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. Continuation, variation or termination of 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.


The following are the circumstances in which payment of BVA may be terminated:

  • the maximum payment period expires, OR
  • another social security pension, social security benefit, or service pension becomes payable, OR
  • the recipient has failed to take reasonable action to obtain a CFP (1.1.C.230), OR
  • the recipient dies.

These circumstances are explained in more detail in the rest of this topic.

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

SSAct pre-20 March 2020 section 23(1)-'social security pension'

Maximum payment period

BVA is payable for a maximum period of 14 weeks, or for a woman who is pregnant, until the birth of the baby or the woman is no longer pregnant.

Another pension/benefit becomes payable

If a person is receiving BVA when another pension or benefit, or service pension becomes payable, BVA must cease from the day before the new pension or benefit becomes payable.

Comparable foreign payment

BVA can be cancelled or suspended if the recipient fails to take reasonable action to obtain a CFP.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 40 Rejection of claim for failure to obtain foreign payment

SS(Admin)Act pre-20 March 2020 section 66 Notice to obtain foreign payment

Policy reference: SS Guide 7.3.3 CFP notices & reasonable action requirements

Death of recipient

When a BVA recipient dies, any amount of BVA which has accrued but not yet been paid, may be paid to another person upon application, IF in the Secretary's opinion that person is best entitled to it. Generally, the application must be made within 6 months of the BVA recipient's death, but can be authorised outside this period in special circumstances.

The estate of a deceased BVA recipient is entitled to be paid the income support payment until the end of the entitlement period in which they died (an entitlement period is the 14 days between each payment).

Act reference: SSAct pre-20 March 2020 section 359 Death of recipient

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.5 Bereavement payment provisions


BVA is only reviewed when a recipient notifies Centrelink of a change in circumstances.

Policy reference: SS Guide 6.1 Changes in Income & Assets - Reviews, 6.2.3 Retirement & widows reviews

Last reviewed: