Marcia Hultman

Cabinet Secretary

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Workers' Compensation

Survivor Benefits

If a work-related injury causes death, compensation is payable to the employee's spouse at the rate of 66.67% of the employee's average weekly wage (with overtime included at the straight rate) and is subject to the state minimum and maximums amounts from SDCL 62-4-3. If the spouse remarries, a lump sum equal to two years of compensation will be paid. If there are eligible surviving children of the employee, the compensation becomes payable to them two years after the date of remarriage.

If the only survivors are children, the child or children receive compensation at the rate of 66.67 percent of the average weekly wage of the employee until age 18 (or age 22 if a full-time student). If a child is physically or mentally incapable of self-support, benefits will be paid for the life of the child.

An additional $50 per month must be paid to each legally dependent child of the deceased employee from the date of the employee's death until that child reaches the age of 18 years. A deceased employee's dependents are each also entitled to $2,000 a year for up to five years if they are enrolled full-time at an accredited post-secondary educational institution in South Dakota.

Worker's compensation also provides up to $10,000 in burial expenses, plus the cost of transporting the body if death occurs outside the community where the employee is to be buried.

Scholarship Opportunity for Survivor Children

Kids' Chance of South Dakota offers higher education scholarships to children of severely or fatally injured employees. Visit for more information and the scholarship application form (in Adobe PDF format). Please note, this information is provided as a courtesy to Kids' Chance of South Dakota; the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation is not involved in this scholarship program.


The information provided on this page should in no way be considered legal advice. For specific information about your legal rights, you should consult your personal attorney. If you have a general question, contact us.