Losing a family member: The first week

A guide to what you may experience as this difficult time unfolds.

Date last updated

Monday 24 Jan 2022

Industries and topics
  • Claims

We're here to support you on this difficult journey

There are many things that you may need to organise after losing a family member. You may need to speak with numerous people and provide a lot of information. Remember you aren't alone, we are here to support you.

We're here to support you on this difficult journey

Things to think about in the first week

Two sets of hands holding.


Everyone's grief is unique. When you lose someone dear to you, it's easy to forget to look after yourself. We can assist you.

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Immediate support payments

We have immediate support packages available to offer you financial assistance and support while you wait for your claim to be processed. We're here to assist and support you where possible throughout this difficult time.

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Work-related death claim

When a family member dies in a workplace, you may be eligible to claim for a number of payments and benefits.

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Funeral entitlements help

There are a number of things you may be entitled to have covered when organising a funeral.

Who will contact me and what role do they play?

In the first few weeks, it is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed with contact by various people. To assist, here is an explanation of each role so you can understand why each contact is important.

  1. Victoria Police
    • notifies the person's closest living relative or relatives (next of kin)
    • reports the death to the Coroner
    • arranges for you, a family member or close friend to identify your family member
    • starts an investigation to establish if any crimes were committed
    • manages the investigation if your family member died in a motor vehicle accident

We understand that this is an emotional time for you and your family. To help support you, we've created a claims checklist of documents you may need to prepare in the first days and weeks.

Taking care of yourself

When navigating difficult times, often looking after yourself can be put to one side. It is important to give yourself the time and space to get through each day by allowing yourself time to breathe and letting family members support you.

Taking care of yourself

Find support with Ask Izzy

Support services you can use any time you need extra support including food parcels, housing help, financial aid, mental wellness, specialty health assistance and counselling.