The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. TheĀ 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. Continuation, variation or termination of SpB


People who are identified as needing SpB for a short time, can be paid for up to 13 weeks from the date of decision. Payment of SpB must then be reviewed before the delegate determines whether payment can continue. If payment continues, it must be reviewed every 13 weeks. SpB can also be cancelled at any time.

Death of recipient

The estate of a deceased single SpB recipient is NOT entitled to one further instalment after the death of the recipient. Payment should however be made up to the date of death.

If the recipient was a member of a couple (1.1.M.120), the partner (1.1.P.85) may qualify for some bereavement assistance.

Death of partner

If the recipient is a member of a couple and their partner dies, the recipient may qualify for bereavement payment if they are a long term social security recipient and immediately before their partner died, the partner was:

  • receiving a social security pension, OR
  • receiving a DVA service pension, OR
  • a long term social security recipient.

The death of a partner may necessitate a change in the person's SpB rate, based on their income and assets as a single person.

Act reference: SSAct section 768A Qualification for payments under this Subdivision, section 23(1)-'long-term social security recipient'

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.5 Bereavement payment provisions

Reviews & the MAP

SpB is reviewed every 13 weeks. This is especially important in short-term cases as SpB legislation allows the delegate to impose restrictions on periods of payment.

Act reference: SSAct section 729A(3) Time limit on qualification ā€¦

Policy reference: SS Guide 6.2.6 Special payments reviews

Last reviewed: