Bereavement Allowance

A short term payment if your partner has recently died.

Eligibility basics

  • they died less than 14 weeks ago
  • you haven’t re-partnered
  • you meet all other rules

Eligibility & payment rates

Who can get it

You can get Bereavement Allowance if:

  • your partner dies and you were:
    • married
    • 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.

How much you get

You can get up to $814.00 per fortnight for Bereavement Allowance. You could also get Pension Supplement and Energy Supplement.

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.

Income and assets tests

Your income and assets determine how much you can get.

Income test

You can earn up to $168 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:

  • employment
  • investments
  • 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.

Assets test

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.

Residence rules

On the day you claim Bereavement Allowance, you must:

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.

Claiming

Check if you're eligible before you start your claim.

Then:

  1. find out what you need before you start
  2. fill in your claim form
  3. submit the form and other documents we ask for
  4. wait for us to assess your claim and tell you the result

Next

Managing your payment

Change of circumstances

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

It’s never too late to report a change.

If you need help using your Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support online accounts and Express Plus mobile apps, read the online account guides or watch our video demonstrations.

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.

While travelling outside Australia

There are rules about how long your Bereavement Allowance can be paid when you travel outside Australia.

Read more about Bereavement Allowance while travelling outside Australia

Weekly payment option

Some people can get income support payments each week instead of each fortnight.

Read more about weekly payments

My bank account is overdrawn

You can get help to manage your money if your bank account is overdrawn.

Read more about what to do if your account is overdrawn

Resources

Manage your money

 

We’ve got advice and tools to help you with budgeting, borrowing and credit, and managing debt.

Read about how to manage your money.

Regular deductions using Centrepay

You can use our free and voluntary service to pay bills as regular deductions from your Centrelink payments.

Read more about regular deductions using Centrepay

Page last updated: 20 September 2017