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Service Pension and Income Support Supplement Claims
Last amended: 10 May 2011
Who can lodge a claim?
A claim for service pension or income support supplement (ISS) must be made by:
- the person who wants to be granted the pension,
- another person on behalf and with the approval of the person who wants to be granted the pension, or
- another person approved by the Commission, if the person who wants to be granted the pension, is unable because of a physical or mental incapacity.
To claim an invalidity service pension, a veteran who wants to be granted such a pension must not yet have reached pension age.
Proof of identity
In order to identify a claimant and/or the relationship of the claimant to the veteran, a proof of identity check must be made on all new claims.
Exemptions from requirement to lodge a claim for ISS
There are only two types of claimants not required to lodge a claim for income support supplement, these are:
- war widows/widowers who did not at the time of introduction of income support supplement make an election to continue to receive a ceiling rate social security pension and who subsequently transferred to income support supplement at DVA; or
- persons who were receiving partner service pension immediately before being granted a war widow's/widower's pension following the death of their partner.
Claiming ISS when lodging a claim for pension by a war widow/widower or other dependant of a deceased veteran
When a claimant has indicated on a claim for pension by a war widow/widower or other dependant of a deceased veteran form that they wish to claim for the ISS in addition to war widow's pension, this may be considered as a proper claim for ISS under section 45I of the VEA. The formal ISS claim form D0529 Claim for Income Support Supplement is not separately required where the delegate is satisfied that the information necessary to determine ISS eligibility is available through the WWP claim form.
If the claimant is not currently receiving an income support payment from DVA or Centrelink, then the claimant will need to provide their income and assets details.
If the claimant is currently receiving an income support payment from DVA or Centrelink, then the current income and assets details recorded should be checked by the delegate to determine whether new income and assets details need to updated by the claimant.
Additional forms must still be lodged for invalidity ISS to assist in establishing whether the war widow/widower meets the permanent incapacity criteria, when the claimant has advised they are claiming ISS on the basis of invalidity.
Automatic grant of ISS for certain persons exempt from requirement to lodge a claim
If a claimant is exempt from lodging a claim, an automatic grant of income support supplement, can be made if the person has become eligible for:
- age ISS,
- partner ISS, or
- dependent child ISS.
A claim must still be lodged for invalidity ISS to assist in establishing whether the war widow/widower meets the [glossary:permanent incapacity:] [glossary:(for the purpose of invalidity:] [glossary:I:] — [glossary:SS:][glossary:):] criteria.
Backdating of grant of ISS for certain war widows/widowers
A claim for ISS which is lodged by an eligible person who was receiving a social security benefit or pension that was cancelled on grant of a war widow's/widower's pension may have their determination backdated to the start date for the war widow's/widower's pension.
Invitation to lodge a claim
Situations may arise where a person or their partner who is already receiving a pension or benefit with DVA, may become entitled to receive another type of pension. The following table demonstrates when a person should be invited to lodge a claim for a pension.
And the partner...
Then the partner should be invited to claim for...
a service pension recipient is assessed under the income test and is granted a disability pension
is in receipt of a pension from Centrelink.
partner service pension.
The advantage being that disability pension is disregarded as income for service pension purposes.
the partner of a veteran is in receipt of partner service pension
is also a veteran who has rendered qualifying service
age service pension on reaching pension age
Possible entitlement to Pension Bonus Scheme
If a person seeking to lodge a claim for service pension or ISS is over pension or qualifying age and has (or their partner has) continued to work, they may be eligible to register for the pension bonus scheme. In such a case the claimant should be told that they may be entitled to register for the scheme. If they meet the criteria for late registration, they should be offered the opportunity to do so, before the claim for service pension or ISS is finally determined (although the qualifying service determination (if required) can proceed). Alternatively, they should be advised to weigh up the pros and cons of proceeding with the claim in question so they can maximise the financial advantage.
Pension Bonus Scheme to be explained to claimant not reached pension age
In cases where the claimant has not reached pension age and is working, the pension bonus scheme should be explained, so that the person may make an informed choice about whether to proceed with the claim, or to register for the scheme once they reach qualifying age and continue working.
Claim for DVA pension by a person registered for PBS with Centrelink
If a claimant for service pension or ISS indicates that they have registered for the pension bonus scheme with Centrelink or with DVA, they must be advised to claim the bonus from DVA concurrently, or, if registered with Centrelink, to contact Centrelink about their bonus before proceeding with their claim. This is because, once a person starts to receive the pension, they are no longer eligible for the bonus.
In the case of both service pension and income support supplement, a person must be an Australian resident and in Australia to lodge a claim. This requirement is relaxed for certain people who are already in receipt of certain pensions whilst overseas.
A claimant for service pension or income support supplement may be entitled to travelling expenses related to their attendance at either a meeting requested by the Commission, a medical examination or medical investigation related to the claim.