This topic explains the following:
Each part in SSAct Chapter 2 includes a division about the application of the bereavement provisions to a specific payment.
SSAct Chapter 2 Pensions, benefits and allowances:
Act reference: SSAct Chapter 2 Pensions, benefits and allowances
Bereavement payments are made as a temporary continuation of a deceased person's income support payment. Bereavement payments MAY be paid following the death of an income support recipient, and sometimes dependants, to assist the survivor to adjust to the change in financial circumstances after the death. In the case of individuals, a bereavement payment is paid to the estate to assist with settling financial expenses incurred by the deceased prior to death.
Bereavement payments are generally paid in respect of:
Act reference: FAAct section 22 When an individual is an FTB child of another individual
Bereavement payments may, include:
Policy reference: SS Guide 220.127.116.11 Bereavement Payment Provisions for Singles, 18.104.22.168 Bereavement Payment Provisions for Couples, 22.214.171.124 The Lump Sum Bereavement Payment - Member of a Couple, 126.96.36.199 Death of PP Child
Income support recipients may have accrued some pension or benefit that is unpaid at the date of their death, or which would have been payable if they had not died. Any amounts like this can be paid to an appropriate person.
Example: An appropriate person can be the next of kin, solicitor or executor handling the estate, or the person who has paid or is liable to pay the funeral expenses.
A person seeking to be paid any residual pension or benefit must apply for the payment. The application must be made within 6 months of the recipient's death, except in special circumstances. Delegates have the discretion to determine what constitutes special circumstances, but the reasons for the delay in claiming would generally need to be unusual, uncommon or abnormal in the particular circumstances of the case.
This is quite separate to situations where Centrelink simultaneously learns of the death of BOTH members of a couple. In such a case a lump sum may be payable to an appropriate person without the need for a claim.
If a person lodges a claim for an income support payment but dies before payment is granted, the person may be regarded as a recipient of that payment provided they were qualified to receive the payment and would have received it if they had not died.
Policy reference: SS Guide 188.8.131.52 Both Members of Couple Die during Bereavement Period
Under s1158 of the SSAct, bereavement payments are not payable while a person is in prison or undergoing psychiatric confinement because they have been charged with a crime.
IF the person in prison or psychiatric confinement has a partner or dependent child who is reliant on their income then the social security payments MAY be redirected to the partner or child. Redirection of the social security payments may be required as a last resort if no other suitable payment can be identified for the partner and child.
Act reference: SSAct section 1158 Some social security payments not payable during period in gaol or in psychiatric confinement following criminal charge, section 1159 Payment may be redirected to dependent partner or child
Last reviewed: 12 November 2012