You are here

1.16 How to determine whether a person was wholly or partly dependent


Where the partner or prescribed child of the member was not living with the member at the time of death, it is quite likely that the partner or child was either partly dependent or not dependent at all.   However this is not necessarily the case and there may be cases where the partner or child had been relying either wholly or partly on financial support from the deceased for their living expenses.

In determining whether a partner or child who was not living with the member was wholly or partly dependent on the deceased, each case has to be considered in light of the individual circumstances that applied at the date of the death (see 1.12).  The same applies to an “other” dependant, such as the deceased's father or mother, irrespective of whether they were living with the member or not.

In making the determination, delegates need to consider all relevant information such as bank statements or other records or proof of regular payments by the deceased for the economic support of the person or records of other financial support.  Alternatively, court orders etc which demonstrate the deceased's legal liability to make regular payments may provide some evidence of economic support.  Account also needs to be taken of any income received by the person claiming to have been economically dependent.

However, irrespective of payments having been made to a person by the deceased or income received by that person, care must be taken not to make any assumptions about the extent of dependency simply on the basis of those payments or that income.  In addition to the existence of such payments or income there would need to be indications that the person was actually relying on those payments or that income to support themselves economically, either wholly or partly - see 1.12.

This reliance might be evidenced, for example, by the fact that a person's rent or mortgage repayments and their grocery bills were paid for out of the account into which the deceased had been depositing money.

In determining the extent of a person's dependency on the deceased, no account can be taken of the fact that a person was in receipt of certain Commonwealth income support payments – see 4.4.