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8.2.1 Overview of Disability Pension Bereavement Payment
Last amended: 1 July 2008
What is Disability Pension Bereavement Payment?
Disability pension bereavement payment primarily provides financial assistance to the partner of a deceased veteran who was on a disability pension. It is designed to assist the widow/widower to gradually adjust his or her financial situation, and to assist meeting costs associated with the bereavement.
Disability pension bereavement payments can also provide support for the families of single Australian veterans previously in receipt of Special Rate or Extreme Disablement Adjustment (EDA) rate and assist with funeral expenses where the deceased dies in indigent circumstances.
Calculating the rate of Disability Pension Bereavement Payment
A Disability Pension Bereavement Payment in most cases is equal to 6 fortnights worth of the deceased's disability pension as follows:
- For a member of a couple- calculated at the rate payable on the first pension payday after the Department became aware of the death; or
- For a single pensioner - calculated at the rate payable on the first pension pay day after death.
The rate of disability pension payable must take into account any compensation offsetting the person was subject to and must include the specific disability allowance if the person was receiving it.
In certain circumstances, where a claim for disability pension is determined after the death of the veteran, the Bereavement Payment may need to be calculated.
Impact on other bereavement assistance
Payments of disability pension bereavement payment have no impact on either:
- Income support bereavement payments; or
- Funeral benefits
Payment of disability pension bereavement payment
Disability pension bereavement payment is normally paid as a lump sum to the deceased veteran's partner or the deceased veteran's estate. However, if the partner of the veteran dies before the payment is made, alternative payment arrangements will apply.
A bereavement payment is an amount payable in respect of a deceased pensioner that represents a continuation of the pensioner's entitlement for a period following the death (the bereavement period).
The payment can be made as:
- a lump sum in advance, or
- a continuation of the deceased person's pension instalments, or
- a combination of both, or
- a portion of the rate of pension payable to the surviving member of a couple identified as a separate amount only for taxation purposes.
Disability pension, for the purposes of service pension and income support supplement, means:
- a pension paid for incapacity from war caused conditions, or peacetime, peacekeeping or hazardous service caused conditions (other than a war widow's or orphan's pension); or
- temporary incapacity allowance; or
- any other payment in respect of incapacity or death resulting from war or war-like operations in which the Crown has been engaged [usually paid by another Commonwealth country].
Under Section 24 of the VEA, a veteran is eligible fo the Special Rate if they are considered to be totally and permanently incapacitated, that is if the incapacity from war-caused injury or war-caused disease, or both is of such a nature that:
- the degree of incapacity is at least 70 %; or
- the veteran is receiving/entitled to receive a pension at the 'general rate' due to Pulmonary tuberculosis;
- and because of this incapacity, the veteran is:
- incapable of undertaking remunerative work for periods aggregating more than 8 hours per week; and
- suffering a loss of salary or wages.
The Extreme Disablement Adjustment is the equivalent of 150% of the General Rate. It is payable to very severely incapacitated veterans of 65 years & over who do not qualify for the Special or Intermediate Rates.
An allowance paid in respect of an incapacity from a war caused injury or disease resulting in amputation or blindness, as described in the table in subsection 27(1).
A person's 'partner' is someone who is a member of a couple with that person.