What help there is when a child dies

Going through the loss of your child is one of life’s toughest experiences. We’re here to support you through your time of grief.

Eligibility

You can only get bereavement payment for a child if you were both:

  • their parent or legal guardian
  • getting an eligible payment.

How much bereavement payment you get depends on your individual circumstances and when you tell us your child died.

Call the bereavement line and we’ll help you sort out what help you may be able to get.

Eligible payments

If you were getting one of the following payments for the child who died, you may still get it after the child’s death. The frequency and how long you’ll get the payment will depend on your circumstances.

You may get up to 14 weeks of your eligible payment.

Family Tax Benefit

You can get Family Tax Benefit (FTB) bereavement payment for an eligible FTB child who dies. If you got FTB for that child we can continue to pay FTB as a fortnightly payment. This is for up to 14 weeks after the child’s death. Or you can choose to get it as a lump sum.

If you haven’t claimed FTB for a child who died, you may get a lump sum payment. You can do this by submitting a claim for FTB bereavement payment now or after the end of the financial year.

The amount and period, which we can pay you, will depend on your family’s income and the age of each child.

Carer Allowance

You can get Carer Allowance bereavement payment for an FTB eligible child who dies. We’ll pay up to 14 weeks of Carer Allowance as a lump sum from the date of the child's death.

Carer Payment

If you’re getting Carer Payment for a child who dies, you may continue to get this payment as bereavement payment. You’ll also be able to use the Heath Care Card for up to 14 weeks after the child's death.

Double Orphan Pension

You can get up to 14 weeks of Double Orphan Pension and FTB bereavement payment for a child who dies. You can choose to get this as either:

  • a lump sum
  • a fortnightly payment of DOP for up to 14 weeks after the child’s death.

If you didn’t get FTB for the child, you may still get Double Orphan Pension bereavement payment. We’ll pay Double Orphan Pension bereavement payment for up to 4 weeks after their death.

Loss through stillbirth

If your baby was stillborn, your family may get Dad and Partner Pay and either one of the following:

Time limits apply to claim these payments. You must submit your claim within 52 weeks from the day of the delivery of your stillborn child.

Loss after birth

If your baby died shortly after birth, your family may be eligible for bereavement payment and services. These include:

JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance

You’ll keep the higher rate of payment and concessions as a principal carer if your only qualifying child has died. This applies if you’re single and you get either:

We’ll also reduce your mutual obligation requirements for up to 14 weeks after your child's death.

Parenting Payment

You can get Parenting Payment bereavement payment for up to 14 weeks after the child's death. This applies if you’re single and your only qualifying child dies.

Medicare, concession and Health Care Card

We won’t issue you a new Medicare Card, Concession or Health Care Card if your child dies. If you’d like a new card you can ask us to send you one. Otherwise the details will stay the same until your current card expires.

A service provider may charge full price for services received on the child's date of death. This is because the concession entitlement ceases on the day prior to the death. If this happens the executor or you should talk to the service provider about the charges.

Support services

It may seem difficult at first to take part in social groups and activities. You may or may not want people around you. Counsellors can often help you in times of grief.

Talk with your doctor or local community health centre about your situation. They can give you information, and refer you to support and counselling services.

Use our service finder to find other support available in your area.

There are other support services and information you may find helpful.

Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement has online resources for grief.

Beyond Blue provides confidential counselling services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Griefline provides telephone and online counselling services.

Headspace is the national youth mental health foundation. They can help young people who are going through a tough time.

Head to Health is a digital mental health gateway for online and phone mental health services.

Lifeline is a national charity open to all Australians in personal crisis. They have 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. You can also contact a counsellor.

MensLine Australia provides confidential counselling services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Solace Australia provides support for people who have lost their partner.

You can also contact a counsellor through organisations such as:

Help to manage your money

You can get financial help to:

You can speak to a financial counsellor by contacting any of the following:

Read about how to cope financially after losing your partner on the MoneySmart website.

Page last updated: 20 March 2020