MEDIA RELEASE: LABOR CALLS FOR EQUAL BEREAVEMENT PAYMENTS

August 08, 2019

Today Labor is calling on the Government to equalise bereavement payments for parents of stillborn babies.

Under the current social security system, eligible parents who lose a child are entitled to the Family Tax Benefit Bereavement Payment, equivalent to 14 weeks of the Family Tax Benefit.

The amount a family receives varies depending on their circumstances, and varies between $1,500 and $2,700 for an average family.  

Currently, parents are only eligible for this payment if a baby’s heart beats after birth. If it beats once, you receive a payment, if your baby is born without a heartbeat, you don’t.

That support should also apply for a family whose baby hasn’t made it through child birth.  

It’s only fair that the bereavement payment for parents of stillborn children is equal. The grief is the same and the support should be the same.

Labor estimates it would cost $2.1 million a year which is a small price to pay for fixing a fundamental inequity in the system.

The Government will have our full support in equalising this payment, as they do in implementing the recommendations from the Senate Stillbirth Inquiry.  

THURSDAY, 8 AUGUST 2019