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3.1.1 Overview of Service Pension Eligibility
Last amended: 8 September 2006
What is a service pension?
Service pension is a means tested income support payment, that provides a regular income for people with limited means. Service pension is broadly equivalent to the Centrelink age and disability support pensions. Although similar to such pensions, service pension has certain advantages over the equivalent Centrelink payments. These include:
- service pension is payable five years earlier than [glossary:age pension:][glossary:,:] and
- Australian veterans in receipt of service pension may have more beneficial health care entitlement.
When is it paid?
Service pension is paid fortnightly, based on daily entitlements. The rate of service pension is adjusted twice-yearly, in March and September, in line with movements in the cost of living and/or average wages.
Who is eligible for service pension?
Different types of service pension
There are three different forms of service pension:
- invalidity, and
Factors that affect the rate of service pension
There are a number of factors that determine the rate of service pension, such as:
Allowances and benefits accessed by a service pensioner
There are a number of allowances and benefits that can be accessed by a service pensioner, if the person meets the relevant eligibility criteria.
Restrictions on dual pensions
Restrictions exist on the payment of dual pensions.
A service pension is an income support payment broadly equivalent to the social security age and disability support pensions. It may be paid once a veteran or partner has reached the nominated age or is incapacitated for work.
Centrelink is a Government service delivery agency responsible for delivering a range of Commonwealth Government services (including social security pensions and allowances) to the Australian community through a network of more than 400 Centrelink offices.
A Disability Support pension is paid by Centrelink to claimants with a significant and long term inability to work and is broadly equivalent to an Invalidity service pension paid by DVA.
For the purposes of Part VI of the VEA, a reference to a veteran is taken to be a reference to:
- a veteran as defined in subsection 5C(1) of the VEA;
- a member of the Forces as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA; or
- a member of a Peacekeeping Force as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA.
For the purposes of Part VII of the VEA, according to subsection 5C(1), veteran means a person (including a deceased person):
- who is taken to have rendered eligible war service, or
- in respect of whom a pension is, or pensions are, payable under subsection 13(6) and
- in Part III and Part VIIC of the VEA includes a person who is:
- a Commonwealth veteran, or
- an allied veteran, or
- an allied mariner.
Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.
A person's 'partner' is someone who is a member of a couple with that person.
A widow is a woman who was:
- the partner of a person immediately before the person died; or
- legally married to a man and living with him immediately before he died; or
- legally married to a man and living separetely and apart from him on a permanent basis, immediately before he died.
A widower is a man who was:
- the partner of a person immediately before the person died: or
- legally married to a woman and living with her immediately before she died; or
- legally married to a woman and living separetely and apart from her on a permanent basis immediately before she died.
According to section 5H of the VEA income is:
- an amount earned, derived or received by a person for the person's own use or benefit;
- a periodical payment by way of gift or allowance; or
- a periodical benefit by way of gift or allowance.
An asset means any property, including property outside Australia.