Eligibility basics

  • your partner has died while you were both receiving a payment from us or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
  • someone you were caring for has died
  • your child has died
  • your baby was stillborn

When an adult has died


You may be eligible for Bereavement Payment if either:

  • your partner dies and when they died you were both receiving:
  • you are caring for an adult who dies and you were receiving Carer Payment for them
  • you are receiving Carer Allowance for an adult who dies, and also an income support payment other than Carer Payment that does not qualify you for a Bereavement Payment; or
  • your partner was a member of the Pension Bonus Scheme and died before making a claim for the bonus

For some payments, such as Carer Payment, Wife Pension and Partner Allowance, the payment may continue for 14 weeks following the death to give you time to seek other income support if necessary.

Financial arrangements

Relatives and friends do not have to pay the debts of the person who has died unless the debts are in joint names. Debts can be paid from the estate.

If you would like assistance in working out a budget, managing your financial affairs or you are in financial trouble, you can speak to a financial counsellor by contacting any of the following:

  • your local Community Information and Referral Service
  • a Welfare Rights Centre
  • rural financial counselling services
  • Financial Counselling Australia

Early superannuation release

Superannuation cannot generally be accessed before you reach your preservation age. However, in some specific circumstances, the law does allow you to access your superannuation early. These limited circumstances include specified compassionate grounds and severe financial hardship.

For more information about early release of superannuation on compassionate grounds, read early release of superannuation or call1300 131 060.