48-122. Compensation; injuries causing death; amount and duration of payments; computation of wages; expenses of burial; alien dependents; appointment of attorney in fact; bond; filing required.

(1) If death results from injuries and the deceased employee leaves one or more dependents dependent upon his or her earnings for support at the time of injury, the compensation, subject to section 48-123, shall be not more than the maximum weekly income benefit specified in section 48-121.01 nor less than the minimum weekly income benefit specified in section 48-121.01, except that if at the time of injury the employee receives wages of less than the minimum weekly income benefit specified in section 48-121.01, then the compensation shall be the full amount of such wages per week, payable in the amount and to the persons enumerated in section 48-122.01 subject to the maximum limits specified in this section and section 48-122.03.

(2) When death results from injuries suffered in employment, if immediately prior to the accident the rate of wages was fixed by the day or hour, or by the output of the employee, the weekly wages shall be taken to be computed upon the basis of a workweek of a minimum of five days, if the wages are paid by the day, or upon the basis of a workweek of a minimum of forty hours, if the wages are paid by the hour, or upon the basis of a workweek of a minimum of five days or forty hours, whichever results in the higher weekly wage, if the wages are based on the output of the employee.

(3) Upon the death of an employee, resulting through personal injuries as defined in section 48-151, whether or not there are dependents entitled to compensation, the reasonable expenses of burial, not exceeding eleven thousand dollars, without deduction of any amount previously paid or to be paid for compensation or for medical expenses, shall be paid to his or her dependents, or if there are no dependents, then to his or her personal representative. Beginning in 2023, the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court shall annually adjust the dollar limitation in this subsection. The adjusted limitation shall be equal to the then current limitation adjusted by the greater of one percent or the percentage change, for the preceding year, in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, as prepared by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Any adjustment shall be effective on July 1. The adjustment shall not exceed two and three-quarters percent per annum. If the amount so adjusted is not a multiple of one hundred dollars, the amount shall be rounded to the nearest multiple of one hundred dollars.

(4) Compensation under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act to alien dependents who are not residents of the United States shall be the same in amount as is provided in each case for residents, except that at any time within one year after the death of the injured employee the employer may at his or her option commute all future installments of compensation to be paid to such alien dependents. The amount of the commuted payment shall be determined as provided in section 48-138.

(5)(a)(i) Except as provided in subdivision (5)(a)(ii) of this section, the consular officer of the nation of which the employee, whose injury results in death, is a citizen shall be regarded as the sole legal representative of any alien dependents of the employee residing outside of the United States and representing the nationality of the employee.

(ii) At any time prior to the final settlement, a nonresident alien dependent may file with the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court a power of attorney designating any suitable person residing in this state to act as attorney in fact in proceedings under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act. If the compensation court determines that the interests of the nonresident alien dependent will be better served by such person than by the consular officer, the compensation court shall appoint such person to act as attorney in fact in such proceedings. In making such determination the court shall consider, among other things, whether a consular officer's jurisdiction includes Nebraska and the responsiveness of the consular officer to attempts made by an attorney representing the employee to engage such consular officer in the proceedings.

(b) Such consular officer or appointed person shall have in behalf of such nonresident alien dependents the exclusive right to institute proceedings for, adjust, and settle all claims for compensation provided by the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act and to receive the distribution to such nonresident alien dependents of all compensation arising thereunder.

(c) A person appointed under subdivision (5)(a)(ii) of this section shall furnish a bond satisfactory to the compensation court conditioned upon the proper application of any money received as compensation under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act. Before the bond is discharged, such appointed person shall file with the compensation court a verified account of receipts and disbursements of such money.

(d) For purposes of this section, consular officer means a consul general, vice consul general, or vice consul or the representative of any such official residing within the State of Nebraska.

(6) The changes made to this section by Laws 2019, LB418, apply to cases under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act that are pending on September 1, 2019, and to cases filed on or after such date.

Source:Laws 1913, c. 198, § 22, p. 588; R.S.1913, § 3663; Laws 1917, c. 85, § 8, p. 205; Laws 1919, c. 91, § 3, p. 232; C.S.1922, § 3045; C.S.1929, § 48-122; Laws 1935, c. 57, § 40, p. 209; C.S.Supp.,1941, § 48-122; R.S.1943, § 48-122; Laws 1945, c. 112, § 2, p. 361; Laws 1949, c. 160, § 2, p. 406; Laws 1951, c. 152, § 2, p. 620; Laws 1953, c. 162, § 2, p. 509; Laws 1955, c. 186, § 2, p. 530; Laws 1957, c. 203, § 2, p. 713; Laws 1957, c. 204, § 2, p. 719; Laws 1959, c. 223, § 2, p. 787; Laws 1963, c. 284, § 2, p. 850; Laws 1963, c. 285, § 2, p. 858; Laws 1965, c. 279, § 2, p. 803; Laws 1967, c. 288, § 2, p. 786; Laws 1969, c. 393, § 2, p. 1381; Laws 1971, LB 320, § 2; Laws 1973, LB 193, § 2; Laws 1974, LB 710, § 2; Laws 1975, LB 198, § 2; Laws 1977, LB 275, § 2; Laws 1978, LB 446, § 2; Laws 1979, LB 114, § 2; Laws 1981, LB 234, § 1; Laws 1983, LB 158, § 2; Laws 1985, LB 608, § 2; Laws 1986, LB 811, § 39; Laws 1997, LB 853, § 1; Laws 2012, LB738, § 1; Laws 2019, LB418, § 1; Laws 2020, LB963, § 2.
Operative Date: July 1, 2021