group of police officers in a subway station


The Salinas Police Department’s 80 year Safety Record  was broken.  Police Officer Jorge David Alvarado, while making a traffic stop, was killed.  The initial news accounts provided no family information.

This article will discuss the workers’ compensation issues that arise in this circumstance.

Workers’ Compensation provides for death benefits.  First, workers’ compensation law in California will provide for burial expenses. Officer Alvarado will be afforded burial expenses up to the amount of  $10,000.00.  Second, the workers’ compensation system law also provides dependency benefits. These types of benefits may apply to family members and others.

What Will Happen In This Circumstance Given the Known Facts?  

In this circumstance, the department’s workers’ compensation administrator will make some inquiry as to investigate whether there are dependents.  Dependents do not have to be relatives.  Generally, however, dependents tend to be spouses, children and grandchildren.

What Is a Dependent for Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ Compensation Dependents can be any person for which the Officer provided support.  In addition, there are individuals are legally entitled to support.  For example, an ex-spouse with an a support order and minor children fall into this category.  A child under 18 years of age is considered as a dependent even though there wasn’t a court order of support.

Dependency is a matter of which is subject to the trier of fact. This means a judge will make a decision concerning it.  ” Partial dependency “shall be determined in accordance with the facts as they exist at the time of the injury of the employee. ” (§ 3502, emphasis added.) The true test of dependency in fact is not whether the dependent was compelled to rely upon the deceased employee’s contributions for  the bare necessities of life, but whether the dependent relied on the contributions for support according to his or her accustomed mode of living. Wings West Airlines v. Workers Compensation Appeals Bd. of California & Dir. of Indus. Rels., 51 Cal. Comp. Cases 609 (Cal. App. 1st Dist. December 11, 1986)

What If I Need Advice?

If you would like a free consultation regarding workers’ compensation, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. We have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their workers’ compensation cases for 27 years. Contact us today for more information.

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