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3.2.2 ISS Eligibility

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Last amended: 20 September 2011

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for Income Support Supplement [glossary:(:]ISS[glossary:),:] the person must be eligible for a war widows' pension or a war widowers' pension paid under the VEA, or be a wholly dependent partner eligible to receive compensation under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA).

Foreign war widow/ers are not eligible for ISS

    

VEA ?

HOTWORD "xlib-LEGIS-section 5Q(1)">Section 5Q(1) VEA

Section 5E(1) VEA

VEA ? (go back)

ISS eligibility is limited to war widow/ers receiving a dependant's payment under Part II or Part IV of the VEA, or the equivalent wholly dependant partner payment under the MRCA. This is because the VEA Rate Calculator refers to the restricted definition of “war widow/war widower – pensioner” as provided in section 5Q(1) of the Act.

There is another definition of war widow/er within the VEA which also includes a person receiving a pension from a foreign country which is similar in character to a payment under the VEA or MRCA. This definition is used for other assessment purposes, including recognising the similar overseas payment for WWP offsetting and for ineligibility for partner service pension.  This wider definition, including foreign war widow/ers, does not however apply for ISS eligibility purposes.

Lodging a claim

Although a person may meet the eligibility criteria for ISS, the payment cannot be made until a proper claim is lodged.

When a claimant has indicated on a Form D2663 Claim for pension by a war widow/widower or other dependant of a deceased veteran form that they wish to claim for ISS in addition to war widows/widowers pension, this may be considered as a proper claim for ISS. 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 war widows/widowers claim form.

While further information (such as income and assets details) may still be required to finalise the claim, the war widow/widower claim form may be recognised as a proper ISS claim for the purposes of determining the date of ISS grant.

Additional forms must still be lodged for invalidity ISS to assist in establishing whether the war widow/widower meets the permanent incapacity criteria, when a claimant has advised they are claiming ISS on the basis of invalidity.    

Payability

There are a number of situations where a person may be eligible for Income Support Supplement but that pension is not payable to them.    

Pension Bonus Scheme

    

While there is no age restriction on eligibility for income support supplement, for the purpose of participating in the pension bonus scheme under the VEA, a war widow/widower must have reached qualifying age to defer their income support supplement. To be eligible for the bonus all other requirements of the scheme must be met.    

Income support supplement pre 1/7/2008 – age restriction

The eligibility criteria for income support supplement changed on 1 July 2008.  Prior to this date, a VEA war widow/widower or MRCA wholly dependent partner was only eligible for ISS if they had reached qualifying age, had a dependant child, were permanently incapacitated for work, or were the partner of an income support recipient.  An eligible war widow/widower may still be granted invalidity ISS after 1 July 2008 on the grounds of being permanently incapacitated for work.     


ISS is an income support payment that may be paid to eligible war widows and widowers under the VEA and persons receiving wholly dependent partners' compensation under the MRCA, and who satisfy the means tests. It is an indexed rate, increased twice-yearly in March and September in line with changes to the cost of living and/or average wages. Income Support Supplement (ISS) legislation commenced on 20 March 1995. It is a payment created to replace the ceiling rate income support age, carer, wife and disability support pensions, paid to war widows/widowers by Centrelink.

 

 

ISS is an income support payment that may be paid to eligible war widows and widowers under the VEA and persons receiving wholly dependent partners' compensation under the MRCA, and who satisfy the means tests. It is an indexed rate, increased twice-yearly in March and September in line with changes to the cost of living and/or average wages. Income Support Supplement (ISS) legislation commenced on 20 March 1995. It is a payment created to replace the ceiling rate income support age, carer, wife and disability support pensions, paid to war widows/widowers by Centrelink.

 

 

To be a proper claim, the claim must be:

  • made in writing;
  • in accordance with a form approved by the Commission; and
  • accompanied by any evidence available to the claimant that the claimant considers may be relevant to the claim

Permanent incapacity has two meanings depending on the context: (i) and (ii).

(i) for the purpose of invalidity service pension

pre 1/1/2000

The test of permanent incapacity for invalidity service pension changed with effect from 1/1/2000.  Prior to this date, a person was considered to be permanently incapacitated for work if the:

  •       person was permanently blinded in both eyes, or
  •       degree of permanent incapacity was 85% or more.

This prior test of permanent incapacity continues to apply (is saved) for persons who were receiving (or who had claimed) the invalidity payment prior to 1/1/2000.

post 1/1/2000

A person claiming service pension is permanently incapacitated for work for paragraph 37(1) (c) of the if the person:

  •       is permanently blind in both eyes, or
  •       is a veteran to whom section 24 of the VEA applies, or
  •       satisfies the subsection below.

A person satisfies this subsection if:

  •       the person has an impairment that, if it were an injury or disease for GARP, would result in a combined impairment rating of 40 or more under Table 18.1 in that Guide, and solely because of the impairment, the person is permanently unable to do work for periods adding up to more than 8 hours per week, and
  •       the Commission is satisfied that the impairment is permanent.

(ii) for the purpose of invalidity ISS

pre 1/1/2000

The test of permanent incapacity for invalidity ISS changed with effect from 1/1/2000. Prior to this date, a person was considered to be permanently incapacitated for work if the:

  •       person was permanently blinded in both eyes, or
  •       degree of permanent incapacity was 85% or more.

This prior test of permanent incapacity continues to apply (is saved) for persons who were receiving (or who had claimed) the invalidity payment prior to 1/1/2000.

post 1/1/2000

A person claiming ISS is permanently incapacitated for work if:

  •       the person is blind in both eyes, or
  •       the person has a physical intellectual or psychiatric impairment that results in 20 points or more under the Impairment Tables in Schedule 1B of the Social Security Act 1991, and
  •       the Commission is satisfied that solely because of the impairment, the person cannot work for at least 30 hours a week for the following 2 years.

 

 

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).

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).