Dependency Claims

The death of a loved one is never easy. From paperwork to planning, between sadness and sorrow, we can all agree that making a compensation claim is the furthest thing from anyone’s mind.

Financial burden is one of the most prevalent struggles when mourning a loss, particularly when family members are partially or wholly financially dependent on the lost life.

In this instance, family members may be entitled to a ‘dependency claim’ if the life was lost due to another’s negligence.

who can make a dependency claim?

A dependency claim can be brought if a family member was financially dependent on the deceased by way of either direct income or services the deceased person provided. The relevant Act defines family as:

  • Spouses, including defactos
  • Parents
  • Children
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  • Grandchildren
  • Step-parents
  • Step-children
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Recoverable damages in these claims are limited to the loss of financial benefits that each independent had reasonable expectation of receiving from the deceased.

 Damages cannot be awarded for the sorrow, grief, or emotional distress of the dependent.


  • Financial benefits previously received by the independent
  • The deceased’s earnings and earning capacity
  • Special needs of the dependent
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    Loss of services
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    Shared benefits

Funeral expenses can also be covered in dependency claims.


Claims for loss of dependency carry time limitations. In addition to this, other, relevant schemes must also be adhered to depending on the aspects of the case. These may include the Motor Accident Insurance Act (1994) and the Work Cover Queensland Act (1996).

As such, these types of claims can be complicated, confusing and time consuming. 

Written by Ashley Tulley | Chief Commercial Officer