Entitlements following a work related death
WorkSafe provides support and financial assistance to those who qualify following the death of a worker as a result of a work-related injury or illness.
WorkSafe can pay:
- Medical services provided to the deceased worker such as ambulance, hospital and medical treatment
- Burial or cremation expenses
- Family counselling services
- Lump sum payments for dependants
- Weekly pensions for dependant partners, children or orphans
- Damages under the Wrongs Act 1958 (the Wrongs Act)
- Non dependant family members for reimbursement of expenses in cases of financial hardship.
Lump sum payments
Lump sum payments may be made to dependants of a worker who has died as a result of a work-related injury or illness. A dependency claim must be completed and lodged with the deceased worker's employer. This information sheet is provided to assist in this process.
Lump sum payments are set at $578,760* to be shared between all eligible dependants.
In addition to the lump sum payment, a partner may receive a weekly pension for three years from the date of the worker's death:
- For the first 13 weeks after the date of death - 95% of the worker's pre-injury average weekly earnings, to a maximum of $2110* a week.
- From 14 weeks to three years - 50% of the worker's pre-injury average weekly earnings, to a maximum of $2110* a week.
Dependent children may also receive a weekly pension:
- From 14 weeks until the child turns 16 (and between 16 to 25 years if the child is a full time student or full time apprentice) - 5% of the worker's pre-injury average weekly earnings.
- For more than five children - up to a maximum of 25% of the worker's pre-injury average weekly earnings, to be shared amongst the children.
Where the only surviving dependants are orphan children, they can receive pension amounts (equivalent to those for a surviving partner) up to 16 years of age (and between 16 to 25 years if the orphan is a full time student or full time apprentice).
Where a deceased worker leaves no dependants, non-dependant family members may be able to receive reimbursement of expenses in cases of financial hardship up to $34,520*.
Dependants are able to recover damages of up to $921,400* under the Wrongs Act. WorkSafe entitlements are deducted from any damages obtained under the Wrongs Act.
* The maximum applies to those claims made on or after 5 April 2010. These amounts are indexed annually. The figures provided are correct as at 1 July 2015.
WorkSafe provides the following publications to help families affected by a work-related death.