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Death Benefits & Dependency Claims (Life Insurance)

A ‘death benefit’ is another name for ‘life insurance’ which becomes payable upon death of the policy holder. All Australian superannuation funds are required by law to offer death benefits or life insurance as part of each person’s superannuation policy.

We realise it is often difficult to deal with issues such as these in the circumstances of the passing of a loved one. It is important that you give yourself enough time to grieve. However, strict time limits apply to make a claim.

If the loss of life occurred due to negligence through a motor vehicle accident or a workplace tragedy, you may also have an additional avenue to claim compensation via the at fault vehicle’s CTP insurance or the workers’ compensation insurance scheme respectively. To maximise damages payable and reduce legal costs, we recommend claiming compensation through all available avenues at the same time.

The impact of loss can manifest in various personal and practical ways including on the financial circumstances of those left behind. Finances can take a big hit particularly if the deceased was a major breadwinner for the family. A death benefit claim through life insurance, or a dependency claim through a civil action, often prove invaluable to help dependants of the deceased not sink under unexpected financial pressure.

Roche Legal’s compassionate lawyers are here to assist navigating the claims process. We makre sure sure that the most amount of compensation payable by law is paid.

If you would like a free chat, or for one of our solicitors to visit you at your home or any other location, simply phone us as we are more than happy to do so.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will you run my dependency claim No Win No Fee?

Yes. Roche Legal offers No Win No Fee representation to everyone with a qualifying dependency claim. Contact us for a free initial consultation. We have offices in Brisbane, Springwood, and the Sunshine Coast.

Am I entitled to make a death benefit or life insurance claim?

You must be a dependant of the deceased i.e. spouse, defacto partner, children, and other financial dependants. The amount of death benefits is calculated by adding the amount of money in the superannuation account of the deceased to any life insurance cover the superannuation may provide.

Note: There may be different rules in relation to ‘defined benefit funds’.

We can help you find out If you have a claim for death benefits, by contacting the deceased’s super fund and discussing the situation. We will obtain the relevant superannuation and insurance policies to determine what your full entitlement is.

What documents should I have ready?

To determine your level of dependency, we require the following from you:

  1. Proof of dependency: marriage certificate or documents which demonstrate a de facto status.
  2. Proof of death: the death certificate.
  3. Proof of any funeral expenses and associated costs.
  4. Tax documents: both the deceased’s and your tax returns for the three years prior to the accident.

I need emotional support, who can I turn to?

Needing emotional support is completely normal and there are many options available to you in Queensland:

  • Solace Australia – Support for widows and widowers. Helping the bereaved, Loss of a partner, Helping to understand grief reactions. Meetings take place in Chermside, Garden City, and Broadbeach.
  • 24 hour help lines:
    • GriefLine – This service offers an online messaging service accessible 24 hours, 7 days a week, from anywhere in Australia. The approximate time for a response from the counsellors is 72 hours from the time you contact them.
    • 13 HEALTH – Phone advice and referral information about health concerns, including counselling services. Phone: 13 43 25 84.
    • KidsHelpLine – Counselling services for children and young people by telephone, internet or email. Phone: 1800 55 1800.
    • Lifeline – Counselling services for issues including grief and loss provided by telephone or face-to-face by appointment. Phone: 13 11 14.
    • Mensline – Support, information and referral for men with family, relationship or other concerns. Phone: 1300 78 99 78.

This commentary is published by Roche Legal for general information purposes only and should not be relied on as specific advice. The content relates to Queensland law only and is subject to change over time. You should seek legal advice for any question, or for any specific situation or proposal, before making any decision.