What support can I get?

Childcare payments following accidental death

When a parent dies as the result of an injury caused by an accident, ACC can often help with the costs of caring for children.

Childcare payments are made to the caregiver of the children, for a maximum of five years from the deceased’s date of death (or the birth of an eligible dependent child after the death) or until the child turns 14, which ever is first.

If a child has a disability we can reassess the case when the child turns 14 to determine if payments should continue, however we cannot pay child care for more than five years.

Only children in New Zealand are eligible for childcare payments. All childcare payments are non-taxable.

What do I need to do to get help?

Our staff members are understanding, flexible and will help you to make the claim and collect the information required.

Someone outside the immediate family can make the claim, eg:

  • a friend
  • member of your extended family and whanau
  • the funeral director
  • your minister or priest.

    The forms must be signed by the Executor of the Will or if no will, by the next of kin of the deceased.

We have Māori, Pacific and Asian advisors who can provide support and help. We understand this can be a very difficult time for people, so we do everything we can to make claim process simple.


Before we can make any payments, we have to confirm the death is covered by ACC. The first step is to contact the nearest ACC office and make a claim. For more information about making a claim, see Injury causing death.

You may need to provide us with the following information to confirm the children’s relationship with the deceased:

If you are claiming for a…

then we may ask for…

child by birth

  • a birth certificate naming the deceased as a parent

child by adoption

  • a birth certificate
  • adoption papers showing date of birth and the deceased as an adopting parent


  • a birth certificate
  • marriage certificate of parents or information to support a de facto relationship
  • proof that the deceased acted as a parent, including supporting letters from relevant people to confirm the deceased acted as a parent, eg school, GP, sporting or community groups

child of the deceased not by birth, adoption or marriage

  • a birth certificate
  • proof that the deceased acted as a parent, including supporting letters from relevant people to confirm the deceased acted as a parent, eg school, GP, sporting or community groups
  • proof that the deceased financially supported the child

Confirmation is required of who the childcare arranger is. This is normally the surviving parent or the guardian of the children who provides the day to day care of the child

The childcare arranger will need to confirm they are responsible for the children and give us their bank account number.

How do we decide if a child is eligible?

After we’ve confirmed that a claim for accidental death is acceptable, we’ll need to confirm the status of each child of the deceased.

Payments for childcare are made to the person who arranges the childcare (provides the day-to-day care) for the children. This is normally the surviving spouse or guardian of the children.

We consider the nature of the relationship of the deceased with a child to determine if they were a parent. For a child to be eligible for childcare payments they need to be:

  • the natural or biological child of the deceased
  • an adopted child of the deceased
  • a foster child, stepchild or other child where the deceased acted as their parent
  • under 14 years of age to qualify for childcare.


Children need to be in New Zealand. Children who live or move overseas or go on holiday overseas are not eligible for childcare payments whilst they are outside New Zealand.

The help you’ll get depends on your individual circumstances. Contact us to confirm if you’re eligible, or to identify other ways in which we can help.

How long might we take to determine if a child is eligible?

After a cover decision is made, we’ll make a childcare entitlement decision as soon as we receive all of the required information. However, if there is a delay we’ll contact you to let you know.

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

Ceasing childcare payments

We’ll continue to make childcare payments until the earlier of:

  • five years after the start date of the child’s entitlement
  • the child turns 14.

We’ll review a case, if the maximum five year payment period has not been reached and a child has reached 14 years of age, if the child has a mental or physical disability. Childcare payments will cease unless the child needs continued care because of the condition. We’ll write to the childcare arranger and let them know the date that the payments will finish.

When someone dies as a result of an injury there are other ways that ACC may be able to help, see:

If you are unhappy with the decision, you can ask for it to be reviewed. See What if I have problems with a claim?

What happens next?

Once we’ve confirmed that the child is eligible for childcare payments, we’ll write to their caregiver to let them know.

We’ll begin to make childcare payments by direct credit to the caregiver’s bank account. We’ll date our payments from the date of death of the deceased. If the child was born after the deceased died and we accept the child as a child of the deceased, we’ll make payments from the date the child was born.

Childcare payments are non-taxable however they can affect Work and Income (external link) payments, so we recommend you contact them to discuss how this may affect you.

When you are receiving payments for a child you must notify us if that child leaves your care.

Related legislation

Accident Compensation (AC) Act 2001:

Updated: 21 August 2015

Reviewed: 19 August 2015