When a member of a pensioner couple passes away, the surviving spouse may receive a lump sum bereavement payment.
The lump sum bereavement payment is calculated over a 14-week period from the date of death. It is calculated as the difference between:
· Combined couple rate of Age Pension received prior to death, and
· The new single rate of pension received by the surviving spouse
If the new single rate of pension received by the surviving spouse is greater than the combined couple rate, a lump sum bereavement payment will not be paid.
If the surviving spouse is eligible, any Age Pension payments paid to the deceased after the date of death during the 14-week bereavement period can be retained by the surviving spouse. However, this will reduce the amount of lump sum bereavement payment that may be payable.
If the couple are separated due to ill health (i.e., one or both spouses are in residential aged care) and receiving the single rate of Age Pension each, the lump sum bereavement payment is then calculated using the couple rate of pension (as if they were living together). This would then effectively reduce the amount payable.