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.

# 3.1.5.70 The lump sum bereavement payment - member of a couple

## Summary

The LBP is paid to the surviving member of a couple if:

• the couple were both pensioners, OR
• the couple were both long term social security recipients, OR
• they are a long term social security recipient, and their deceased partner was a social security pensioner or service pensioner.

This topic explains how to calculate LBP where:

• prompt notification of death (NEPED equals zero)
• death notified within the bereavement period (NEPED not equal to zero)
• illness separated or respite care couples (when RA is not received)
• illness separated or respite care couples (when RA is received)
• death of both members of a couple advised at the same time.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(1)-'long-term social security recipient'

## Legislation

Each part in SSAct Chapter 2 includes a division about the application of the bereavement provisions to a specific payment, including the relevant lump sum formulas.

## Calculation of the lump sum where prompt notification (NEPED equals zero)

Where death is notified and actioned during the entitlement period in which the person died, NEPED equals zero. In this instance the following formula applies:

• LBP = (6 multiplied by (CCR minus NR)) plus (NDEP multiplied by (CCR minus NR) then divided by 14).

Where:

• NDEP is the number of days from and including the date of death until and including the end of the entitlement period.
• CCR is the combined couple rate. That is, the combined fortnightly amount that would have been payable to the couple if not for the death.
• NR is the new single fortnightly rate paid to the survivor.

## Calculation of the lump sum where death notified within the bereavement period (NEPED does not equal zero)

The LBP is calculated using the following formula:

• LBP = (7 minus NEPED) multiplied by (CCR minus NR).

Where:

• NEPED is the number of entitlement period end days (1.1.E.126) for which the deceased person was paid after and including the date of death.
• CCR is the combined couple rate. That is, the combined fortnightly amount that would have been payable to the couple if not for the death.
• NR is the new single fortnightly rate paid to the survivor.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.5.80 LBP example calculations - members of a couple living together

## Calculation of the lump sum where illness separated or respite care couples (when RA is not received)

If the members of a couple were being paid at the single rate because they were an illness separated or respite care couple, bereavement payments are worked out as if they were living together.

In this case, an adjustment to the LBP is required using the following formula:

• LBP = ((7 minus NEPED) multiplied by (CCR minus NR)) minus ((combined single rates minus CCR) multiplied by NEPED).

Where:

• NEPED is the number of entitlement period end days that elapse before conversion to the new single rate.
• CCR is the combined couple rate. That is, the combined fortnightly amount that would have been payable to the couple if not for the death.
• NR is the survivor's new single rate after conversion.

Explanation: The amount subtracted at the end of the formula represents the 'overpaid' difference between the combined illness separated couple rates and the combined partnered rate.

Note: The illness separated or respite care couple rates are used when calculating the LBP for a surviving member of a couple who was receiving JSP, YA, Austudy or SpB.

## Calculation of the lump sum where illness separated or respite care couples (when RA is received)

RA MAY be included in the CCR if one member of a couple does not reside at the home address even though their partner is an ineligible homeowner.

The amount of RA to be included in the CCR is explained in the following table:

If RA was received by … then the amount of RA is …
the deceased partner ONLY the LESSER of the:

• deceased's rate of RA, OR
• maximum rate of RA for a couple who are not illness separated.
both partners the LESSER of the:

• combined rate of RA paid at the date of death, OR
• maximum rate of RA for a couple who are not illness separated.

Note: The illness separated or respite care couple rates are used when calculating the LBP for a surviving member of a couple who was receiving JSP, YA, Austudy or SpB.

Act reference: SSAct section 13(1)-'ineligible homeowner'

## Calculation of the lump sum where death of both members of a couple advised at the same time

The LBP is calculated using the rates applicable on the EPED AFTER the survivor's death if:

• both members of a couple die within 14 weeks of each other, and
• the death of the first partner only becomes known on or after the death of the other partner.

In this case, the LBP is calculated using the following formula:

• LBP = (7 minus NEPED) multiplied by (CCR minus NR).

Where:

• NEPED is the number of entitlement period end days in the period from and including the day of the first deceased partner's death, to and including the day before the survivor's death.
• CCR is the combined couple rate. That is, the combined fortnightly amount that would have been payable to the deceased partner and the surviving partner, on the payday after the surviving partner's death if neither partner had died.
• NR is the new single rate that would have been payable to the surviving partner as a single recipient on the payday after the survivor had died.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.5.90 LBP example calculations - members of a couple where separated due to illness or respite care or death of both members of a couple

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