A 36-year-old widow, whose husband died last month in a workplace accident, has been handed a second shock after being told there was no record of him having had any income when she applied for support from the Accident Compensation Corporation.
Jamie Min Ji's builder husband, Bo Sun, died after falling on a residential construction site in Pommes Way, Silverdale, on October 21.
According to an ambulance report, the 44-year-old had been working up high on the site, and was not wearing ahelmet or safety gear when he fell head first on a concrete floor.
Sun never regained consciousness and died a day later at Auckland Hospital.
Ji moved to Auckland from Shandong China with Sun and their now 9-year-old son in 2016 in search of a better life.
On a work visa, Ji said she feared an uncertain future because she hasn't been able to work since Sun's death and was worried about how that would affect her visa status.
Ji was on a day off from her work as a junior chef on the day her husband died.Afriend called, telling her to contact Sun's employer urgently.
"His boss told me Bo had a fall and was being rushed to hospital, I never expected how serious it was," she said.
After Sun's death, Ji applied for support ACC, which normally paid up to 80 per cent of the deceased's earnings as loss of income support, but was told there were no tax records of Sun's earnings.
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Ji called Sun's employer, Yangzi Limited, and claimed director Song Yang told her that Sun had been "hired out" to another construction company, Chang Yun Construction Company - which was running the work on the site where he fell.
Yang did not return the Herald's calls or message.
Ji said the Chang Yun director, Steven Wenbo Liu, also refused to take responsibility for his pay because he considered Sun to be just a hired hand from another company, and not its employee.
Liu refused to comment, saying the matter was under investigation by police and other authorities.
An ACC spokesman said the corporation was working with the employer, Inland Revenue and Ji to confirm details about Sun's earnings.
However, it had accepted the claim for Sun's accidental death and would pay a funeral grant, survivor's grant and weekly childcare payment, which were not income related.
"We are sorry to hear of Mr Sun's sudden passing, our sympathies are with Min Ji and her family," the spokesman said.
An IRD spokeswoman said the department could not comment on individual taxpayers because of privacy requirements under the Tax Administration Act.
WorkSafe said it was unable to provide any further detail or comment as investigations are ongoing.
Ji said her husband loved New Zealand. "This is where he wanted our family to be, and where we can raise our son," she said.
"He worked hard to put food on the table and make sure we are all okay.
"Never in my wildest nightmare did I imagine things will end up this way."
Immigration NZ Border and Visa Operations Manager Nicola Hogg said Ji's work visa was valid until December 2021.
"Her inability to work does not affect her visa or immigration status. As such she and her son are able to remain in the country while her visa is valid," Hogg said.
"INZ is sympathetic to her situation and understands getting certainty for her, and her son's, visa status is very important."