What help there is when a child dies

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

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

  • your individual circumstances
  • if you were getting a payment before their death
  • when you tell us about the death.

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’.

There are also support services available to help you.

Payments you may get

The bereavement assistance you get depends on your situation.

Family Tax Benefit

You can continue to get Family Tax Benefit (FTB) after your 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 each child in your family.

You may get a top-up of the Newborn Supplement with your FTB bereavement payment. We’ll pay you the top-up if both of the following happened:

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

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.

Parenting Payment

If you’re single and your only qualifying child dies, you can continue to get Parenting Payment for up to 14 weeks after the child’s death.

If you need ongoing income support, you’ll need to claim another payment at the end of the 14 week bereavement period. You can use the Payment Finder to see what payments you may be eligible for.

JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance

If you’re a single principal carer and your only qualifying child has died, you’ll keep the higher rate of payment and concessions. You’ll keep these for 14 weeks after your child’s death. This applies if you meet these rules and you get either:

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

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 their death.

Carer Payment

If you’re getting Carer Payment for a child who dies, you may continue to get this payment for up to 14 weeks after the child’s death. This is to give you time to apply for another income support payment, if required. You will also get a lump sum bereavement payment. You’ll also be able to use your concession card for up to 14 weeks after their death.

Payments if your baby was stillborn

If your baby was stillborn or died shortly after birth, also known as neonatal death, your family may get one of the following payments:

Time limits apply to claim these payments. You must submit your claim within 52 weeks from their date of delivery.

Payments if your baby died soon after birth

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

Medicare, concession and Health Care cards

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

Page last updated: 5 July 2024.
QC 60114