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Age Requirement for Partner Service Pension

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Last amended: Age requirement and exemptions for partners

The following table is provided as a guide to the age requirements for a partner or widow/widower who meets the eligibility criteria for partner service pension:    

If the veteran:

Then the partner's age requirement for partner service pension is:

    

is receiving disability pension at the [glossary:special rate:Def Special Rate (T&PI)] under the VEA, or

is receiving, or eligible to receive a special rate disability pension under the MRCA,

any age

    

is receiving a pension which enables eligibility for partner service pension for their partner, and

the partner has a dependent child at the time of claim

any age

    

is receiving an above general rate (AGR) disability pension, or

has at least 80 impairment points under the MRCA,

50 years of age

    

is eligible for service pension, and

is over pension age

qualifying age

    

has qualifying service, and

is not yet eligible for a service pension

(eg. does not satisfy the ten year residency requirement for Commonwealth veterans, Allied veterans or Allied mariners, or has not yet reached pension age)

age pension age and the partner must meet all the qualifying criteria for a Centrelink age pension

    

is deceased and

the partner was not receiving partner service pension immediately before the veteran's death

age pension age and the partner must meet all of the qualifying criteria for a Centrelink age pension[glossary:, unless the:] widow[glossary:/:]widower[glossary:'s circumstances are such that this age requirement does not apply.:]

   

Age requirement for certain widow/widowers

    

VEA ?

Eligibility for Partner Service Pension

Section 38(1) VEA

VEA ? (go back)

To be eligible to be granted partner service pension, a widow[glossary:/:]widower who was not receiving a pension at the time of the veteran's death must be qualified for Centrelink age pension, which means he/she must be age pension age rather than qualifying age.

This age requirement does not apply if:

  • the widow/widower was in receipt of partner service pension or a Centrelink pension immediately before the veteran's death, or
  • there was a partner service pension claim pending immediately before the veteran's death that is later determined as able to be granted, or
  • the widow/widower and veteran were both registered for the Pension Bonus Scheme immediately before the veteran's death, or
  • the widow/widower had lodged a partner service pension claim before the veteran's death, which is not determined at the date of death, and the veteran was registered with the Pension Bonus Scheme before his or her death.
Qualifying age

    

VEA ?

Age Requirement

Section 38(1B) VEA

Pre-1 October 1995 cases

Section 38(1C) VEA

VEA ? (go back)

Where a veteran is receiving, or is eligible for service pension, the partner must be qualifying age to be eligible for partner service pension, unless the exemption categories apply.

For partners in receipt of partner service pension immediately before 1 October 1995, there was no minimum age required at the time pension was granted.  For partners granted between 1 October 1995 and 30 June 2008, the eligible age was 50 years at the time pension was granted.  These people are 'saved' from the application of the qualifying age requirement, unless they lose eligibility for partner service pension and wish to reclaim.

Partner of a veteran on special rate disability pension

    

VEA ?

Partner of Special Rate veteran

Section 38(1D) VEA

VEA ? (go back)

No age requirement applies if the person is the partner of a veteran entitled to the special rate of disability pension (T&PI) or SRDP under MRCA at the time of claim. However, if at some time the veteran loses entitlement to either of these rates, the partner will need to meet the age or dependent child requirement to continue to be eligible for partner service pension.

Partner of a veteran on an above general rate disability pension

    

VEA ?

Partner of an AGR veteran

Section 38(1B) VEA

Section 38(1B) (a) VEA

VEA ? (go back)

A person who is the partner of a veteran entitled to an above general rate (AGR) disability pension must be age 50 or above at the time of claim to be eligible for partner service pension. However, if at some time the veteran loses entitlement to  this rate, the partner will need to meet the age or dependent child requirement to continue to be eligible for partner service pension.

This eligibility category applies from 9 December 2008.  During the period 1 July 2008 to 8 December 2008 partners of AGR veterans were required to be qualifying age to be eligible for partner service pension.

AGR disability pension for the purposes of partner service pension eligibility refers to:

  • extreme disablement adjustment (EDA);
  • Intermediate Rate;
  • Temporary special rate (TTI);
  • pensions increased by Specific Disability Allowance items 1–6; or
  • 80 or more impairment points under the MRCA.
Dependent children

    

VEA ?

Partner with Dependent Child

Section 38(1B) VEA

VEA ? (go back)

No age requirement applies if the person has a dependent child/young person at the time of claim. However, if at some time they lose eligibility for partner service pension, and later reclaim that pension, they will need to meet the age requirement if, at the time of claim, the child is no longer a dependent child/young person.

A child/young person receiving a social security pension or benefit (e.g. Youth Allowance) is not considered a dependent child under the VEA.    

