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Entitlements following a work-related death

For: Claimants Advocates Information seekers

You may be entitled to financial compensation or assistance following the death of an employee as a result of a work-related injury or illness.


We know it is a difficult time following the death of a loved one.

If you would like to speak with someone about assistance that may be available or steps in this process, call the relevant employer in the first instance.

Employee associations may also be able to provide you with assistance.

The Seacare Helpdesk may be able to assist – email seacare@comcare.gov.au or phone us on (02) 6275 0070.


Eligibility

You may be entitled to compensation if you are a dependant of an employee in the Seacare scheme whose death arose out of or during their employment.

You are a dependant if you depended on the employee, either fully or partly, at the date of their death and:

  • you are their spouse, parent, stepparent, father‑in‑law, mother‑in‑law, grandparent, child, stepchild, grandchild, sibling, or half-sibling, or
  • you stood in the position of their parent, or
  • they stood in the position of parent to you.

Type of payments available

Compensation for injuries resulting in death

As a dependant, you may be eligible for compensation for injuries:

  • a lump sum payment
  • a weekly payment for each dependent child aged under 18, or aged between 18 and 25 who is receiving full-time education and is not working

If the employee dies without leaving dependants, compensation is not payable for injuries apart from accrued medical expenses and funeral expenses.

Cost of the funeral and outstanding medical expenses

Compensation is payable for the cost of the employee’s funeral and outstanding medical expenses.

If the cost of the funeral has already been paid, then compensation is paid to the person who paid for the funeral.

If the cost of the funeral has not yet been paid, then compensation is paid to the person who carried out the funeral.

The amount of compensation for funeral expenses must not exceed:

  • the statutory rate
  • what the employer determines is reasonable, considering the typical cost of a funeral in the location it is carried out
  • any amount paid for the cost of the funeral under any other law of the Commonwealth.

You do not need to be a dependant to claim for the cost of the funeral or outstanding medical expenses.

How to make a claim

You should submit a claim for compensation, as a dependant, as soon as you can with the relevant employer. It may be useful to contact the employer to discuss the process with them.

1. Download the claim form

Download the Claim for Compensation for a Work-related Death form (PDF, 184.2 KB).

The form can also be obtained from the master of the ship or the employer.

If you have any difficulty in completing the form, you should contact the relevant employer in the first instance.

2. Gather required documents

You will need to gather and attach documents to support your claim.

Documents may include:

  • a copy of the death certificate
  • evidence of the person’s employment, such as payroll records
  • a copy of the marriage certificate for a husband or wife who is a dependant
  • a copy of a birth certificate for a child who is a dependant
  • copies of any other documents that help show relationship and dependency. This can include a rental agreement, rates notice, or bank statements in joint names.

3. Submit the form and documents

Submit the claim form and related documents to the employer.

You should keep a copy of the form and information submitted to the employer for your records.

The employer should provide acknowledgement of receipt of the claim form.

After you submit a claim

The employer must make a determination on your claim within 60 days of receiving the claim for compensation.

You will be provided with the decision in writing.

If an employer accepts a claim for death benefits, compensation must be paid within 30 days of the decision. If not, interest is payable on the compensation amount from the end of the 30-day period until the day the compensation is paid.

If you disagree with the determination

If you disagree with a determination, you can ask for it to be reconsidered.

You need to apply for reconsideration within 30 days of receiving notice of the determination or apply for an extension of time.

The employer of the person who died is also able to apply for a reconsideration if they do not agree with the determination.

For more information about this process, see If you disagree with a claim determination.

Page last reviewed: 13 May 2021
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Seacare
GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 | www.seacare.gov.au

Date printed 13 Jun 2021

https://www.seacare.gov.au/claims-rehabilitation/entitlements-following-a-work-related-death