Legislative Authority

Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986
Section 53H (definition)
53J-N (bereavement payment - partnered)
53P-Q (bereavement payment - single)
53R-T (bereavement payment - death of a dependent child)


Stated Current Purpose/Intent

To allow a service pensioner or income support supplement (ISS) recipient continued access to payments at the following rates for a limited time:

  • the combined provisional rate of pension on the death of his or her partner; or
  • his or her current rate of pension on the death of a dependent child, or a person for whom he or she was caring.

The payment is designed to assist the widow or widower gradually to adjust her/his financial situation, and to defray costs caused by the bereavement.


Current Eligibility Criteria

Bereavement payments may be made to:

  • the widow, widower or carer of a deceased service pensioner;
  • an ISS recipient whose deceased partner was in receipt of an income support supplement, service pension, or certain pensions from Services Australia;
  • the estate of a deceased non-partnered service pensioner;
  • parents whose dependent children have died.


Date of Introduction

Re-adjustment allowance (the equivalent of six pays) was introduced in 1968.

Disability Compensation (formerly disability pension) bereavement payments commenced on 19 December 1989.

Service pension bereavement payments (the equivalent of seven pays) were introduced on 1 January 1990.



  1. The amount of bereavement payment where the deceased pensioner has a partner is the equivalent of seven pension instalments. If the deceased pensioner was not partnered, one pension instalment is payable to the estate.
  2. For partnered pensioners, instalments are of the combined provisional rate of pension.
  3. Also payable to the widow or widower of a Disability Compensation Payment recipient.


Original Purpose/Intent

The original purpose has not changed.


Significant Changes in Criteria or Purpose Since Introduction


Re-adjustment allowance introduced (now bereavement payment).


Bereavement payments introduced from 1 January (one additional instalment to be paid in respect of a deceased service pensioner).


ISS recipients became eligible.


Rules for calculating bereavement payments in ISS cases were amended, resulting in higher payments for some.