A short term income support payment for someone whose partner has recently died. Usually paid for up to 14 weeks.
- recently suffered the loss of a partner
- not re-partnered
Eligibility & payment rates
You may be eligible for Bereavement Allowance if:
- your partner dies
- you have not re-partnered
- you are not eligible for a Service Pension or War Widows Pension from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
- you meet income and assets test requirements
- you meet residence requirements, and
- you claim within 4 weeks from the date your partner died, or
- you claim within 14 weeks from the date your partner died, to be paid from the date you claim
For our purposes, a person is considered to have been your partner if you and the person were:
- in a registered relationship, or
- living together as a couple
A registered relationship is one that is registered under certain state and territory laws that allow for registration of relationships.
When you're not eligible
You cannot get Bereavement Allowance if you are already getting another type of income support payment. However, if you are getting another payment, it may be more beneficial for you to transfer to Bereavement Allowance. Contact us to talk about your options.
We adjust Bereavement Allowance twice a year, in line with the changes in the consumer price index. Payment rates are updated on 20 March and 20 September each year.
The allowance is paid for up to 14 weeks after the death of your partner. This can help you adjust to changed financial circumstances, settle financial affairs and arrange ongoing financial support.
If you're pregnant when your partner dies, you may get Bereavement Allowance for the duration of your pregnancy.
To qualify for Bereavement Allowance you need to meet income and assets tests.
Your income affects the amount of payment you get. Income includes money earned from employment and money earned from investments. It also includes money from outside Australia.
Allowable amount of income
You can have income up to $164 per fortnight without having your Bereavement Allowance payments reduced.
If your income is more than the allowable amount, your allowance will be reduced by 50 cents for every dollar you receive over the limit.
If you’ve lived or worked in any country outside Australia we may ask you to take steps to get a pension from the other country and tell us the outcome. We can help you to claim any pensions from outside Australia.
Read more about income test for pensions.
An asset is any property or possession you own either partly or wholly. It includes assets held outside Australia and 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.
Once you have read about eligibility the next steps are:
- find out what you need before you start your claim
- complete the claim form and any additional forms required
- gather supporting documents
- submit your claim
- we will assess your claim and let you know the outcome
Managing your payment
You need to tell us if your circumstances change when you are getting a payment.
For example, if:
- you re-partner
- you change your address,
- your assets change, or
- your income changes
If you do not tell us about the changes within 14 days your payment may be affected. You may be overpaid and you will probably have to pay the money back.
If you deliberately do not tell us about changes, you could be charged with fraud, and a recovery fee may be imposed.
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.