The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. 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 agency paying the survivor's income support is responsible for the payment of the LBP if:

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

Explanation: DVA also has bereavement arrangements 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 DVA and Services Australia action the death notification at slightly different times, or with different dates of effect, it may be necessary to subtract the value of one or more DVA instalments paid to the deceased, from the value of the lump sum paid by Services Australia.

Example: DVA may have taken longer to action the death notification than Services Australia.

If there has been no delay by Services Australia in processing the death notification 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's pension is granted. Any social security pension paid after the grant of the DVA pension is recoverable.

Explanation: DVA war widow/er's 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 person who received DVA Disability Compensation Payment (formerly known as disability pension)

If the deceased partner was in receipt of a DVA Disability Compensation Payment (formerly known as 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 Services Australia.

Explanation: The DVA Disability Compensation Payment lump sum only covers a 12-week period. A DVA funeral benefit up to $2,000 may also be payable. Neither amount is regarded as income under the Act and is disregarded when calculating the lump sum bereavement payment.

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