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Other Funeral Benefit Grant for a Deceased Veteran or Member

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Last amended 
4 September 2015
Eligibility for other funeral benefit grant    

 

A funeral benefit may be paid in respect of the funeral of a deceased veteran or member of the Forces:

  • whose death occurred in one of the following situations:

    • in an institution where he or she was receiving treatment,

    • while travelling to or from an institution where he or she was receiving treatment,

    • after being discharged from an institution where he or she was receiving treatment for a terminal illness, or

    • while receiving treatment for a terminal illness at his or her home instead of in an institution, or

  • who served before 1 July 2004 and whose death was war-caused or defence-caused.

What is Terminal Illness?

For the purpose of a VEA funeral benefit, a terminal illness can be defined as a condition or disease that cannot be cured or adequately treated that is reasonably expected to result in the person's death within a relatively short period of time. The admission, travel, discharge or treatment must have been approved by the Repatriation Commission or the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission. This includes services provided under a Repatriation Card for all Conditions (Gold Card) or a Repatriation Card for Specific Conditions (White Card).

What is Treatment?

For the purpose of a VEA funeral benefit, Treatment can be defined as "the provision of accommodation, medical procedures, nursing care, social or domestic assistance, transport or other action taken to attempt to restore health or alleviate suffering." Where subsections 99(1)(e)(i)-(iv) and 99(3) apply, a person can be eligible for a funeral benefit where they were receiving treatment arranged by the Commission. This can be read to include treatment approvals administered by way of a DVA Repatriation Health Treatment Card (either Gold Card or White Card).

What is an Institution?

Under VEA section 94, it states that for the purposes of Part 6, a reference to a hospital or other institution can be read as "a reference to a home, a hostel, a medical centre, an out-patient clinic, and a rehabilitation or training establishment". For the purpose of funeral benefits, this can include a nursing home, also known as an aged care home, among other institutions under Part 6 of the VEA. The institution requirement, to be satisfied under section 99 (1)(e) and (3), should be applied in a beneficial manner and not restrictively to VEA funeral benefit claims.

Clients with dual veteran/dependant status    

The eligibility for funeral benefit for clients who have veteran status, and who are also dependants of deceased veterans, should be assessed under section 99 and 100 of the VEA which both provide for payment. However, it must be noted that these provisions apply independently, requiring the person to establish their eligibility for funeral benefit, either by meeting the specific requirements as a veteran or member of the Forces in section 99, or the different requirements as the dependent of a deceased veteran of member of the Forces in section 100. The circumstances of the client cannot be applied simultaneously to both eligibility tests.

For the operation of section 99 funeral benefits for a client with dual veteran/dependant status (e.g. war widow who is also an eligible veteran in their own right) it is only necessary for that veteran (who may have either a White Card or Gold Card) to have been in an institution for the purposes of treatment arranged by the Commission when they died. Section 99 (1)(e) and Section 99(3)(b), which are read together, does not state or imply that the treatment must be for a specific condition that related to their war or defence service. Merely that the veteran "had treatment" under DVA health care arrangements through the VEA and died in an institution would be sufficient to satisfy these provisions.

Posthumous eligibility for other funeral benefit grant    

 

A funeral benefit may also be paid in respect of the funeral of a deceased veteran or member of the Forces who was posthumously:

Who is ineligible for other funeral benefit grant? 

 

The VEA precludes payment of any other funeral benefit in respect of a deceased veteran if an automatic grant of funeral benefit has already been made in respect of that veteran.

Amount payable for other funeral benefit

 

The amount of funeral benefit paid is the lesser of:

  • A maximum amount of $2,000, or
  • an amount equal to the amount paid or payable for the funeral of the deceased veteran or member of the Forces.

Note: Where the dependant contributed to a funeral benefit fund, the amount paid or payable for the funeral is reduced by the amount of benefit payable from the fund.

Additional amount payable for transportation of the body

When an eligible veteran or member of the Forces dies:

an additional amount may be paid to cover a reasonable charge for the cost of transporting the veteran or member of the Forces' body to the normal place of residence.

Note: The reason for the absence must have been for the purposes of obtaining treatment. If the person unexpectedly becomes ill while away from their normal place of residence and accesses treatment using their Gold Card or White Card, then the criteria for accessing an additional payment for transportation of the body is not met.

