Families of Fallen Workers Burial Benefits Bill

Every week, a Massachusetts family loses a loved one to a workplace fatality.  The loss is devastating – leaving a deep hole in the hearts of the family, and in many cases the loss of a critical bread-earner.
On a moment’s notice, families must begin to prepare to bury their loved one.  As they do they will soon face the additional tragedy of knowing that in addition to all their other financial worries, they may not be able to afford basic funeral costs.

Background:

In Massachusetts, while costs of burying a loved one have increased over the years, the burial benefits allotment under workers compensation has remained at just $4,000.

According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average cost of a “regular adult funeral” (funeral with embalming, viewing and a metal casket) was $7,323 in 2006 (the most recent data available). This sum does not including the cemetery plot, grave marker, flowers or obituary notices that are typically part of this type of funeral. With those added expenses and inflation the “regular adult funeral” is more realistically $9,000.

The reimbursement rate for burial benefits has not changed in decades, while the prices have increased exponentially. 

What the bill will do:

The Families of Fallen Workers Burial bill ensures that families can bury their loved ones, without being buried with financial debt.  It raises the workers compensation burial allowance amount from $4,000 to $8,000.

It’s devastating enough to lost a loved one; families shouldn’t also have to be burdened with this additional cost.