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Payments in the event of death

The insurer may pay funeral expenses and other support payments if a worker’s death was the result of a work related injury.

Lump sum compensation may also be payable for a work related death.

The insurer, when notified of the death, should write to the worker’s family or the family’s legal representative to advise compensation may be payable.  As soon as the insurer has determined liability the family or legal representative will be advised.

The following sources of information can help determine liability if required:

  • information from the employer and witnesses
  • any factual information
  • the death certificate
  • treating medical records
  • the coroner’s or autopsy report
  • the police report.

In the event the insurer accepts liability for a work related death:

  • dependants of a worker whose death as result of a work related injury occurred on or after 24 October 2007 are entitled to:
    • a lump sum payment (currently $781,900)
    • weekly payments ($140 per week) for each dependent child up to the age of 16 (or 21 if they are in full-time education)
    • reasonable funeral expenses
  • dependants of a worker whose death as a result of a workplace injury occurred before 24 October 2007 are entitled to:
    • a proportion of the lump sum payment applicable to their degree of dependency on the worker at the date of death
    • weekly payments for each dependent child up to the age of 16 (or 21 if they are in full-time education)
    • reasonable funeral expenses
  • death benefits payable for a worker whose death was as a result of a work related injury received before 30 June 1987 include:
    • a lump sum
    • weekly payments for each dependent child up to the age of 16 (or 21 if they are in full-time education)

What funeral expenses the insurer will pay for

Funeral expenses are limited to a maximum amount of $15,000 and may include the:

  • funeral director's professional fees
  • cost of the funeral service (including cremation or burial)
  • coffin
  • mourning car
  • cemetery site
  • flowers
  • newspaper notice
  • death certificate

The insurer may in addition pay expenses for the cost of transporting the worker’s body.

In the event the funeral expenses are in relation to claims under the Workers’ Compensation (Dust Diseases) Act 1942 or the Workers Compensation (Bush Fire, Emergency and Rescue Services) Act 1987, the maximum amount payable is $9,000 and can include items listed above.

Further information

Read section B7 in the guidelines for claiming workers compensation for more information.

Lump sum death benefit payments

The current lump sum death benefit amount in the event of death as a result of a work related injury/accident is $781,900. This is indexed twice per year in April and October. The lump sum benefit payable is the amount that is applicable at the date of the worker's death.

Where there is only one dependant (whether wholly or partly dependent), the full lump sum benefit goes to that dependant. For more than one dependant, the full lump sum benefit must be apportioned between all dependants. The Workers Compensation Commission is responsible for making a determination of apportionment.

Dependent children

A dependent child can be a worker’s child or step child who was wholly or partially dependent on them for support at the time of the worker's death.