What support can I get?

Weekly compensation - accidental death

If you relied on financial support from someone who has died from an injury, and ACC cover has been accepted for their death, you may be entitled to weekly compensation as their dependant.

What help can I get?

Dependants include:

  • partners from marriage, civil or de-facto unions who lived together
  • partners who lived apart due to health, employment or imprisonment reasons
  • separated partners who were supported financially by the deceased
  • natural children or children for whom the deceased acted as a parent, ie step children
  • anyone who was financially dependent on the deceased because of a mental or physical disability.

Payment amount

We decide how much you’ll get by determining the ACC payments the deceased would have received if they were injured and had to stop work. This is generally calculated as 80% of the deceased’s earnings. If the deceased was a student and you were dependent on their financial support you may receive weekly compensation as well.

The calculated amount will be divided amongst the survivors:

  • partner: up to 60% of the 80% calculated (of the deceased’s earnings)
  • child under 18: up to 20% of the 80% calculated per child (if under 16 this is paid to the caregiver).
  • child over 18: payments will cease unless the child stays in full-time study
  • other dependants: up to 20% of the amount per other dependant.

If you stop caring for any children or dependants of the deceased before they turn 18, and have been receiving payments for five years or longer, your payments will stop.

If you are a child of the deceased, you’ll continue receiving payments until the end of the year that you turn 18. If you are over 18 and have been studying full-time since you turned 18 you’ll receive support until the earlier of:

  • completing full-time study
  • turning 21.

If you are another dependant of the deceased, your payments will continue until you earn more than the minimum full-time earner rate.

Note:
Superannuation may affect your weekly compensation payments.

If the deceased had purchased ACC CoverPlus Extra this may increase the amount you are entitled to.

What do I need to do?

We’ll usually contact you about weekly compensation payments for accidental death after cover has been confirmed for the deceased. If we haven’t been in contact with you to arrange these entitlements, write to us or phone us to request weekly compensation. We will send you the forms you need to complete.

You may need to confirm your relationship to the deceased with documentary evidence. See Survivor’s grant for more details.

Note:
You can claim for multiple people at once.

How am I eligible?

You are eligible for weekly compensation if you qualify as a spouse, child, or other dependant of the deceased and:

  • ACC has agreed to cover a claim for the accidental death of the deceased
  • At the date of death, the deceased:

To find out how ACC determines if you qualify as a dependant of the deceased, see Survivor’s grant for more details.

How long might ACC take to determine if I am eligible?

The time for processing the initial request for weekly compensation depends on how long it takes to obtain the earnings details of the deceased, and any other relevant information.

Contact us if you have not heard from us within a reasonable period of time.

What happens next?

If your request for weekly compensation is declined, we’ll send you a letter explaining why. If you are unhappy with the decision you can ask for it to be reviewed. See What if I have problems with a claim?

Otherwise you’ll receive payments on a weekly basis. Your ACC client services contact will be your main point of contact. They’ll:

  • manage your claim and inform you of what support ACC can offer
  • inform you of the cut-off date for your support, and manage the extension of your support if your circumstances require it.

Spouses can choose to receive their weekly compensation support in the form of a lump sum (converted amount) instead of weekly payments.

ACC will send you a letter at least six weeks before your payments are due to cease. If your circumstances mean that you can request further support, let us know. For example, you may still be covered if:

  • you’re claiming as a spouse and still caring for a child of the deceased (who is under 18) after 5 years of weekly compensation payments
  • you’re claiming as a child of the deceased and about to turn 18, and you intend to continue full-time study.

If your weekly compensation is extended beyond the minimum timeframes, you must inform us if your situation changes.

Note:
You can begin or continue to contribute money to the government Kiwisaver scheme while receiving weekly compensation.

Contact us for more information.

Related legislation

Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation and Compensation (IRPC) Act 2001

Updated: 18 March 2015

Reviewed: 13 March 2015