Bereavement payments for couples where one member is a DVA pensioner


This topic explains the bereavement payment provisions where one member of a couple is a DVA pensioner.

The provisions in this topic are not applicable to a one-off bereavement payment for the death of a partner ( made under Subdivision AA of Division 10 of Part 2.11 (YA) or Subdivision AA of Division 9 of Part 2.12 (JSP) of the SSAct.

Couples where one member is a DVA pensioner

Normally the survivor's Department is responsible for the payment of the LBP if:

  • a couple consists of 1 DVA pensioner and a social security pensioner, and
  • one member of the couple dies.

Explanation: DVA introduced bereavement arrangements for deaths occurring on or after 1 January 1990, that are similar to the social security provisions.

Policy reference: SS Guide The lump sum bereavement payment - member of a couple

Deceased DVA service pensioner

If both Departments action the death at slightly different times, or with different dates of effect, it may be necessary to subtract the value of 1 or more DVA instalments paid to the deceased, from the value of the lump sum paid by this Department.

Example: DVA may have taken longer to action the death than this Department.

If there has been no delay by this Department in processing the death action, the rate used in calculating the LBP is the rate that was paid BEFORE conversion to the single rate. That is, the payday before the first available bereavement adjustment payday. The DVA service pension rate used is the rate applicable on the DVA payday BEFORE the social security payday.

The survivor's social security pension should be cancelled following the entitlement period end day (1.1.E.126) AFTER the DVA war widow/er pension is granted. Any social security pension paid after the grant of the DVA pension is recoverable.

Explanation: DVA war widow/er pensioners may also receive ISS from DVA. The multiple entitlement preclusion means the social security pension is no longer payable.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(1)-'social security pension'

Deceased DVA war widow/er pensioner receiving income support supplement

The SSAct was amended in September 2002 to include ISS as an eligible payment type under each relevant section in the SSAct relating to bereavement payments. ISS is an income and asset tested supplement paid by DVA. These changes allow normal bereavement payments to be made to surviving social security pensioners whose deceased partner was receiving ISS.

Deceased DVA disability pensioner

If the deceased partner was in receipt of a DVA disability pension, the LBP is payable by DVA to the surviving partner, EVEN IF the survivor is a social security pensioner. In this case the survivor may receive an LBP from DVA as well as from this Department.

Explanation: The disability pension lump sum only covers a 12 week period and cannot exceed the 100% disability pension rate. A special $550.00 DVA funeral benefit may also be payable. Neither amount is regarded as income under the Act and is disregarded when calculating the lump sum bereavement payment.

Last reviewed: 20 March 2020