Millions Recovered For Injured People

Separate claim not required for comp survival benefits

Connecticut's workers' compensation system provides financial and medical assistance to workers who suffer a work-related injury or illness. Families of a worker who died from a work injury or illness are also entitled to survivor benefits. However, these rights are not automatic because time restrictions govern these laws and recipients have to act promptly.

Connecticut requires the filing of workers' compensation claims within one year from the date of the accident and within three years from the appearance of an occupational disease symptom. Where death occurred within two years of the date of the accident or the first appearance of an occupational disease symptom, surviving family members may file a claim for compensation from the later date of the two-year period or one year from the date of death.

Events sometimes occur, however, which complicate the clear application of seemingly straight-forward requirements and time limitations. The state Supreme Court addressed a unique case earlier this month where a widow sought survivor benefits where her husband timely filed a claim for disability benefits, although she did not file a separate claim for survivor benefits within one year after he died.

In that case, her husband was exposed to toxins and was afflicted with disabling pulmonary fibrosis through his use of carbon arc lamps at his job over 18 years. He filed a claim for compensation benefits within the legal time limit. Three years after filing this claim and receiving medical treatment, the worker died. The claim was not accepted and benefits were not granted before his death. His wife then filed for survivor's benefits 55 weeks after he died.

The Court ruled that the widow did not violate the statute of limitations for filing her survivor benefits claim one year after his death and six years after the manifestation of the symptoms of his illness. It found that Connecticut's workers' compensation law did not require the filing of an independent claim for survivor's benefits if the worker earlier filed a timely claim for benefits during his lifetime. The state legislature, not the courts, had the sole authority to insert the requirement of a second filing into the compensation law.

Source: Connecticut Judicial Branch, "McCullough v. Swan Engraving, Inc., SC 19480 (Conn. 2016)," Accessed Feb. 8, 2016

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For a Response


Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Stratford Office
1825 Barnum Avenue, Suite 201
Stratford, CT 06614

Toll Free: 800-658-1245
Phone: 203-864-4427
Fax: 203-377-2770
Stratford Law Office Map

Shelton Office
221 Nells Rock Road
Shelton, CT 06484

Toll Free: 800-658-1245
Phone: 203-864-4427
Fax: 203-377-2770
Shelton Law Office Map