2.2.2 Death of an individual eligible for FTB
This topic explains the following:
- accepting the notice of the death of an instalment individual,
- payment in substitution for a deceased person who was eligible for FTB,
- date of effect of death of FTB individual,
- who can be paid FTB in substitution for the person who died, and
- payment of FTB if the person and the child die at the same time.
Accepting the notice of death of instalment individual
Notice that a person who was receiving FTB has died can be accepted from the person's partner (1.1.P.30), a family member or close friend. The following details must be obtained before action is taken to reassess the deceased person's FTB entitlement:
- full name and address and contact number of the person notifying the death,
- full name, and date of death of the deceased person,
- name and address of the executor of the estate, and
- at least 2 of the following:
- address at date of death,
- date of birth,
- customer reference number,
- advice from funeral director, or
- death notice in a newspaper.
Centrelink must be certain of the information before taking action.
The person notifying the death should also be asked for the contact details of the person who has gained care of the FTB or regular care child/ren. The new carer should be invited to claim FTB or related benefits for the child/ren.
Payment in substitution for a deceased person who was eligible for FTB
If there is an amount of FTB outstanding which would have been payable to the person who died, the accrued entitlement of FTB outstanding can be paid to someone else. This can include a period of eligibility for FTB even if the person did not claim FTB before they died. This means that the accrued amount is based on the eligibility of the person who died not the person who receives the payment.
Example: Angela intended to claim FTB as a lump sum for her child Adam. Angela dies during the income year. Angela's mother Hesta begins caring for Adam, and lodges a claim for FTB for him. Hesta's income is lower than Angela's was. Hesta is eligible to receive the accrued entitlement of FTB based on Angela's circumstances up to the date she died, and is paid a rate of FTB based on her own circumstances from the time she begins caring for Adam.
Once an accrued entitlement has been paid to another person, no-one else is eligible or entitled to be paid that amount.
Act reference: FAAct section 33(1) Eligibility other than because of the death of an FTB or regular care child
Date of effect of death of FTB individual
An individual's eligibility for FTB ceases at the end of the day before the death of that FTB individual.
Example: Consuela was receiving FTB by instalments for her child Hector. Consuela dies on 21 March. Consuela's mother Alba begins caring for Hector immediately, and lodges a claim for FTB. Consuela's FTB is cancelled from the end of the day prior to her death, 20 March, and Alba is eligible to receive FTB from 21 March.
Act reference: FAAct section 33 Eligibility for FTB if an eligible individual dies
FA(Admin)Act section 7 How to claim, section 24 Payments of FTB for a past period or by single payment/in substitution because of the death of another individual
SS(Admin)Act section 123 Continuing effect of determinations
Policy reference: FA Guide 188.8.131.52 Calculating FTB Bereavement Payment
Who can be paid in substitution for the deceased person?
The most appropriate person can be paid FTB in substitution for a deceased person who was eligible for FTB. The circumstances of the case must be considered when deciding who should be paid.
If the deceased person had a partner, the partner is the most appropriate person to pay. If the person did not have a partner, the payment should be made to the executor of the estate.
If an executor has not been appointed, a relative of the deceased person or the new carer of the FTB child/ren can be paid.
Policy reference: FA Guide 4.2.1 Summary of the FTB Claim Process
The person & the FTB child die at the same time
The amount of FTB outstanding can include the bereavement amount for the FTB child if it has not already been paid when a person's FTB child dies, and
- the person dies at the same time, or
- dies after the child died.
Where the person and the child die on the same date, it must be taken that the child died first.
Example: Carla intended to claim FTB at the end of the income year. During the year Carla and her child are involved in a car accident. The child dies immediately, and Carla dies a week later. Carla's partner claims the accrued FTB entitlement, which includes the amount of FTB that Carla would have been eligible for up to the date she died, as well as the equivalent of a further 14 weeks FTB because the child died. The total amount is paid as a single payment to her partner.
The person & the shared care child die at the same time
If the care of the child was shared between the person who died and only one other person, the remaining carer can be paid the full bereavement payment for the child.
If the care of the child was shared between more than 2 people, the bereavement payment is shared between all the carers, including a carer intending to claim for a past period. If the child dies before the person, or dies on the same day, the bereavement payment for the child is included with the accrued entitlement that can be paid in substitution for the deceased person.
Example: Callum and Monica share the care of their son David in a 50-50 pattern of care, and they each receive instalments of FTB for him. Callum and David are involved in an accident. Callum dies shortly afterward, and David dies a week later in hospital. Callum's current partner Rebecca is paid the accrued entitlement of FTB that would have been paid to Callum had he not died. The bereavement payment for David is paid to Monica, as he was her FTB child. The determination to share FTB entitlement ceases to have effect from the date Callum dies, which means that Monica receives 100% of the bereavement amount, rather than 50%.