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Separation Due to Ill Health or Respite Care

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Calculation of rate last payable

    

If a pensioner who is a member of an illness-separated or respite care couple dies the rate last payable is calculated at the partnered rate of pension rather than the single rate.

Disregard rent assistance

Any rent assistance that may have been payable in relation to the deceased pensioner's accommodation is disregarded in calculation of the rate last payable since rental costs will not be incurred past the date of death.

Reassessment of partner's pension

    

Where a couple are illness-separated, the partner of the deceased pensioner is reassessed to the partnered rate for the duration of the bereavement period.

This is because the additional costs that a couple may incur as a result of living separately will cease on the death of one member of the couple.

War widow/widower

If a member of an illness separated or respite care couple dies, and he or she was a war widow/widower who was receiving service pension or income support supplement, both members of the couple are assessed at the partnered rate.

In addition, the rules regarding payment of a bereavement payment to a war widow/widower receiving service pension or income support supplement need to be applied.    


An illness separated couple is a couple who cannot share a home because of the illness or infirmity of one or both partners. Illness separated couples may be paid the higher single rate of pension. Refer to subsection 5R(5) of the VEA for the full definition.

 

 

A respite care couple is a couple who Commission has determined are separated because one person has entered respite care in a nursing home or hostel to give the other member of the couple a temporary break from caring for that person.

Members of a respite care couple are entitled to be paid the single rate of pension.

Refer to subsection 5R(6) of the VEA for the full definition.

 

 

For the purposes of bereavement payment, the rate last payable is the rate of income support pension that was payable to a person on the last pension payday before their death.

For illness separated couples, respite care couples and war widows/widowers receiving an income support pension, the rate last payable is calculated in a specific way as provided by section 53M of the VEA.

 

 

Rent Assistance is an allowance, which may be paid to a service pensioner or income support supplement (ISS) recipient to assist in meeting the cost of rental accommodation.

To receive rent assistance, a pensioner must be paying rent (other than Government rent) for accommodation in Australia, and the amount paid must exceed a certain threshold.

An illness separated couple is a couple who cannot share a home because of the illness or infirmity of one or both partners. Illness separated couples may be paid the higher single rate of pension. Refer to subsection 5R(5) of the VEA for the full definition.

 

 

Most income support pensions and many of the associated allowances are paid at different rates depending on whether the recipient is partnered or single.  Typically, the partnered rate is lower than the single rate to take account of the economies associated with two persons pooling their resources.

 

 

Bereavement period, as defined in section 53H of VEA, in relation to a person's death, means the period of 98 days starting on the day on which the person died.

 

 

A war widow/widower is generally a person who immediately before their partners death, was the partner of, or was legally married to:

Refer to 5E(1) of the VEA for the full definition.