H.B. 2982 would amend the Workers Compensation Act regarding death benefits as follows:
The maximum death benefit amount allowable for dependents of the employee is raised from the current amount of $18,500 to $25,000.
If no dependents are available, a lump sum payment of $25,000 will be made to the legal heirs of the employee. Any payment under this provision will not escheat to the state.
The funeral expense amount is raised from $4,300 to $5,000.
If there are no dependents and no legal heirs, the $18,500 amount (current law) will be paid into the Workers Compensation Fund.
Two legislators testified in support of the bill. Others who spoke in favor of the measure included the parent of a deceased employee, and representatives from the Kansas AFL-CIO and the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association. A letter of support was received from a delegate with the Mid America Lumbermens Association.
Opposition was expressed on behalf of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Written comments were received from an official with the Kansas Insurance Department.
1. *Supplemental notes are prepared by the Legislative Research Department and do not express legislative intent. The supplemental note and fiscal note for this bill may be accessed on the Internet at http://www.ink.org/public/legislative/fulltext-bill.html.