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Death and funeral benefits

If an employee’s death is the direct result of a work-related injury or illness, compensation may be payable to the person’s dependants.

What payments are available?

Payments may include:

  • a lump sum payment to dependants* who were financially dependent on the deceased
  • fortnightly payments for each child who was a dependant of the employee at the date of death and is under the age of 16, or aged between 16 and 25 and receiving full-time education and not working
  • payment or re-imbursement of funeral expenses.

* A dependant, in relation to a deceased employee, means a person who was wholly or partly dependent on the employee at the date of the employee’s death, such as:

(a) the employee’s spouse, father, mother, step‑father, step‑mother, father‑in‑law, mother‑in‑law, grandfather, grandmother, son, daughter, step‑son, step‑daughter, grandson, grand‑daughter, brother, sister, half‑brother or half‑sister

(b) a person to whom the employee stood in the position of a parent or who stood in the position of a parent to the employee.

The current statutory rates for lump sum, funeral and fortnightly payments can be found on Comcare’s Statutory rates webpage.

How do I make a claim for lump-sum death and funeral benefits?

If you wish to claim for the death of a Commonwealth or ACT Government employee, please follow these steps:

1. Complete the Claim for compensation for a work-related death form.

2. Attach the following documents to the form:

  • a copy of the death certificate
  • evidence of employment 
  • if there are dependants, a copy of the marriage certificate for a spouse and birth certificates for children
  • copies of any other documents that help establish relationship and dependency details, for example rent/rates notices, bank statements in joint names.

3. Send the form and attachments to Comcare, GPO Box 9905, Canberra ACT 2601.

What happens after I submit a claim?

All claims for work-related deaths are managed by Comcare's Asbestos and Lump Sum team.

Once Comcare receives your application we will register and acknowledge it within 48 hours. If you don’t receive an acknowledgement within one week of lodgement, please contact Comcare on 1300 366 979 or by email to general.enquiries@comcare.gov.au.

You can call our Asbestos and Lump Sum team on 1300 366 979 or email asbestos.andlumpsum@comcare.gov.au.

Our initial investigations may require contact with the following:

  • health professionals, hospital or other health institution
  • the deceased’s employer
  • any other relevant third party (or insurer) we consider may have contributed to the injury.

Comcare will contact you or your solicitor (if you are legally represented) at regular intervals to inform you of the progress of your claim.

Comcare will make a determination (decision) once we have all the available evidence.

How long will it take to decide my claim?

Comcare determines all claims as quickly as possible. However, each case is considered on its own merits and delays can occur, especially where additional information is required.

As stated above, we will contact you or your solicitor at regular intervals about your claim’s progress.

What are the possible outcomes of a claim?

A determination of a claim for work-related death may:

  • accept liability for death of the deceased and accept liability for payment of lump sum and funeral expenses

or

  • accept liability for death of the deceased and accept liability for payment of funeral expenses, but deny liability for a payment of a lump sum (if there are no financially-dependent dependants)

or

  • reject liability for death of the deceased.

How will I find out the decision?

Comcare will let you know the decision in writing and we will also ring you. Please contact us at any time if you want to discuss or clarify any aspects of the determination letter.

What if I’m not happy with the outcome?

If either you or the deceased’s former employer disagrees with Comcare’s decision, then either party can apply to Comcare’s Review team and ask for the determination to be reconsidered.

You need to lodge an application for reconsideration within 30 days of Comcare’s decision. If you require an extension of time, please contact our Reviews team.

For more information, see our Reconsiderations and reviews webpage.

Can I provide feedback on the claim process?

We value your constructive feedback. If you would like to comment on the management of your claim, you can provide feedback by mail to Comcare, GPO Box 9905, Canberra ACT 2601, or by emailing us at asbestos.andlumpsum@comcare.gov.au.

Page last updated: 29 Oct 2014