Child ceases to be dependent

Where a person is eligible for partner service pension because they have a dependent child, that eligibility will not be lost if the child ceases to be dependent - for example, if a dependent child turns 23, or claims a social security pension or benefit (e.g. Youth Allowance) after partner service pension has been granted.

Payability

    

VEA ?

Restrictions on dual pensions

Section 38C(1) VEA

Pension not payable if rate is nil

Section 38A(2) VEA

VEA ? (go back)

There are a number of situations where a person may be eligible for partner service pension, but not payable. For example:

  • the person is receiving another income support payment, or
  • the rate of pension is nil.

Where the partner has previously been determined to be eligible for partner service pension and loses payability only, their partner service pension eligibility continues and is not lost. Any later request for resumption of their partner service pension needs to satisfy the payability aspect only.

Example: A 30 year old partner was receiving PSP because they met the dependent child eligibility. The partner returned to work when the child started school and PSP was no longer payable due to their earnings. At the age of 53, the partner leaves work to provide full time care for a relative and PSP is payable again. The partner is not required to meet the qualifying age requirement because there was no loss of eligibility during the period of nil payability.     

Taxation

Partner service pension is a taxable payment, unless paid to a pensioner who is:

  • a partner of a veteran, where the veteran is paid service pension on the grounds of invalidity, and both the partner and the veteran have not reached age pension age, or
  • below age pension age and is the widow/widower of a veteran who was receiving invalidity service pension immediately prior to their death.     


Section 5F(1) of the VEA defines dependent child as having the same meaning as in the Social Security Act 1991.  For income support purposes, dependent child is defined as:

Child under 16 years

  •       the pensioner has legal responsibility either alone or jointly with another person for the day to day care, welfare and development of the young person AND the young person is in the pensioner's care, or
  •       the young person is not a dependent child of someone else AND the young person is wholly or substantially in the pensioner's care.

A child under 16 years cannot be considered a dependent child if:

  •       they are not a full-time student, and
  •       their weekly income from any source is more than the amount specified in section 5(3)(c) of the Social Security Act.    

Child 16 years or older

A young person who has turned 16 years but is under 22 years can still be a dependent child of the pensioner if:

  •       they are wholly or substantially dependent on the pensioner, and
  •       their income in the financial year will not exceed the personal income limit, and
  •       they are receiving full-time education at a school, college or university.

A child over 16 years cannot be considered a dependent child if:

  •       they receive a social security pension or benefit such as youth allowance, or
  •       their personal income is more than the amount specified in section 5(4)(b) of the Social Security Act.    

Income includes earning from casual, part-time or full-time earnings.

Note: the meaning of a dependent child for DVA income support pension purposes is not the same as the meaning for Family Tax Benefit purposes.

 

 

Above general rate disability pensions, which include T&PI, TTI, Intermediate Rate or EDA .

 

 

Qualifying age is defined in section 5Q(1) of the VEA and is equivalent to the pension age for a veteran which is described in section 5QA VEA as:

  •       60 years for a male,
  •       for females subject to age equalisation (refer to the table in section 5QA VEA).

Age Pension Age refers to pension age as defined under the Social Security Act 1991, that is, pension age for people other than veterans.

 

 

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.

An age pension is a means tested income support payment paid by Centrelink  or DVA on behalf of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. The majority of age pensions are paid through Centrelink. However, eligible veterans  who have an accepted disability or receive a disability pension from DVA, but do not have qualifying service, may be paid their age pension by DVA. Their partner may also receive their age pension from DVA, if eligible.

 

 

Age Pension Age refers to pension age as defined under the Social Security Act 1991, that is, pension age for people other than veterans.

 

 

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.

An age pension is a means tested income support payment paid by Centrelink  or DVA on behalf of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. The majority of age pensions are paid through Centrelink. However, eligible veterans  who have an accepted disability or receive a disability pension from DVA, but do not have qualifying service, may be paid their age pension by DVA. Their partner may also receive their age pension from DVA, if eligible.

 

 

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.

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.

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.

An age pension is a means tested income support payment paid by Centrelink  or DVA on behalf of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. The majority of age pensions are paid through Centrelink. However, eligible veterans  who have an accepted disability or receive a disability pension from DVA, but do not have qualifying service, may be paid their age pension by DVA. Their partner may also receive their age pension from DVA, if eligible.

 

 

Age Pension Age refers to pension age as defined under the Social Security Act 1991, that is, pension age for people other than veterans.

 

 

Qualifying age is defined in section 5Q(1) of the VEA and is equivalent to the pension age for a veteran which is described in section 5QA VEA as:

  •       60 years for a male,
  •       for females subject to age equalisation (refer to the table in section 5QA VEA).

Above general rate disability pensions, which include T&PI, TTI, Intermediate Rate or EDA .

 

 

Age Pension Age refers to pension age as defined under the Social Security Act 1991, that is, pension age for people other than veterans.