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Factsheet MRC18 - Bereavement Payments

Purpose

This Factsheet explains the circumstances in which a bereavement payment can be awarded under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA).

Who is eligible for a bereavement payment?

A wholly dependent partner of a deceased serving or former member is entitled to a bereavement payment where the serving or former member was receiving, or was entitled to receive, incapacity payments, permanent impairment periodic payments or the Special Rate Disability Pension (SRDP) under the MRCA at the time of his or her death.

If more than one partner was dependent on the serving or former member at the time of his or her death, the bereavement payment will be split between the partners having regard to the relative loss of financial support each has suffered as a result of the serving or former member’s death.

If there is no wholly dependent partner, the bereavement payment can be made to a dependent child or dependent children of the deceased.

When is a bereavement payment not payable?

A bereavement payment is not payable where a permanent impairment entitlement was paid as a lump sum or in cases where periodic incapacity payments were redeemed by payment to the serving or former member as a lump sum of compensation.

How much is the bereavement payment?

The payment is equal to 12 instalments of the:

  • weekly amount of incapacity payment;
  • permanent impairment periodic payment; and/or
  • SRDP payments;

that the deceased member was either receiving, or was entitled to receive, at the time of his or her death.

Do I need to make a claim?

Yes. A claim can be made by completing DVA Form D2053. Claim forms are available from your nearest DVA office or the DVA website at www.dva.gov.au/dvaforms/

In the case of a partner, a claim can also be made in the form of a signed letter stating that the serving or former member has died. The letter should be accompanied by evidence from the partner that he or she was living with the member at the time of death and evidence to establish that he or she was wholly dependent on the serving or former member for the economic support at the time of death. Partners and eligible young persons living with the serving or former member at the time of death are considered to wholly dependent.

Evidence of financial dependency and of the partner’s living with the serving or former member at the time of death can be made in the form of a properly completed Statutory Declaration.

A claim can also be made by or on behalf of a child or children, who was or were, wholly dependent on the serving or former member at the time of death if there was no wholly dependent partner at the time.

Staff in DVA are sensitive to the feelings of those who lose a loved one and do not wish to intrude on family members with an offer of money soon after the date of the member’s death (if DVA staff know of the death). It is important that you let staff in DVA know of the death as soon as you feel that you can. Staff will then be able to offer whatever assistance is possible by way of bereavement payments and compensation following death. They could also direct those affected by the death to the counselling services that are available through the Department in such cases.

If DVA staff are not notified of the death, there could be an overpayment of weekly compensation benefits that were being paid prior to the member’s death. If payments made after death (due to the Department’s not being notified of the death) totalled more than the 12 weeks’ entitlement to bereavement payments, it may be necessary for DVA staff to recover the excess.

More Information

DVA General Enquiries

Phone: 1800 555 254 *

Email: GeneralEnquiries@dva.gov.au

DVA Website: www.dva.gov.au

Factsheet Website: www.dva.gov.au/factsheets

* Calls from mobile phones and pay phones may incur additional charges.

Related Factsheets

Related Forms

Disclaimer

The information contained in this Factsheet is general in nature and does not take into account individual circumstances. You should not make important decisions, such as those that affect your financial or lifestyle position on the basis of information contained in this Factsheet. Where you are required to lodge a written claim for a benefit, you must take full responsibility for your decisions prior to the written claim being determined. You should seek confirmation in writing of any oral advice you receive from DVA.

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29 November 2018