Entitlements following a work-related death

Information for families and dependants after a work-related death.

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Overview

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.

Depending on the circumstances, the following payments may be available:

  • medical and like services provided to the deceased worker
  • counselling services for immediate family members
  • funeral (burial or cremation) expenses, including repatriation costs, if required
  • travel and accommodation expenses for family members to attend a burial or cremation service if held more than 100km from their normal residence
  • lump sum payments for dependent partners, children, orphans or other dependants
  • weekly pensions for dependent partners, children or orphans
  • reimbursement of expenses incurred by non-dependent family members if the expenses caused financial hardship
  • damages under the Wrongs Act 1958

In most cases, a claim for compensation must be completed and lodged with the deceased worker's employer.

Medical services

Medical and like services

WorkSafe can pay reasonable costs for medical and like services provided to the deceased worker such as ambulance, hospital and medical treatment.

Counselling services

WorkSafe can pay reasonable costs for counselling services for immediate family members by a medical practitioner, registered psychologist or a social worker (approved by WorkSafe), up to $6,990.* shared between all immediate family members.

Funeral service

WorkSafe can pay reasonable costs for:

  • burial or cremation services, (this may include a wake or gathering), up to $15,230
  • repatriation (transportation) expenses to return the deceased worker to their home state or country for burial or cremation, up to $15,000
  • travel and accommodation expenses for immediate family members to attend a burial or cremation service if held more than 100km from their normal residence, up to $5,520* shared between eligible family members.

Lump sum payments

Lump sum payments may be made to dependent partners and children of a worker who has died as a result of a work-related injury or illness. The total amount available for dependants is $660,970* and is shared between all eligible dependants as determined.

Pension payments

Partners

In addition to the lump sum payment, a dependent 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

Pension amount is 95 per cent of the worker's pre-injury average weekly earnings (PIAWE) to a maximum of $2,590** a week; this amount is equally shared between partners if there is more than one dependent partner.

From 14 weeks to three years

Pension amount is 50 per cent of the worker's PIAWE, to a maximum combined amount of $2,590** a week; this amount is equally shared between partners if there is more than one dependent partner.

Children

In addition to the lump sum, dependent children may also receive a weekly pension from 14 weeks after the date of death until the child turns 16 years of age. After a child turns 16, the pension will continue to age 25 if the child is a full-time student, a full-time apprentice or living with a disability (meeting the threshold outlined in the Disability Act 2006).

For less than five children

Each child will receive 5 per cent of the worker's PIAWE, to a maximum combined amount of $2,590** a week.

For more than five children

Each child will receive an equal share of 25 per cent of the worker's PIAWE, to a maximum combined amount of $2,590** a week.

For orphan children

Where the only surviving dependants are orphan children, in addition to the lump sum, they can receive a weekly pension at the amounts equivalent to those for a dependent partner, from the date of the worker’s death until the orphan child turns16 years of age. After the orphan child turns 16, the pension will continue to age 25 if the orphan child is a full time student, a full time apprentice or living with a disability (meeting the threshold outlined in the Disability Act 2006) up to a maximum combined amount of $2,590**per week.

Note: pension calculation methods shown may change depending on individual circumstances.

Other entitlements

Further entitlements include:

  • where a deceased worker leaves no dependent partner or children, a lump sum payment may be made to other dependants (such as parents or siblings) of a worker who has died as a result of a work-related injury or illness. The total amount available is up to $660,970*, shared between all eligible dependants and determined by the Magistrates' Court. No weekly pension is paid
  • where a deceased worker leaves no dependants, non-dependent family members may apply to the Magistrates' Court for reimbursement of expenses incurred as a result of the work‐related death if the expenses caused financial hardship, up to $39,430*
  • damages of up to $1,120,960* under the Wrongs Act recovered by dependants. Any paid WorkSafe entitlements are deducted from damages obtained under the Wrongs Act.

* Amounts are indexed annually; those provided apply to deaths that occur on or after 1 July 2022.

** Amounts are indexed annually; those provided apply to claims made on or after 5 April 2010 and to payments from 1 July 2022.

Note: for prior amounts, please contact the WorkSafe agent or call WorkSafe's Advisory service.