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RULE §132.7Duration of Death Benefits for Eligible Spouse

(a) Except as provided in subsection (f) of this section, a spouse who is determined eligible for death benefits is entitled to receive benefits until the date of the spouse's death or until remarriage. The insurance carrier shall notify the eligible spouse of the requirements of this section within 60 days of initiating benefits to that spouse.

(b) An eligible spouse who enters into a ceremonial or informal marriage is entitled to receive a lump-sum payment of 104 weeks of death benefits.

(c) An eligible spouse shall notify the division and the insurance carrier in writing within 30 days of the date of remarriage. The notice shall include the name and social security number of the deceased employee, the date of death, the workers' compensation claim file number, and the date of remarriage.

(d) The amount of the lump-sum payment shall be calculated by multiplying the amount paid to the spouse the week prior to the remarriage by 104. If the insurance carrier paid any weekly benefits to the eligible spouse after the remarriage, the total amount of such payments shall be deducted from the amount of the commuted payment.

(e) An eligible spouse who knowingly accepts death benefits after remarriage in excess of the amount allowed by this section, and who does not notify the division or the insurance carrier of remarriage, may be subject to administrative penalties.

(f) An eligible spouse who remarries is eligible for death benefits for life if the employee was a first responder, as defined by Labor Code §504.055, or an individual described by Government Code §615.003(1) or Labor Code §501.001(5)(F), who died as a result of an injury in the course and scope of employment or while providing services as a volunteer. Subsections (b) - (e) of this section do not apply to an eligible spouse under this subsection. This subsection applies to:

  (1) Eligible spouses of first responders, as defined by Labor Code §504.055:

    (A) who remarry on or after September 1, 2017; and

    (B) who remarried between September 1, 2015, and August 31, 2017, if the claim is based on a compensable injury that occurred on or after September 1, 2015; and

  (2) Eligible spouses of individuals, as defined by Government Code §615.003(1) or Labor Code §501.001(5)(F), who remarry on or after September 1, 2019.

Source Note: The provisions of this §132.7 adopted to be effective January 1, 1991, 15 TexReg 7023; amended to be effective March 20, 2016, 41 TexReg 1857; amended to be effective December 20, 2018, 43 TexReg 8125; amended to be effective September 8, 2020, 45 TexReg 6237

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