What help there is when a child dies

Going through the loss of your child is one of the toughest experiences in life. We have payments and services to help you.

Payments you may get

The type and amount of bereavement payment you get depends on all of the following:

  • your individual circumstances
  • if you were the parent or legal guardian of the child
  • the payment you were getting before the death
  • when you tell us about their death.

In most cases, you won't need to submit a claim. When you tell us about their death, we’ll work out how much and for how long to pay you.

Call the Families line so we can help you. Say the word ‘bereavement’.

Family Tax Benefit

You can continue to get Family Tax Benefit (FTB) after the eligible child has died. You can get it as either:

  • a fortnightly payment for up to 14 weeks
  • a lump sum payment.

If you haven’t yet claimed FTB for your child you can either:

The amount and period we can pay you for depends on both of the following:

  • your family’s income
  • the age of the child or children in your family.

From 1 January 2021, you may get a top-up of the Newborn Supplement with your FTB bereavement payment. We will pay you the top-up if both of the following happened:

  • your baby died before their first birthday
  • you got the lower amount of Newborn Supplement for them.

Carer Allowance

You can get Carer Allowance bereavement payment if you’re getting Carer Allowance 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 your Health Care Card for up to 14 weeks after their 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 Double Orphan Pension for up to 14 weeks after their 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.

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 card or Health Care Card if your child dies. If you’d like a new card, you can call Medicare general enquiries and 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 their death. If this happens, you or the executor should talk to the service provider about the charges.

Support if your baby was stillborn

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 their date of birth.

Support if your baby died soon after birth

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

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.

The 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 help available to cover funeral costs on the Moneysmart website.

Page last updated: 7 October 2021