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Step 9 - Request Allowances & Government Support

Last updated: June 2019

Why is this important?

This step explains everything you need to know to help determine if a dependent spouse or children are in a difficult financial situation and need support, and what types of allowances are available.

 

simplyEstate is here to help with the process. Contact us via email or book a first free phone appointment.

Approximate Effort & Cost

Reading: 10 mins
Preparing: 0-1 hr
Completing: 1-3 hrs
Total: 1:10-4:10 hrs
Cost: $0

Effort and cost are general estimates only and are based on the assumption that you complete this step without specialist help.

Instructions

To find out how this Process Guide works, access the instructions here.

Glossary

To find out what the capitalised words mean, access the glossary here.

Legislation

Legislation shown may not be comprehensive and other legislation and rules may apply to your specific circumstances.

9.1 Overview

The loss of a loved one is a difficult time. Especially where a spouse 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 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.

Contents
9.2 Government Allowances and Financial Support
9.3 Department of Veterans’ Affairs Support
9.4 Department of Human Services
   9.4.1 Bereavement Allowance
   9.4.2 Bereavement Payment
   9.4.3 Double Orphan Pension
   9.4.4 Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment
   9.4.5 Widow Allowance
9.5 Actions and Decisions to Complete Step

9.2 Government Allowances and Financial Support

The Australian Government and its Departments offer a range of support services in certain difficult financial circumstances. simplyEstate has listed the most common ones below for your convenience.

9.3 Department of Veterans' Affairs Support

If the deceased person received a pension or other payments from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), you or the dependant of the deceased person may be eligible for support under both the:

This DVA website provides an overview of available assistance.

9.4 Department of Human Services

The Department of Human Services (DHS) comprises of Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support services.

 

The DHS provides the following 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.

 

Department of Human Services

Phone: 132 300
Contact Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm AEST

9.4.1 Bereavement Allowance

This allowance provides you with income support paid for a short period of time while the deceased person’s spouse or partner adjusts to the new financial circumstances.

 

These payments have strict eligibility criteria and are tested against the claiming person’s income and assets.

 

Relevant information and forms can be found here.

9.4.2 Bereavement Payment

This allowance provides you with a lump sum of money or income support paid for short period of time.

 

You are generally eligible if the deceased person was your spouse, child or someone you were caring for. Other eligibility criteria apply.

 

Relevant information and forms can be found here.

9.4.3 Double Orphan Pension

This is a regular support payment if you are caring for a child or children if its parents are unable to take care of them.

 

These payments have strict eligibility criteria.

 

Relevant information and forms can be found here.

9.4.4 Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment

This is a lump sum pension payment if the deceased person was registered in the Pension Bonus Scheme before 1 July 2014, after which no further applications were allowed.

 

These payments have strict eligibility criteria and are tested against the claiming person’s income and assets.

 

Relevant information and forms can be found here.

9.4.5 Widow Allowance

The Widow Allowance is no longer available after 1 July 2018.
However, the following support remains available to which you may be eligible to apply for:

 

Newstart Allowance
If the deceased person’s spouse is under the pension age, is looking for work or wants to study and meets the other eligibility requirements, you should inform the person of this allowance and may assist with an application.

 

These payments have strict eligibility criteria and are tested against the claiming person’s income and assets.

 

Relevant information can be found here.

 

Age Pension
If the deceased person’s spouse is of pension age, you should inform the person of this allowance and may assist with an application.

 

These payments have strict eligibility criteria and are tested against the claiming person’s income and assets.

 

Relevant information can be found here.

 

Special Benefit
If the deceased person’s spouse is experiencing financial hardship as a result of the death and is ineligible for any other allowance, the Special Benefit may be available.

 

These payments have strict eligibility criteria and are tested against the claiming person’s income and assets.

 

Relevant information can be found here.

9.5 Actions and Decisions to Complete Step

If you would like a little help from us at simplyEstate with this Step, you can email us or book your free first phone appointment. If you would like specialist help, get in touch with one of our Specialist Partners listed in the yellow section to the right or below and see how they can help.

 

If you have decided to tackle this Step yourself after reading and understanding this Step, you may want to:

  1. Identify if any dependants (spouse or children) of the deceased person require financial support;
  2. Determine if financial assistance may be needed to cover costs associated with the deceased estate administration or for everyday expenses and living costs;
  3. Establish if the financial assistance is needed immediately and for the duration of the deceased estate administration process or on an ongoing basis;
  4. 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 in the coming months and the affected person agrees to discuss this matter;
  5. Determine if the death has resulted in any children now being double orphans and seek appropriate help from Human Services;
  6. Review the various allowances described in this Step to determine if one may apply to your situation;
  7. Contact the relevant department to explain the situation and enquire about the allowances available; and
  8. Check leave entitlements with the employer of affected persons to take time off to deal with the financial support and allowances.

Once you have completed all the necessary actions and decisions, you can move on to the next Step by clicking below or save progress at the top.

Do you need specialist help?

simplyEstate has partnered with select Specialists across Australia to assist you.

 

You can click on your State/Territory to find a suitable Specialist and get in touch to discuss how they can help you.

Get in Touch

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If you would like to speak to us about this Step, discuss how to engage a Specialist Partner or need support, book a Phone Appointment now.

simplyEstate is here to help.

 

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What other users say

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“simplyEstate has helped me and my family during a very difficult time after the loss of my mother. We were lost initially and don’t know how we could’ve managed without this excellent resource, thank you very much!”

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