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1.8 Compensation for Death - S43 of the 1971 Act


This item refers to actual DEATHS which OCCURRED DURING the currency of the 1971 Act.

On the rare occasions that a claim for a death before 1988 is received, the provisions of the 1971 Act are (except for the $ amounts payable) very similar to those of the SRCA:

  • Section 43 of the 1971 Act is the analogue of S17 of the SRCA and provides compensation for the death in similar terms;
  • lump sum compensation [S43(3)(a)] is payable only where there are 'dependants' [S43(2)] who were also 'dependent' on the deceased for economic support all of which is defined [S5(1)] in terms identical to those used in S17 of the SRCA;
  • there is a similar distinction between dependants who are wholly and those partly dependent [S43(3) and 43(4)]. Those wholly dependent are the principle beneficiaries [S43(3)(a)] but those partly dependent may, at the delegates discretion, share in the lump sum according to their losses in those cases where there are none wholly dependent [S43(4)(a)];
  • children who were wholly or partly dependent receive weekly compensation
    [S43(5) to 43(8)];
  • if the child's payments cease before the total amount paid is less than a certain specified amount, the child is paid a small lump sum to top-up the total benefit to that specified level;
  • Medical costs associated with the fatal injury are payable under S37 of the 1971 Act and may be made to the person incurring the costs or the provider;
  • Funeral costs are payable under S44 of the 1971 Act and may be paid to the person incurring the cost or the provider.

The 1971 Act has of course been repealed but S124 of the SRCA requires that the deaths that occurred during its currency continue to be governed by its provisions. While the 1971 Act was current, it updated the maximum amounts payable in respect of death etc. annually, in line with the consumer price index. However the 1971 Act benefits have not been capable of update since that Act was repealed in 1988.

Late claims for those deaths that occurred during the currency of the SRCA are of course paid the SRCA benefit which applied in the year in which the death occurred.

However for 1971 Act deaths claimed under the SRCA, the current policy is to pay all such claims at the last rate declared under the 1971 Act (i.e. the rate current on 30 November 1988), regardless of the year of death.

This means that all 'late' 1971 Act deaths are now paid at the same maximum rate i.e.

Death lump sum S43(3)(a)


Dependent child payment

$24.00 per week

Minimum level, total child payments


Maximum payment, funeral expenses


Details of how these or some lesser amounts are to be determined and divided between those entitled, are set out at Chapter 5 of this Handbook.