Estela Gutierrez and Maria Sota Vda De Talamantes, as co-personal representatives of the Estate of Bernardo Talamantes (Talamantes), brought a wrongful death action against Kent Nowlin Construction Company. The matter was heard before a jury, which returned a verdict in favor of the Talamantes’ Estate for $175,000. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court, and we reverse the Court of Appeals.
The dispositive issue raised on certiorari is: Whether the New Mexico Workmen’s Compensation Act, §§ 52-1-1 through 52-1-69, N.M.S.A. 1978 (Orig.Pamp. & Cum. Supp.1981), is an exclusive remedy, thereby precluding a wrongful death action brought by relatives or dependents not residents of the United States at the time of the deceased’s injury.
Talamantes died in the course of and in the scope of his' employment with Nowlin. Nowlin’s workmen’s compensation carrier paid all medical bills and funeral expenses but would not pay benefits to his dependents or relatives because they were residents of the Republic of Mexico at the time of Talamantes’ death.
Nowlin argues that the Workmen’s Compensation Act is an exclusive remedy and therefore recovery is limited to the Act. §§ 52-1-8 and 52-1-9, N.M.S.A.1978. Since the Act specifically denies recovery for the worker’s dependents or relatives residing outside of the United States at the time of injury, § 52-1-52, N.M.S.A.1978, the personal representatives of the estate are entitled to nothing. The wrongful death action was therefore improper, and the motion for summary judgment in the *390guise of a motion for failure to state a claim should have been granted.
Gutierrez, on the other hand, relies on our opinion Pedrazza v. Sid Fleming Con., Inc., 94 N.M. 59, 607 P.2d 597 (1980). The decedent in Pedrazza was a Mexican national employed in New Mexico, and he was killed in the course of his employment. His surviving dependents were all non-resident aliens and challenged Section 52-1-52 as unconstitutional. That provision reads:
Compensation shall be exempt from claim of creditors and from any attachment, garnishment or execution, and shall be paid only to such workman or his personal representative, or such other persons as the court may, under the terms hereof, appoint to receive or collect the same. No claim or judgment for compensation, under this■ act, shall accrue to or he recovered by relatives or dependents not residents of the United States at the time of the injury of such workman. [Emphasis added.]
We upheld the constitutionality of this provision and the bar to benefits under the Act. We went on to say:
This opinion does not deny' plaintiffs other avenues of recovery. The worker and his dependents are independent of and take separately from one another under the Act. Therefore, the bar against using other legal remedies to recover for the injury or death of a worker cannot be raised against those dependents not covered by the Act.
Pedrazza v. Sid Fleming Contractor, Inc., supra at 63, 607 P.2d at 601. The Court of Appeals relied on our language and affirmed the decision of the trial court.
We begin by analyzing the intent and purpose behind the Act. Before the advent of workmen’s compensation acts, employees had little hope in recovering monetary judgments under common law torts. W. Prosser, Law of Torts § 80 (4th ed. 1971). Approximately seventy to ninety-four percent of all labor casualties received no compensation under the common law. 1 E. Blair, Reference Guide to Workmen’s Compensation Law 1-1 (1968). To ameliorate this hardship, our Legislature passed the Workmen’s Compensation Act. Gonzales v. Chino Copper Co., 29 N.M. 228, 222 P. 903 (1924). The exclusive remedy provisions are a balance between the worker’s need for expeditious payment and the employer’s need to limit liability. See Roseberry v. Phillips Petroleum Company, 70 N.M. 19, 369 P.2d 403 (1962); Prosser, supra.
With this background, we are asked to interpret whether Section 52-1-52, which denies recovery under the Act to worker’s relatives or dependents living outside the United States, falls within the exclusive remedy provisions of the Act. The pertinent parts of the exclusive remedy provisions state:
Any employer who has complied with the provisions of the Workmen’s Compensation Act * * * shall not be subject to any other liability whatsoever for the death of or personal injury to any employee, except as provided in the Workmen’s Compensation Act, and all causes of action, actions at law, suits in equity and proceedings whatever, and all statutory and common-law rights and remedies for and on account of such death of, or personal injury to, any such employee and accruing to any and all persons whomsoever, are hereby abolished except as provided in the Workmen’s Compensation Act. [Emphasis added.]
§ 51-1-8(C), N.M.S.A.1978.
The right to the compensation provided for in this act [is] in lieu of any other liability whatsoever to any and all persons whomsoever, for * * * death resulting therefrom. * * * [Emphasis added.]
§ 52-1-9, N.M.S.A.1978.
“When the words of the statute are clear and unambiguous, we are bound by their plain meaning.” Federal Land Bank of Wichita v. Burgett, 97 N.M. 519, 641 P.2d 1066 (1982). The plain meaning of these provisions is that the Act is an exclusive remedy, unless otherwise provided for in the Act. The Act does not make an exception, and we will not create one. Our language in Pedrazza was dicta. Dictum is unnecessary to the holding of a case and *391therefore is not binding as a rule of law. Rocky Mountain Life Insurance Company v. Reidy, 69 N.M. 36, 363 P.2d 1031 (1961). We hold that resident dependents residing outside the United States at the time of the worker’s injury are barred from pursuing their common law remedies due to the exclusive remedy provisions under the Act. To hold otherwise would subject employers to unlimited liability and defeat the underlying principles of the Act.
Since we have held that the motion for summary judgment should have been granted, we do not reach the other issues raised on certiorari.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
FEDERICI and RIORDAN, JJ., concur.
SOSA, Senior Justice, dissents.
PAYNE, J., respectfully dissents without opinion.