall pay the reasonable expense of burial not exceeding $4,300
  8       $5,000.
  9           (g) (h) The marriage or death of any dependent shall terminate all
10       compensation, under this section, to such dependent, but shall not in-
11       crease or decrease the compensation allowed to any other dependents
12       except that, upon the marriage or death of the surviving legal spouse or
13       a dependent child, the compensation payable to such spouse or child shall
14       be reapportioned to those, among the surviving legal spouse and de-
15       pendent children, who remain eligible to receive compensation under this
16       section.
17           (h) (i) Notwithstanding any other provision in this section to the con-
18       trary, the maximum amount of compensation benefits payable under this
19       section to any and all dependents by the employer shall not exceed a total
20       amount of $200,000 and when such total amount has been paid the lia-
21       bility of the employer for any further compensation under this section to
22       dependents, other than minor children of the employee, shall cease ex-
23       cept that the payment of compensation under this section to any minor
24       child of the employee shall continue for the period of the child's minority
25       at the weekly rate in effect when the employer's liability is otherwise
26       terminated under this subsection and shall not be subject to termination
27       under this subsection until such child becomes 18 years of age.
28           (i) (j) A surviving spouse shall submit an annual statement to the
29       employer and to the director, in such form and containing such infor-
30       mation relating to eligibility for compensation under this section as may
31       be required by rules and regulations of the director. If such spouse fails
32       to submit such an annual statement, the employer may notify the director
33       of such failure and the director shall notify such spouse of such failure
34       by certified mail with return receipt. If such spouse fails to submit the
35       annual statement or fails to reasonably provide the required information
36       within 30 days after receipt of the notice from the director, all compen-
37       sation benefits paid under this section to such spouse shall be suspended
38       until such statement is submitted in proper form to the employer and the
39       director.
40           Sec. 2. K.S.A. 44-570 is hereby amended to read as follows: 44-
41       570. (a) Every In the event that subsection (e) of K.S.A. 44-510b is in-
42       applicable, every employer in the state of Kansas operating a trade
43       or business under the provisions of the workmen's compensation

HB 2982--Am.


  1       act shall pay within 30 days after the award is made the sum of
  2       $18,500 to the commissioner of insurance in every case where
  3       death results from the accident and where there are no depend-
  4       ents who are entitled to compensation under the workmen's com-
  5       pensation act.
  6           (b) The commissioner of insurance shall remit all moneys re-
  7       ceived under this section to the state treasurer. Upon receipt of
  8       any such remittance the state treasurer shall deposit the entire
  9       amount thereof in the state treasury to the credit of the workers'
10       compensation fund.
11           (c) Upon rendering an award under this section, the director
12       shall transmit immediately a certified copy thereof to the commis-
13       sioner of insurance. In case payment is, or has been made, under
14       the provisions of this section and dependency later is shown, or if
15       payment is made by mistake or inadvertence, or under such cir-
16       cumstances that justice requires a refund thereof, the commis-
17       sioner of insurance is hereby authorized to refund such payment
18       to the employer, or if insured, to the employer's insurance carrier.
19           Sec. 2. 3. K.S.A. 44-570 and K.S.A. 1997 Supp. 44-510b is are
20       hereby repealed.
21           Sec. 3. 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
22       publication in the statute book.