The panel firm is appointed by WorkSafe's Dispute Management Division. For information on when the panel firm investigates the death claim.
The panel firm:
- manages the conduct of the claim
- arranges a conference where practicable with the dependent’s representatives within 30 days of the later of:
- the lodgement of the claim
- being advised of who is representing the dependent
- facilitates the early and prompt exchange of relevant information and documents
- arranges a peer review with WorkSafe and Agents where appropriate
- provides advice and recommendations to the Agent about the management and resolution of the claim
- manages any litigated Magistrates’ Court or County Court process.
Panel firm makes recommendations
The panel firm investigates the claim and makes recommendations after determining:
- the worker’s death arose out of or in the course of employment which resulted in or materially contributed to the worker's death
- in the case of a disease or aggravation of a pre-existing condition or heart attack or stroke injury, the worker’s employment was a significant contributing factor to the injury or disease
- the dependant/s is eligible to claim entitlements as a result of the work related death if the dependents have established dependency.
The panel firm must obtain the documentation to establish:
- if an entitlement to compensation exists
- the extent of dependence of the dependent/s on the deceased worker
- if the claim has non-dependent family members Family member means a partner, parent, grandparent, sibling or child of the worker or of the worker's partner.
For information on what documentation the panel firm should obtain - see: Guidelines for Claims for Compensation following the Death of a Worker.
Where possible the panel firm should provide documentation requested by the dependent’s legal representatives.
Where a dependant or claimant A person who applies for WorkCover benefits. has legal representation and there is:
- no court involvement – refer to WorkSafe’s policy: Legal costs in dependency claims - non court involvement.
- court involvement – legal costs are paid in accordance to the guidelines – refer to: Guidelines for Claims for Compensation following the Death of a Worker.