Civil Partner is not Spouse and Not Eligible to Collect Workers Comp Death Benefit

A NY appellate court has ruled in Matter of Langan v. State Farm that a partner to a civil union is not a marital spouse and therefore not eligible to collect death benefits as a surviving spouse under NY’s Workers Compensation Law. The court ruled that a civil union – although a recognized legal relationship – is not a marriage and any change in the awarding of workers compensation benefits is for the Legislature to decide.