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. Notification & recipient obligations for BVA

Note: BVA closed to new entrants on 20 March 2020 and ceased on 20 September 2020 after those receiving BVA before 20 March 2020 had finished their bereavement period. The following information is for historical purposes only.

Notifiable events for BVA

In addition to the common notifiable events, there are also some notifiable events that are more likely to arise in relation to BVA. BVA recipients must notify Centrelink within the 14 day notification period if any of the following events occur, or are likely to occur.

The transfer to the BVA recipient of:

  • a life insurance payout
  • funds from an income stream product such as superannuation
  • periodic payments under Comsuper
  • financial investments, and
  • general assets.

Common provisions

Some notification and recipient obligations are common to MOST payments, and are explained in SS(Admin)Act Part 3, Division 6.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act pre-20 March 2020 Part 3 Division 6 Requirement to provide information, undergo medical examination etc.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.3 Notification & recipient obligations

Reporting methods

A BVA recipient can be required to give information to Centrelink in one or both of 2 different ways. The first way is that all recipients are required to report if a specified event or circumstance change occurs or is likely to occur, notification reporters (1.1.N.126). The second way is that some recipients are also required to give a statement about a specified matter, and sometimes to give a separate statement for each of several specified periods, statement reporters (1.1.S.350).

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act Part 3 Division 6 Subdivision B Requirement to give information about change of circumstances etc., section 68 Person receiving social security payment or holding concession card

Statement reporters - late reporting

BVA will be cancelled if the recipient has not reported 14 days after the due date. However, if special circumstances exist the payment MAY be restored. When a recipient is very late reporting, the following information should be considered to determine if special circumstances apply.

  • The reasons for the late reporting. The longer the delay, the greater the need to provide detailed reasons to account for the delay for the full period.
  • Whether Centrelink contributed in any way to the delay. (see example 1)
  • Other mitigating or extenuating factors which may call for a more generous approach. (see example 2)
  • The plausibility of the reasons for the delay.
  • Whether the recipient belongs to a disadvantaged group. (see example 3)

Example 1: By not giving specific information when requested to do so or by giving incorrect information.

Example 2: Unexpected telecommunication problems, e.g. phone service is down due to storms etc., or the person has been indisposed.

Example 3: They are a migrant with low level of English comprehension or an Indigenous Australian.

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