A short term payment if your partner has recently died.
- they died less than 14 weeks ago
- you haven’t re-partnered
- you meet all other rules
Eligibility & payment rates
You can get Bereavement Allowance if:
- your partner dies and you were:
- in a registered relationship - a relationship that’s registered under certain state and territory laws, or
- living together as a couple
- you haven't re-partnered
- you can't get a service or war widows pension from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
- you meet income and assets tests
- you meet residency rules, and
- you claim within 4 weeks of your partner's death, or
- you claim within 14 weeks of your your partner's death to get payment from your claim date
When you can't get it
You can’t get Bereavement Allowance if you get another income support payment.
It may be better for you to transfer to Bereavement Allowance if you get another payment. Call the bereavement line to talk about your options.
We update payment rates on 20 March and 20 September each year in line with the consumer price index.
How long you get it for
You'll get an allowance for up to 14 weeks after your partner's death. This can help you settle your financial affairs and arrange ongoing financial support.
If you're pregnant when your partner dies, you could get Bereavement Allowance for the length of your pregnancy.
Your income and assets determine how much you can get.
You can earn up to $164 a fortnight without reducing your Bereavement Allowance.
If you earn more, your allowance reduces by 50 cents for every dollar over.
We’ll decide how much you can get by looking at your income from:
- outside Australia
If you’ve lived or worked overseas we may ask you to get a pension from the other country. We can help you do this.
Read more about income test for pensions.
An asset is any property or possession you own either partly or wholly. It includes any assets held outside Australia and any debts owing to you.
Read more about the assets test.
On the day you claim Bereavement Allowance, you must:
- be an Australian resident, and
- in Australia
You also need to meet at least 1 of the following criteria:
- you and your partner were both Australian residents when your partner died
- you have been an Australian resident and in Australia for a period of, or periods totaling, 104 weeks or you are exempt from this requirement, for example, you are a refugee
- you were getting Wife Pension and you were not in Australia when your partner died, or
- you are female and were getting partner service pension from the Department of Veterans' Affairs and you were not in Australia when your partner died
What may be different
If you don’t meet these rules but you’ve lived or worked in a country that has a social security agreement with Australia, it may help you to claim.
Check if you're eligible before you start your claim.
- find out what you need before you start
- fill in your claim form
- submit the form and other documents we ask for
- wait for us to assess your claim and tell you the result
Managing your payment
We need to know about changes that could reduce or stop your payment.
You need to tell us if:
- you re-partner
- you move
- your assets change, or
- your income changes
How and when to tell us
The easiest way to tell us about changes is through our self service options.
You need to:
- tell us within 14 days of the change
- make sure your details are up to date in myGov
Its never to late to report a change.
If you don't tell us
If you don't tell us about changes in your life, we may pay you too much. If this happens you'll have to pay the money back, plus a fee.
If you don't tell us about changes on purpose, you could be committing fraud.
Read about how to avoid committing fraud.
There are rules about how long your Bereavement Allowance can be paid when you travel outside Australia.
Some people can get income support payments each week instead of each fortnight.
You can get help to manage your money if your bank account is overdrawn.