What help there is when an adult dies

Grieving the death of someone close to you can be a difficult time. We have payments and services that may help you.

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

  • your individual circumstances
  • your relationship to the person who died
  • when you tell us about the person’s death.

When you tell us about their death, we’ll work out if you’re eligible and if so, how much you can get.

There are also support services available to help you.

Payments you may get

There are different types of bereavement assistance depending on your situation and the situation of the person who died.

If the person who died was your partner

If your partner died, you may get a lump sum bereavement payment. To be eligible, you both needed to be getting an income support payment for at least the previous 12 months, or a pension.

The amount paid is usually equal to the total you and your partner would’ve got as a couple, minus your new single rate. It’s calculated over a 14 week bereavement period, which starts on the day your partner died.

If you aren’t getting a Centrelink payment and your partner has died, you may be eligible for an income support payment such as JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance. You can claim these payments online or by calling us.

If your partner was registered for the Pension Bonus Scheme you may be eligible for a Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment. In this case, you don’t need to be getting an income support payment.

ABSTUDY Living Allowance

If you’ve been getting ABSTUDY Living Allowance for 12 months or more, you may get a lump sum bereavement payment if your partner dies.

Farm Household Allowance

If you’ve been getting Farm Household Allowance for 12 months or more, you may get a lump sum bereavement payment if your partner dies.

JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance

You may get a bereavement payment as a lump sum if your partner dies, and you’re getting or claiming either:

Both of you must be Australian residents at the time of your partner’s death.

If you’re pregnant when your partner dies, we’ll pay you an extra amount. If you haven’t already told us you’re pregnant, you need to call us on your payment line to let us know. To get this payment you’ll need to give medical evidence, including the expected date of your baby’s birth.

Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment

You may be eligible for Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment, if your partner both:

  • registered for the Pension Bonus Scheme with us, or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
  • died before making a successful claim for Age Pension and Pension Bonus.

We base the payment on the amount of Pension Bonus your partner would have got. You can submit a claim up to 26 weeks after your partner’s death.

If you cared for the person who died

If the person you care for dies, you may get bereavement assistance.

Carer Allowance

You may get a Carer Allowance bereavement payment if you’re getting both:

We pay up to 14 weeks of Carer Allowance as a lump sum.

Carer Payment

If you get Carer Payment for a person who dies, you may continue to get this payment after they die. You can get it for up to 14 weeks after the person’s death. This is to give you time to apply for another income support payment if you need it. You can use payment and service finder to find out what payment you may be able to get. You may also get a lump sum bereavement payment.

If the person who died was single

There’s a different process when people who get a payment die and don’t have a partner.

If they were single and getting an allowance

When a single person who gets an allowance, such as JobSeeker Payment, dies their payment stops that day. Their final payment is paid up to the day before their death. The executor of the estate can then access it from their bank account. There’s no extra bereavement assistance.

If they were a single pensioner

When a single pensioner dies, we pay their regular payment covering the fortnight in which they died. The executor of the estate can access it from their bank account. Their payment stops after this payment.

Money owed to customers after they have died

You can ask Centrelink to check if any payments are owing to the customer’s estate. You must show us proof that you are Executor or Administrator.

Download and complete the Executor/Administrator Request for information form (SS524).

Medicare and concession cards

We won’t automatically issue you a new Medicare card, concession card or Health Care Card if your partner dies and they’re listed on your card.

If you’d like a new Medicare card, you can call Medicare general enquiries and ask for one.

If you’d like a new concession card or Health Care Card, you can go to your Centrelink online account and ask for a replacement card.

Otherwise, the details will stay the same on your card until your current card expires.

Exemptions from mutual obligations

If someone close to you dies, you may get exemptions from mutual obligations or activity test requirements, if you get one of these payments:

This exemption period is different depending on the situation. It may last:

  • up to 8 weeks from the date of death of an immediate family member
  • up to 14 weeks from the date of death of your partner
  • for the length of the pregnancy if you were pregnant at the time of your partner’s death.

Page last updated: 27 September 2022