Qualifying Service for Veterans | Compensation and Support Policy Library, Part 1 Service Requirements, 1.2 Service Types, 1.2.1 Qualifying Service

You are here

Qualifying Service for Veterans


Qualifying Service for Veterans

Note: The Liability and Service Eligibility Policy team has responsibility for qualifying service matters.  Please email all queries regarding qualifying service claims to:  L.and.SE.Policy@dva.gov.au .

Members of the Defence Force

Qualifying service is defined in the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) and requires that one of the following criteria be met: 

World War One or World War Two service

To be eligible for qualifying service a World War One or World War Two veteran must have rendered service in an area, or on an aircraft or ship, at a time when they incurred danger from hostile forces of the enemy. 

The exception is certain World War Two service the Repatriation Commission has deemed to be qualifying service, without the requirement to apply the incurred danger test .

Australian Mariners (World War Two only)

To have qualifying service, an Australian mariner must have been on a ship at a time or in an area when the person incurred danger from hostile forces of the enemy.

Eligible Civilians (World War Two only)

To have qualifying service, an eligible civilian must have been detained by the enemy.    

Civilians on Special Missions (World War One and World War Two)

To have qualifying service, a civilian employed by the Commonwealth of Australia on a special mission outside Australia must have incurred danger from hostile forces of the enemy in the course or carrying out that mission.

Post World War Two Service

For a member or ex-member of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with post World War Two service, qualifying service is:

  • certain specified service in minesweeping and bomb-disposal operations; and for which certain medals or clasps were awarded; or
  • allotment to and service in the operational area as described in Schedule 2 of the VEA during the specified period; or
  • assignment to and service on a post-Second World War deployment which has been declared to be warlike service by the Minister for Defence; or
  • service on certain submarine special operations during the period 1978 to 1992; or
  • warlike service.


Warlike Service

A veteran may have qualifying service if he or she has service that is determined to be warlike service by the Minister for Defence.   

Persons in receipt of disability pension under subsection 13(6)Where the disability pension is payable under s13(6) of the VEA, the veteran is taken to have qualifying service because:

S13(6) of the VEA provides eligibility for disability pension to a member of the ADF who was not allotted for duty in an operational area, but died or suffered an injury or disease that resulted from:

  • the actions of hostile forces; or

  • while the person was engaged in warlike operations against hostile forces.


No qualifying service if on leave

If while a member of the ADF is on leave or otherwise off-duty he or she incurs danger from the enemy, or passes through an area for which incurred danger is normally conceded, qualifying service will not be accepted.  This is because a member of the ADF who is on leave is neither allotted for duty nor engaged in operations against the enemy.

Examples where this may apply include:

  • ADF members who during World War 2 travelled to most parts of Australia while on leave; or

  • members of the ADF who during the Malayan Emergency spent time in nearby operational areas but were not allotted for duty or engaged in operations against the enemy.