Relief for Children of Injured Workers: The Pinnacol Foundation

Sep 2, 2015 | Benefits, WC & Other Laws

Relief for Children of Injured Workers – Workplace injury affects all aspects of a person’s life. Denver disability lawyers and Denver disability attorneys certainly know how invasive workplace injury can be. Happy families are put through the wringer by a system that consistently favors large companies for their job-creating potential, and workers are often caught in a very difficult situation trying to prove themselves against all kinds of unfamiliar factors. In the case of workplace death, effects on a family are catastrophic, whether the work the deceased did at the time of death is considered high-risk or not. Workplace death can rock a family completely to the core. Everyone in the family is affected, from parents to spouses to the children.

Relief for Children of Injured Workers

Children, particularly when their parents are taken out of their lives at a young age, have a few programs that help compensate them for the traumatizing death of a parent. Denver disability attorneys are often familiar with these programs and can help grief-stricken families try to mitigate the damage to their children. A very different approach to this question was taken by Pinnacol Assurance – a workers’ compensation insurance company in Colorado.

The Pinnacol Foundation

Pinnacol is one of the largest workers’ compensation insurance companies in Colorado and is the main provider of workers’ compensation insurance for many different businesses. If you are injured on the job, more often than not, Pinnacol offers insurance to your workplace. In addition to providing insurance for those injured in the workplace, Pinnacol created a foundation in 2000 designed to help the families of workers in Colorado who were killed or maimed in workplace accidents.

The Pinnacol Foundation also grants scholarships to students whose parents were killed on the job. While it would certainly be preferable for most involved to never qualify for such a scholarship, the fact is that when a parent dies or is severely incapacitated at work, a large potential contributor to a child’s college fund goes away. This may seem like a cold way of looking at a tragedy, but accidents and tragedies, unfortunately, occur every day. Pinnacol’s attempt to give children of workers who die in the workplace a fair chance at a good education is a noble and thoughtful response to an obvious and pressing need.

Over the past 15 years, The Pinnacol Foundation has given almost $4 million in scholarships. In 2015, two students from Logan County numbered the 107 Colorado students who received scholarships for the 2015-2016 school year. Allison Owens, who lives in Merino, has received the scholarship for multiple years and attends the University of Northern Colorado. Marc Tapparo, who is from Sterling, also took part in the $393,330.00 awarded to students this year at Colorado State University.

Many of the college students who receive awards from the Pinnacol Foundation are first-generation, which means neither of their parents graduated from higher education establishments. One of the first-generation students, named Abrahan Mota, lost his father at a young age to an accident at a construction site. Mota plans to study to be a doctor after graduating with a double degree in biology and chemistry. He says his plans are due in part to losing his father so young.

Most scholarships through The Pinnacol Foundation are over $3,500.00, and many students receive the scholarship for multiple years, often all the way through their degrees. The funds can be used at any higher learning institution with accreditation, which includes both vocational schools and undergraduate schools. Each student has the right to reapply for up to five years or until they turn 25.

The application for the scholarship includes questions about how severe the parent’s injury was, what the student’s financial need is, how well they did in school, whether they volunteer or work, a recommendation letter, and an essay. The applications are read and accepted from November 1st through February 15th.

More information can be found at:


Additional resource: What if You Die Due to Work Injury? Your Family’s Rights

Do you need help with Relief for Children of Injured Workers

Workers’ Compensation can be difficult, confusing, and very complex. Kaplan Morrell has helped thousands of injured workers since 1997 get the benefits they deserve. Contact us here or call us at 303-780-7329 for your free consultation.

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