The purpose of this policy is to provide direction to staff in determining who meets the definition of a surviving spouse and/or a dependant.
This policy applies to persons who may be eligible for survivors’ benefits.
Where a worker dies of compensable injuries or an occupational disease resulting from a workplace accident, survivors of that worker may be entitled to benefits as outlined in Policy 21-515 Benefits for Survivors. However, before survivors’ benefits can be paid, WorkSafeNB must first determine if a person was a spouse or member of the worker’s family as defined by the Workers' Compensation Act (WC Act).
To determine the eligibility of a member of the workers’ family for survivor benefits, WorkSafeNB must establish that the family member was dependent on the deceased worker and, if so, the extent of the dependency. WorkSafeNB does this by gathering and weighing the evidence.
Cohabit – to live together as, or as if, a married couple. (Adapted from Canadian Oxford Dictionary)
Dependent – members of the family of a worker who were wholly or partly dependent upon his earnings at the time of his death, or who, but for the incapacity due to the accident would have been so dependent. (WC Act)
Member of the family - for the purpose of paying compensation or benefits to a dependant, includes spouse, father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, stepfather, stepmother, son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, stepson, stepdaughter, brother, sister, half-brother and half-sister, and a person who stood in loco parentis whether related to the worker by consanguinity or not so related. (WC Act)
Spouse – a person who, at the time of the death of the worker,
a) was married to and was cohabiting with the worker; or
b) was not married to but was cohabiting with the worker in a conjugal relationship and had, immediately before the death of the worker, been cohabiting:
i) for not less than three years; or
ii) for not less than one year if a child of whom the person and the worker are the natural parents had been or is to be born. (WC Act)
Survivor – the spouse or a dependant member of the family of a deceased worker.