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4.7 Principles for Apportioning the Death Lump Sum between Dependants


The total amount that is payable under either subsection 17(3) or subsection 17(4) is to be shared among all of the dependants, both wholly dependent and partially dependent. Where compensation is payable to two or more dependants, subsection 17(8) gives broad discretion to determine the percentages of compensation payable to those dependants, having regard to any losses suffered by those dependants as a result of the cessation of the employee's earnings.

Subsection 17(8) uses the phrase 'as Comcare thinks fit' which gives determining authorities (i.e. DVA) discretionary powers and allows them to give broad consideration on how that discretion should be exercised. This broad discretion should be exercised on reasonable grounds such that there are similar outcomes for people in similar situations.

The following principles are to be applied by determining authorities when apportioning the amount of death lump sum compensation payable: