The loss of a loved one due to a workplace injury is a very stressful and emotional period. If a worker dies as a result of a work injury, compensation is payable under the Workers Compensation Act 1987.
To be eligible to claim compensation the worker must have died from an injury arising out of or in the course of employment.
What can be claimed?
Where a worker dies as a result of a work injury compensation can be claimed including the following:
- A lump sum death benefit (currently $798,100.00) which is apportioned amongst any dependents;
- Payments of weekly compensation, for each dependent child of the deceased until they attain 16 years of age or where they are a student, until they attain the age of 21 years;
- Funeral expenses of up to $15,000.00.
"Dependents of a worker" is defined to include such members of the workers family as were wholly or in partially dependent for support on the worker at the time of the worker's death, or would but for the incapacity due to the injury have been so dependent. This may include parents and children of the worker, a divorced spouse, a de facto spouse (including a same sex partner). A dependent may have be financially dependent on the deceased worker or dependent upon the deceased work for care and physical support.
Where there is more than one dependent upon the deceased at the time of their death, the apportionment of the lump sum death benefit is determined by the Workers Compensation Commission, even where there is an agreement between the parties themselves. An application for apportionment may also be made to the NSW Trustee & Guardian however they may decline to deal with the apportionment and refer the matter to the Workers Compensation Commission.
The Workers Compensation Commission will consider financial support, non-financial support, whether the dependent was living in the same household, and the facts relating to the relationship and support provided by the worker to each dependent. Each case is different and individual facts of the dependency will be considered prior to any apportionment being determined.
No amount of compensation will alleviate the loss of a loved one however should you require assistance in relation to a compensation matter arising from the death of a loved one, please do not hesitate to contact one of the members of our compensation team in Bathurst, Lithgow or Oberon on 1800 650 656.
Angus Edwards | Principal