According to the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 (WA), a family member who is wholly or partially dependent upon financial support from a deceased worker who died as a result of any work-related injury or illness may be able to claim for workers’ compensation.
In Western Australia, all employers are required by law to have a valid and current workers’ compensation insurance covering all their employees for injuries or illness caused at work.
Who may be entitled to compensation?
Compensation can be paid to financially dependent family members, including:
- A current or former partner (spouse or de facto);
- Children; and
- Other family members, but only where there is no dependent partner or children,
What entitlements are available?
Entitlements may include:
- A lump sum entitlement;
- Periodic allowance for dependent children;
- Funeral expenses up to a maximum amount; and
- The worker’s reasonable medical expenses resulting from the workplace injury prior to the worker’s death (also available to non-dependants).
How to make a claim?
To make a claim, the person who is entitled to the compensation must complete a Workplace Fatality Compensation Claim Form. Multiple dependants can be included on the same form.
There are also some related documents that need to be submitted to the insurers which enable them to assess the eligibility and liability for the claim. The required documents include but are not limited to:
1. Documents that determine the cause of death:
- Death Certificate
- In some circumstances, the insurer may request copies of any autopsy report, a Coroner’s report or ambulance, hospital or any other medical related records.
2. Documents that determine the relationship with the deceased worker:
- For a marriage: marriage certificate;
- For a de facto relationship: a statement and any supporting documents;
- For each dependent child: the child’s birth certificate or passport; or
- For a prescribed family member: Evidence as a prescribed family member.
3. Documents that determine the dependence on the deceased worker’s earnings.
4. Other related documents:
- Invoice and/ or quotations for funeral expenses;
- Invoices that relate to the deceased worker’s medical attendance, transportation and treatment incurred for the work-related injury prior to his/ her death; and
- Any other potential claimants.
What if the insurers do not accept the claim?
Generally, if the insurers do not accept the claim, you will be advised of the reason. If you do not agree with the rejection reason from the insurer, you can apply to WorkCover WA’s Arbitration Service.
If your claim is disputed by the insurer, or there are any complications, please seek professional legal advice. Our experienced lawyers at AH2 Legal are always here to assist you with your workers’ compensation claims.