Untimely Filing Surviving Spouse's Claim Workers Compensation
Texas Employers' Ins. Ass'n v. Tobias, 669 S.W.2d 742, a case involving a worker killed on the job, survived by a spouse and six children.
The courts had previously determined that the surviving spouse's claims under the workers' compensation law were barred because she failed to timely file claims.
The San Antonio Court of Appeals held that:
(1) death benefits vest as of the date of the worker's death;
(2) the wife's failure to timely file her claims rendered her ineligible to receive her share of the benefits;
(3) the statute provides that on the ineligibility of any beneficiary, the share of benefits previously paid to that beneficiary must be distributed to the remaining eligible beneficiaries;
(4) the surviving children were entitled to redistribution of the share that would have been paid to the surviving spouse. Texas Employers' Ins. Ass'n v. Tobias, 669 S.W.2d at 745.
Blankenship v. Highlands Ins. Co., 594 S.W.2d 147, 151 (Tex. Civ. App.-Dallas 1980) holds that the Texas statute fixes the compensation carrier's liability at a percentage of the weekly wage.
In that case, however, the issue was the distribution of benefits on the remarriage of the surviving spouse. Blankenship v. Highlands Ins. Co., 594 S.W.2d at 148. Under TEX. LAB. CODE ANN. 408.183(b) (Vernon 1996), remarriage is one of the bases on which a wife is made ineligible to continue to receive unlimited weekly payments of death benefits.