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.

Partners

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.

Children

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).

Other entitlements

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.

Further information

WorkSafe provides the following publications to help families affected by a work-related death.