Financial support for bereaved families

Overview: Who can we go to for financial support?

If the deceased’s family or whānau can’t afford to pay for the funeral or tangihanga, they’ll need to go in to their local Work and Income office and apply for a grant.

If the death has been brought about by an accident, ACC can provide a range of payments, including funeral grants and survivor’s grants for the partner and children.

Whānau may also be able to access other funding through their iwi organisations or other sources.

Funeral/tangihanga costs

Who can provide funding for the funeral or tangihanga?

You may be able to get help for the costs of the funeral or tangihanga from the following sources:

  • Social Security Act 1964, ss 61D-61DE

    Funeral grant from Work and Income – If you can’t afford to pay for the funeral or tangihanga, you may be able to get up to $2,008 from Work and Income to cover the cost, including for preparing the body (for example, embalming), the coffin, newspaper notices, the hearse, and the costs of the burial plot or cremation. For more information, see here.

  • Accident Compensation Act 2001, s 69, Schedule 1, clause 64

    Funeral grant from ACC – If the death was because of an accident, ACC will pay a funeral grant of up to $4,500. Contact ACC, or you can apply online.

  • Help from your iwi – Māori may be able to get a grant for tangihanga from their iwi organisation. Māori can also seek tangihanga funding from Maori land trusts or organisations in which they (or the deceased) have an interest (see the chapter “Māori land”, under “Methods of managing Māori land: Trusts, incorporations, and reservations”). To find out about other possible sources of support, contact Te Puni Kōkiri or your local marae or Māori church.

Ongoing income support and some one-off payments

On-going income support from Work and Income

If you don’t have any income, you can apply to Work and Income for an ongoing benefit. The type of benefit you might qualify for will depend on whether you have children and how old your children are: see the chapter “Dealing with Work and Income”.

Death by accident: Support for the family from ACC

Accident Compensation Act 2001, s 69, Schedule 1, clauses 65, 66, 70, 76

If the death was caused by an accident, ACC will provide a range of ongoing or one-off support for the surviving partner and children:

  • Survivor’s grantsACC will pay a one-off survivor’s grant of $4,702 to the deceased’s spouse or partner, and $2,351 to each child under 18.
  • Weekly compensation for spouse/partner – This is paid at 60% of the rate the deceased would have got had he or she lived but been completely unable to work. These payments continue for five years, or until the children are all 18, whichever happens first (the payments won’t be affected if the surviving spouse/partner remarries or gets a new partner). The weekly compensation can be converted to one or more lump-sum payments.
  • Weekly compensation for children – This is paid to each of the deceased’s children (or other dependants), at 20% of the rate the deceased would have got. The payments continue until the children turn 18 (or 21 if they’re studying).
  • ChildcareACC will pay childcare costs for each of the deceased’s children. The payments continue for five years, or until the child turns 14, whichever happens first.

See also the “Accident compensation” chapter, under “Entitlements for family members after fatal injuries”.

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