To provide officers with information on how to process and manage Bereavement Assistance applications.
Note: 'Officers' refers to family assistance officers and child protection workers in the Department of Communities (the Department).
Bereavement Assistance provides partial or full payment of funeral costs to support individuals who cannot afford to pay for funeral expenses. Where an applicant is successful, we provide assistance through direct payment to a contracted funeral company. Officers manage Bereavement Assistance applications throughout the process and make recommendations to Client Support Services, which is responsible for final approval. Refer to Bereavement Assistance Program (in related resources) for more information.
Members of the public can access more information on the website or phone toll free 1800 854 925. Client Support Services monitor these calls during business hours and the Crisis Care Unit outside of business hours.
The applicant is the person who assumes financial responsibility for the funeral and should be, where possible, the deceased’s next of kin. Applications are only accepted from persons who lodge the application and attend an interview in Western Australia (WA).
Applicants must be made aware of and, if eligible, use benefits offered by other departments. Eligibility to receive other benefits forms part of the assessment of financial resources. Other benefits include:
Applicants who wish to apply for Bereavement Assistance need to make an appointment and attend an interview at their local district office. Officers conduct the interview and assessment and help the applicant to complete the following forms:
Officers must outline the assessment process described below to applicants before the interview.
What is assessed?
Officers must assess the following to determine whether an applicant is eligible for Bereavement Assistance:
Applicants may be required to provide the following information:
Assessment and Assist data entry
Officers must ensure that the application is correctly recorded in line with the Assist User Guides. Once completed, applications must be emailed to Client Support Services at CSS@dcp.wa.gov.au for assessment. Refer to the resource Bereavement Assistance Program in related resources for more information on the recommendation and approval process.
If an application is successful, we will cover the costs for the contracted funeral company to attend to the following:
Variations to contracted conditions may be approved in exceptional circumstances, for example, cultural or religious reasons.
We will cover the costs for the storage of a body held by a non-contracted funeral company. If Bereavement Assistance is approved, the body is then transferred to a funeral company contracted by us.
The funeral takes place at the cemetery nearest to where the deceased died. We may accept responsibility for extra costs associated with transporting the body to another cemetery in the following situations:
We will not cremate a deceased person unless stipulated in their Will or required for cultural or religious reasons.
Funerals should take place on a weekday unless in remote and regional areas and exceptional circumstances.
We do not provide funding for death certificates. Families should apply to the Department of the Attorney General – Registry of Deaths for a death certificate.