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Eligibility for Partnered Pensioner Bereavement Payment

Last amended 
28 February 2022


Who is eligible?

Pensioners eligible for a Partnered Pensioner Bereavement Payment, are those who were a member of:

Note: Prior to 1 January 2022, some partners, with a nil rate of social security payment, may still have been considered recipients of a social security payment due to the impact of DFISA.  DFISA ceased 1 January 2022.

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A service pension is an income support payment broadly equivalent to the social security age and disability support pensions. It may be paid once a veteran or partner has reached the nominated age or is incapacitated for work.

ISS is an income support payment that may be paid to eligible war widows and widowers under the VEA and persons receiving wholly dependent partners' compensation under the MRCA, and who satisfy the means tests. It is an indexed rate, increased twice-yearly in March and September in line with changes to the cost of living and/or average wages. Income Support Supplement (ISS) legislation commenced on 20 March 1995. It is a payment created to replace the ceiling rate income support age, carer, wife and disability support pensions, paid to war widows/widowers by Centrelink.



The term social security pension is defined in Section 5Q(1) VEA to mean:

  • age pension;
  • disability support pension;
  • carer payment;
  • pension PP (single);
  • sole parent pension;
  • special needs pension.

As benefits (pensions) may change, for the most current definition access this link to the Social Security Act 1991



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.



The information below is for historical reference only.

Defence Force Income Support Allowance (DFISA) ceased on 1 January 2022 because adjusted disability income became exempt income under the Social Security Act 1991.  It was an income support payment paid by DVA to people whose income support payment under Social Security Law was reduced, or not payable, because of the impact of adjusted disability pension. DFISA was the difference between the person's existing entitlement, and what the entitlement would have been had adjusted DP been exempt, but was assessed in the calculation of rent assistance.