Dependency ClaimsPublished on Posted on
Please note that this post was written for Victorian audiences and the information within may not apply to other regions.
Partners and dependents of workers who die from a workplace injury or illness may have an entitlement to support and financial assistance. These entitlements are accessed through a WorkCover Dependency Claim. A claim must be made within 2 years of the death of the worker.
Who can access a Dependency Claim?
To succeed in a Dependency Claim the following must be established:
The worker’s death must have resulted from, or have been materially contributed to by, the workplace injury or illness.
2. Employment Relationship
An employment relationship between the deceased worker and the employer must be demonstrated.
The partner and/or children must have been financially dependent on the deceased worker at the time of death.
A partner will be considered a dependent partner if they were wholly or partially dependent on the deceased worker’s earnings at the time of death. A partner will be considered a deemed dependent partner if they resided with the worker at the time of the worker’s death.
A child of the deceased worker who is under the age of 16 years or is over 16 years but under the age of 25 years and a full-time student or full-time apprentice is a dependent child.
What entitlements are available under a Dependency Claim?
A Dependency Claim provides a range of potential entitlements including:
- Reasonable medical services provided to the worker – for example ambulance, hospital and medical treatment;
- Payment of reasonable burial or cremation expenses up to a maximum of $15,230;
- Reasonable costs for travel and accommodation for immediate family members to attend the burial or cremation up to $5,380;
- Reasonable costs of family counselling services;
- Reimbursement of certain expenses for non-dependent family members;
- Lump sum payments for dependent partners and dependent children;
- Weekly pensions for dependent partners for up to three years; and
- Weekly pensions for dependent children until the age of 16 years, and for children over 16 years but under 25 years whilst a full-time student or full-time apprentice.
In addition to the entitlements outlined above, Common Law damages may be available where the worker’s death was caused by the negligence of the employer and/or a third Party.
How can we assist you?
At Zaparas Lawyers we understand the grief and devastation the workplace death of a loved one causes, and the financial uncertainty that often results. We are experienced at compassionately and expertly assisting our clients to maximise their entitlements under a Dependency Claim. We also have a dedicated Superannuation team who can assist with exploring other potential entitlements that may be available.