Communtity Law Manual | A death in the family | Ongoing income support and some one-off payments

Financial support for bereaved families

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 grants – ACC 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).
  • Childcare – ACC 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.

Note: If you lost a family member in the Christchurch mosque shootings in March 2019, you may be eligible for some support from the government. See the Accident compensation (ACC) chapter for more information.

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