Step 9 – Deceased Estate Administration Guide
Bereavement Allowances & Support Payments
- Last Updated: August 2023
This step explains everything you need to know to help determine if dependent spouse and/or children are in a difficult financial situation and may need support, and what types of bereavement allowances and bereavement support payments are available.
OverviewThe loss of a loved one is a difficult time. Especially where a spouse and/or child(ren) were financially dependent on the deceased person, the situation can feel even more overwhelming. The Australian Government provides several support services that may apply. You as the Executor, Administrator or Next of Kin should consider if:
- any dependants (spouse and/or children) require financial support;
- financial allowances may be needed to cover costs associated with the Deceased Estate administration;
- any children are now double orphans;
- a widow allowance applies; and
- leave from an employer may available.
Executor Checklists & Tools
9.1 Government Bereavement Allowances and Bereavement Support Payments
The Australian Government and its Departments offer a range of support services and bereavement support payments when in difficult financial situations. simplyEstate has listed the most common ones below for your convenience.
9.2 Department of Veterans’ Affairs Support
- VETERANS’ ENTITLEMENTS ACT 1986 (Cth) (Austl.) (accessed 21/02/2021) – VEA; or
- MILITARY REHABILITATION AND COMPENSATION ACT 2004 (Cth) (Austl.) (accessed 21/02/2021) – MRCA.
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) website provides an overview of available assistance.
9.3 Services Australia (formerly Department of Human Services)
Services Australia comprises of Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support services.Services Australia provides the following bereavement allowances that you or the deceased person's dependants may be eligible for. Make sure to always check the eligibility criteria first as not all may apply in your situation:
- ABSTUDY Living Allowance
- Age Pension
- Carer Allowance
- Carer Payment
- Double Orphan Pension
- Farm Household Allowance
- JobSeeker Payment
- Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment
- Special Benefit
- Widow Allowance (no longer available after 1 July 2018)
- Youth Allowance
If the partner of the deceased person is pregnant at the time of death, Services Australia (formerly Department of Human Services) may provide additional financial support after verifying medical evidence of the pregnancy and the expected date of birth.
Services AustraliaPhone: 132 300
Contact Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm AEST
You are currently on Step 9 – Bereavement Allowances & Support Payments. Other steps of interest may be:> Step 3 – Bereavement Assistance & Care After a Loss > Step 5 – The Role of Executor of a Will or Administrator of Estate > Step 27 – Grant of Probate Application or Applying for Letters of Administration
Actions and Decisions to Complete Step Yourself
If you have decided to complete this Step yourself, some actions and decisions may be to:
- Identify if any dependants (spouse and/or children) of the deceased person require financial support;
- Determine if financial assistance may be needed to cover costs associated with the Deceased Estate administration or for everyday expenses and living costs;
- Establish if the financial assistance is needed temporarily or on an ongoing basis;
- Discuss the financial issue with the family and/or Beneficiaries to see how financial support could be provided in the meantime if the financial issue is only temporary until the Estate is finalised and the affected person agrees to discuss this matter;
- Determine if the death has resulted in any children now being double orphans and seek appropriate help from Services Australia (formerly Department of Human Services);
- Review the various allowances described in this Step to determine if one may apply to your situation and contact the relevant department (see Step 9.2 and Step 9.3 above); and
- Advise affected persons to check with their employer of any leave entitlements to take some time off if necessary.
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Cost & Effort
Reading: 10 mins
Preparing: 0-1 hrs
Completing: 1-3 hrs
Total: 1:10-4:10 hrs
Effort and cost are general estimates only and are based on the assumption that you complete this step without experienced support.
To find out how this Process Guide works, access the instructions here.
To find out what the capitalised words mean, access the glossary here.
Other forms not listed here may be required based on your specific circumstances.
Checklists & ToolsDownload Australia's most used Important Documents Checklist to find out about the most commonly used documents you will need.
Legislation & Rules
AllowancesVETERANS’ ENTITLEMENTS ACT 1986 (Cth) (Austl.) (accessed 21/02/2021) – VEA
MILITARY REHABILITATION AND COMPENSATION ACT 2004 (Cth) (Austl.) (accessed 21/02/2021) – MRCA
Other legislation and rules not listed here may apply to your specific circumstances.
Guidance & Support
Executor Checklists & Tools
Are you, or someone you’re supporting, struggling with the loss or feeling overwhelmed with the Deceased Estate administration? Find out about our support options and personal guidance to get you back on your way with confidence.