Veteran Payment and Pension Entitlements
Before proceeding to open a relationship with DVA, RAAF Association advice is the seek the counsel of a qualified Advocate to advise you on your entitlements and how to proceed. Interfacing with DVA can be a complicated process and without qualified advice, you can end up confused and not achieving justified outcomes. Contact with an Advocate can be arranged through Air Force Association and many Ex-Service organisations.
The Veteran Payment
The Veteran Payment is a short-term payment made to eligible veterans who:
- have submitted a claim for a mental health condition under either the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA) or the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA)
- are unable to work for more than 8 hours a week
- meet the income and assets test
- are under the Age Pension age
- are Australian residents
- are in Australia when they submit their claim for a mental health condition.
You can receive this payment while your claim is being assessed for a mental health condition.
The Veteran Payment will stop 42 days after DVA either:
- approve your claim for a mental health condition
- decline your claim for a mental health condition.
If your claim is approved, DVA will move you over to an appropriate income support payment.
If your claim, is declined, DVA will help you to transition to an appropriate Services Australia payment.
How to Apply
You will first need an eligible application for a mental health condition under either the DRCA or the MRCA. You can do this on MyService. Once you have submitted the initial claim, you will be prompted to apply for the Veteran Payment.
If you complete paper forms, you will need to complete either:
- a medical certificate that states you cannot work for more than 8 hours a week
- your ID.
Other government payments
You can receive the Veteran Payment and the Family Tax Benefit at the same time.
You cannot receive the Veteran Payment and the following payments:
- JobSeeker payment
- payments under the ABSTUDY Scheme
- Incapacity Payments
- Disability Support Pension
- Service Pension
- War Widow/Widower's Pension.
Partners and Veterans Payment
Your partner may receive their Veteran Payment. In this situation, you and your partner would each receive the Veteran Payment at the couples rate.
Your partner may receive your Veteran Payment at the singles rate for 6 weeks after your death.
If your partner dies while you are receiving the Veteran Payment, we will keep paying you. You will receive the payment at the singles rate for as long as you remain eligible.
What you can get
A taxable payment every 2 weeks. You can find the current rates in our summary of pension rates, limits and allowances page.
The exact amount you receive will depend on your:
- relationship status
In March and September each year, the payment rate may increase. Rates increases are to keep up with the cost of living and average wages.
Your relationship status affects whether you receive the singles rate or couples rate.
Once your Veteran Payment has been granted, you may also be eligible for other benefits, including:
The income and asset test
The Veteran Payment you receive depends on your individual circumstances and the amount of income and assets that you have. If you are a member of a couple, your partner's income and assets are also included.
The Veteran Payment is calculated under 2 separate tests: the income test and assets test. The test paying the lower rate of payment is the one that we apply. For more information, see Income Test and Assets Test.
Super products are not counted as income-producing or an asset until the person who owns the super either:
- reaches Age Pension age
- makes a withdrawal from the investment.
Learn more on Managed investments and how super is assessed. we assess super.
Pensions Income Support
A service pension can be paid to veterans on the grounds of age or invalidity, and to eligible partners, widows and widowers. It is subject to an income and assets test. The age service pension is paid to veterans earlier than the age pension paid by Services Australia, recognising that the effects of war service may be intangible and result in premature ageing and/or loss of earning power.
Partner Service Pension can be paid under the VEA to eligible partners and former partners of veterans, as well as to eligible widows and widowers who are not receiving a war widow/er's pension.
Income support supplement (ISS) provides a regular income additional to the war widow's/widower's pension for Australian war widows and widowers (including wholly dependent partners) with limited means.
For further information please see Service Pension Overview, Partner Service Pension, Income Support Supplement Overview, IS58 Qualifying Service in Post-Second World War Conflicts.
Pensions - Disability Compensation Payment
Disability pension is paid under the VEA to compensate veterans for injuries or diseases caused or aggravated by war service or certain defence service rendered on behalf of Australia before 1 July 2004.
The amount of disability pension paid depends on the level of incapacity suffered as a result of war-caused or defence-caused injuries and diseases.
- Higher rates of pension, such as Special and Intermediate Rates, are known as Above General Rate (AGR) pensions and are payable when the veteran is severely incapacitated and unable to earn a normal wage because of the effects of their accepted condition/s on their capacity to work.
- The Extreme Disablement Adjustment rate may be considered for veterans who have reached 65 years of age and are not eligible to receive a Special or Intermediate Rate of pension.
For further information please see Overview of Disability Pensions and Allowances.
Pensions - War widows and widowers
War widow/er's pension is paid under the VEA to compensate widowed partners of veterans who have died as a result of war service or eligible defence service.
The pension will be granted automatically if the deceased veteran was an ex-prisoner of war, had been receiving disability pension at the Extreme Disablement Adjustment, Special Rate, Intermediate Rate, Temporary Special Rate, or at an increased rate for a condition specified in any of the items 1 to 8 of subsection 27(1) of the VEA - these items relate to double amputees who may also be blind in one eye.
How to apply
A claim needs to be lodged with the Department and the pension may then be granted if the veteran's death is determined to have been caused by war or eligible defence service.
Orphan's pension may also be payable to dependent children of deceased veterans.
War widow's/widower's and orphan's pensions are not affected by other income except other compensation payments.