Note: The veteran or member of the Forces normal place of residence, for the purposes of considering additional transportation costs, can be reasonably taken to include the veteran's general locality (suburb or township), rather than being limited to the return of the body to the person's actual residence.

Additional amount payable for transportation of the body - where automatic funeral benefit has been granted

 

A veteran eligible for an automatic grant of funeral benefit will need to satisfy one of the separate eligibility tests in section 99 to be eligible to receive an additional amount for assistance with transportation costs.

It is expected that a veteran who meets the restrictive circumstances for payment of additional transportation costs under subsection 99(4), being that he/she died while away from their ordinary place of residence, for the purpose of obtaining medical treatment approved by Commission, will readily satisfy one of the eligibility requirements under paragraph 99(1)(e). Where the delegate is satisfied that this eligibility test is met by a veteran who has already received an automatic grant of funeral benefit, a further payment in respect of transportation costs may be made. (The eligibility test is also met where the veteran's death is accepted as being war-caused, or where the veteran dies in indigent circumstances).

If determined as eligible, payment of funeral benefit should be limited to the primary automatic grant, with an additional payment in respect of transportation costs. As a further funeral benefit under section 99 is discretionary, this discretion can apply to grant only the additional component for transportation costs. A further primary payment of funeral benefit under section 99 should not be made where the veteran's estate already has an automatic grant entitlement, in keeping with the policy position that only one payment of funeral benefit is to be made.

Restrictions to payment for transportation of the body

 

No additional amount may be paid to cover the cost of transporting the veteran's or member's body in respect of costs incurred transporting the veteran's body where that transport occurs:

  • outside Australia, or
  • from one place in the metropolitan area of a capital city to another place in the metropolitan area of the same city.

Note: Please see the Australian Bureau of Statistics website if you need assistance identifying a metropolitan area of a capital city

Payment of other funeral benefit

Payment of a funeral benefit under these criteria are made to the applicant, unless requested otherwise on the application.    

More →

 

Applying for a funeral benefit

Section 8.3.4

 

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For the purposes of Part VI of the VEA, a reference to a veteran is taken to be a reference to:

  • a veteran as defined in subsection 5C(1) of the VEA;
  • a member of the Forces as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA; or
  • a member of a Peacekeeping Force as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA.

For the purposes of Part VII of the VEA, according to subsection 5C(1), veteran means a person (including a deceased person):

  • who is taken to have rendered eligible war service, or
  • in respect of whom a pension is, or pensions are, payable under subsection 13(6) and
  • in Part III and Part VIIC of the VEA includes a person who is:

 

 

A member of the forces is a person who served in the defence force for a continuous period that commenced after 7 December 1972 and has the type of service required in sections 69, 69A and 69B of the VEA.

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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).

For the purposes of Part VI of the VEA, a reference to a veteran is taken to be a reference to:

  • a veteran as defined in subsection 5C(1) of the VEA;
  • a member of the Forces as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA; or
  • a member of a Peacekeeping Force as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA.

For the purposes of Part VII of the VEA, according to subsection 5C(1), veteran means a person (including a deceased person):

  • who is taken to have rendered eligible war service, or
  • in respect of whom a pension is, or pensions are, payable under subsection 13(6) and
  • in Part III and Part VIIC of the VEA includes a person who is:

 

 

A member of the forces is a person who served in the defence force for a continuous period that commenced after 7 December 1972 and has the type of service required in sections 69, 69A and 69B of the VEA.

According to section 363 of the MRCA, the Commission is a body corporate under the name of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission.

For the purposes of Part VI of the VEA, a reference to a veteran is taken to be a reference to:

  • a veteran as defined in subsection 5C(1) of the VEA;
  • a member of the Forces as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA; or
  • a member of a Peacekeeping Force as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA.

For the purposes of Part VII of the VEA, according to subsection 5C(1), veteran means a person (including a deceased person):

  • who is taken to have rendered eligible war service, or
  • in respect of whom a pension is, or pensions are, payable under subsection 13(6) and
  • in Part III and Part VIIC of the VEA includes a person who is:

 

 

A member of the forces is a person who served in the defence force for a continuous period that commenced after 7 December 1972 and has the type of service required in sections 69, 69A and 69B of the VEA.