My husband was the main income provider for my family but he was killed in a workplace accident; can you please explain ‘death dependency claims’?

Legislation is in place to help protect the interests of those who lose a person on whom they were financially dependent. If you were financially dependent on your spouse, and he died at work as a result of a workplace injury, then you may be eligible for a dependency lump sum compensation payout. These types of claims, which are usually referred to as “death dependency claims” or “fatal claims”, are not limited to workplace fatalities, but also include where the person on whom you were dependent dies in a road accident, in a public place or in an aviation accident.

Eligibility for death dependency claims

If your spouse died at work while carrying out the duties of his employment, and it was not due to his own negligence, then any person who was dependent on his income, including yourself and your children, is generally eligible to claim. Multiple claims may be made at the same time.

Compensation available

A lump sum payout of this type may include compensation for the financial contributions the deceased would have made to you and your family had they not passed away, funeral expenses, and the value of domestic services no longer provided to you by the deceased. The determination of compensation in death dependency claims is subject to the specific circumstances of your case.

How to make your death dependency claim

In Queensland, when a person has died at work or has a latent onset injury, the claim will be made under the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld). Your claim will need to be made to WorkCover Queensland, who will require documents to determine the cause of death, the relationship you had to the deceased, and the level of dependency you had on the deceased.

As this is going to be a difficult time for you and your family, WorkCover encourages that you have a friend or support person present with you when going through the claims process.

If you have lost a loved one in a workplace accident and would like to discuss lodging a compensation claim, contact our offices for a free consultation with one of our Brisbane personal injury lawyers. You can contact our office on (07) 3252 0011 or through our general enquiries page.

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