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 social security payments. 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. Qualification for PBBP

Qualification criteria

A person is qualified for PBBP if:

  • the person stopped being a member of a couple because the person's partner died, AND
  • the partner dies on or after 1 January 2008, AND
  • immediately before the partner died, the partner was a registered member of the PBS, AND
  • the partner had not made a successful claim for Age or pension bonus before they died.

The deceased must have accrued at least one bonus period for any amount of PBBP to be paid to their surviving partner.

If the deceased had failed the PBS work test more than 13 weeks before their death, this does not disqualify the surviving partner from receiving PBBP. (The PBS member may have had their late PBS claim accepted if they had claimed prior to their death).

The surviving partner does not need to be over age pension age or be a PBS member in order to qualify for PBBP.

Act reference: SSAct section 93WA Qualification for PBBP

Claim for PBBP

A person must lodge a proper claim for PBBP in Australia. They must provide information that allows the delegate of the Secretary to determine the bonus periods accrued by the deceased and the rate of PBBP payable.

If a PBS member is temporarily overseas (in an agreement country or non-agreement country) and dies whilst overseas, this does not disqualify their surviving partner from claiming PBBP.

The surviving partner of a deceased PBS member can claim PBBP even if the deceased was serving a compensation preclusion period at the time of his/her death. See on payability of PBBP for details of how PBBP is calculated under these circumstances.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act Part 3 Division 1 Claim for social security payment or concession card

Policy reference: SS Guide 2.2.9 Retirement verification, 8.1.1 Claim Lodgement Provisions, Retirement - documentation required, Payability of PBBP

Claim period for PBBP

A person has 26 weeks from the date of their partner's death to claim PBBP. The delegate of the Secretary has discretion to extend the lodgement period if special circumstances exist. These special circumstances are different from the special circumstances for late claims for PBS.

Examples of special circumstances for extending the claim period for PBBP may include that the PBBP claimant:

  • was ill
  • was not aware that PBBP was payable and had not received a 'potential claimant advice' for PBBP
  • had difficulty obtaining the information about their deceased partner that is required for the claim or had difficulty completing the claim
  • needed to move from their home to a nursing home/retirement village.

The above list is not a full list of acceptable reasons for extending the claim period. Each case should be judged on its merits.

Before accepting a late claim for PBBP, the delegate of the Secretary should consider how late the claim is, and whether the delay is reasonable considering the events or situations that caused the delay. The fact that the person had suffered the loss of their partner should also be taken into account.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 26A General rule, section 26B Extension

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