Alabama Court Holds Adult Child is not a Partial Dependent Despite Receiving Regular Financial Support
On August 22, 2014, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals released an opinion wherein it considered whether an adult child can be considered a partial dependent for purposes of receiving death benefits. In Donna Banks v. Premier Service Company, Inc., it was stipulated by the parties that the 22 year old child received regular financial support from her father prior to his death. The Trial Court noted in its final order that the adult child was not working but pursuing a double major at college. Since there was no evidence that the adult child was physically or mentally handicapped, the Court held that she did not qualify as a partial dependent. Interestingly, the Court hinted that it might have ruled differently for the grandchild but could not do so since the child was not a party to the lawsuit.
The Court of Appeals agreed noting that the same would hold true even if the adult child was totally dependent upon a deceased worker for support.
The Court noted that the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act provides that a child is considered a dependent until the age of 18. This is different that the recognized age of majority in Alabama which is 19. When determining the dependency status of a teen, it is important that you apply the correct cut off age.
About the Author
This article was written by Michael I. Fish, Esq. of Fish Nelson & Holden LLC, a law firm dedicated to representing employers, self-insured employers and insurance carriers in workers' compensation matters. Fish Nelson is a member of The National Workers' Compensation Network (NWCDN). If you have any questions about this article or Alabama workers' compensation issues in general, please feel free to contact the author at
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