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3.3.2 Payment of Service Pension and Income Support Supplement

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Last amended: 13 January 2014

Commencement date for pension payability

    

VEA ?

Service pension or ISS may not be payable in some circumstances

Section 36A VEA

Section 37A VEA

Section 38A VEA

Section 45B VEA

Section 59M VEA

Section 59P VEA

Partner service pension not payable to war widowers

Section 38C(2) VEA

VEA ? (go back)

Service pension or income support supplement will not be payable to a person before the person's provisional commencement day. A person's provisional commencement day is usually the day on which the person claims a service pension or income support supplement. If an informal claim is made prior to making a proper claim then the pension will be payable from the day the informal claim is made, providing the proper claim is:

  • made within three months of being notified that the initial claim was not a proper claim, or
  • if the person was not notified, made at any time.    
Backdating pension payability

It is DVA policy and the intention of the legislation to allow a claim to be lodged before the claimant reaches pension age or qualifying age so that the new claim can be processed and ready for payment from the date the claimant becomes eligible. Backdating pension payability to the date of the informal claim requires that the claimant be eligible on the day the informal claim is lodged. This means that if an informal claim is lodged, for example, before a claimant reached pension age or qualifying age or attained invalidity status; the eligibility conditions are not satisfied and backdating is not permitted. This rule does not apply to proper claims, which may be lodged at any time. A legislative change is being sought to remove the requirement that for backdating to occur, a veteran must be eligible at the time of lodging an informal claim.

Assisting applicants to lodge valid claims

Members of the veteran community should be assisted to lodge either a proper claim, or at least an initial incorrect claim by their earliest eligibility date. Proper claims should preferably be encouraged before the person attains the applicable pension age or qualifying age. This practice is particularly important where veterans are encouraged to lodge claims early, for example where a veteran's qualifying service [glossary:(:]QS[glossary:):] status may be determined in advance.

Earlier commencement date for pension payability may apply

In some cases, a person may have a different provisional commencement day to the day on which the person claims a service pension or income support supplement.    

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Effective Dates for Grants

Section 11.1.3

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Earlier commencement date for income support supplement

Where a person starts to receive a war widow's/widower's pension from a particular day (the pension receipt day), and

  • immediately before the pension receipt day a social security pension or social security benefit was payable to the person, and
  • as a result of becoming a war widow/widower the social security pension or benefit is no longer payable from the pension receipt day, and
  • the person makes a claim for income support supplement after the pension receipt day, and
  • would have been eligible for income support supplement from the pension receipt day, then

the determination takes effect on the pension receipt day, and income support supplement is payable to the person on and from that day.

Note: War widows/widowers receiving a partner service pension or a social security age pension from DVA immediately prior to becoming a war widow/widower, are not required to claim income support supplement. Their entitlement to income support supplement will be automatically assessed and paid from date of grant of war widow's/widower's pension.

Earlier commencement date for partner service pension

Where a person applies for a partner service pension, and

  • the claim has been refused, and
  • the person's partner has subsequently been notified that he or she has been granted a disability pension at the special rate, and
  • the person makes another claim for partner service pension within 3 months of the notification to the veteran,

then the provisional commencement day for the payment of partner service pension will be the later of:

  • the day that the original claim for partner service pension was made, or
  • the day that the veteran became eligible for the special rate of disability pension.
Lodgement of a proper claim

    

VEA ?

Payability before a claim is made

Section 45C VEA

Section 36B VEA

Section 37B VEA

Section 38B VEA

VEA ? (go back)

A service pension or income support supplement is not payable unless a proper claim has been made or is deemed to have been made.     

Pension payment arrangements if the person is in gaol

    

VEA ?

Payability when pensioner in gaol

Section 55 VEA

Section 55A VEA

VEA ? (go back)

While a person is imprisoned, their payments may be forfeited or suspended if a pension instalment is payable after the day on which the person goes to gaol and before the day the person is released. If the person has a partner or child/ren then the Commission may direct that the payment or part of the payment be paid to:

  • their partner,
  • their child, or
  • someone else approved by the Commission.

In such a case the payment is taken, for all purposes, to be a payment made to the person in gaol.    

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Effect of imprisonment on a person's pension instalment

Chapter 11.7 Imprisonment

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Restrictions on dual pensions

    

VEA ?

Restrictions on Dual Pensions

section 45D VEA

section 36C VEA

section 37C VEA

section 38C VEA

VEA ? (go back)

A service pension or an income support supplement is not payable to a person if they are receiving:

Loss of eligibility

If a person's eligibility for service pension or income support supplement is lost, any subsequent new claim from that person for an income support pension needs to meet the eligibility requirements current at the time of the new claim.

Loss of payability

If the pensioner's payability for the service pension or income support supplement is lost, their eligibility for that pension continues. Any later request for resumption of the pension will need to satisfy the payability aspect.

Pension is cancelled or suspended

    

VEA ?

Cancellation or suspension of pension

Section 56 VEA

Section 56A VEA

Section 56E VEA

Section 56EA VEA

Section 56EB VEA

Section 56EC VEA

Section 56J VEA

Section 56K VEA

VEA ? (go back)

Service pension or income support supplement may be cancelled or suspended where a person:

  • has a change of circumstances, which causes eligibility for the pension to cease,
  • fails to comply with a section 54A VEA or section 54AA VEA notice,
  • requests that their pension be cancelled,
  • cannot be contacted and their whereabouts are unknown,
  • fails to take reasonable action to claim a comparable foreign pension to which they may be entitled,     
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    Comparable foreign pension

    Chapter 3.7

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  • fails to draw their pension payments for a continuous period of six months. This would apply if a person has closed a bank account and cannot be contacted to make new arrangements. It is not intended for a situation where a person is accumulating pension instalments in a bank account, or
  • where the Commission is satisfied that it is being, or has been paid to a person to whom it is not, or was not payable (e.g. where there is evidence the person had failed to declare significant income or assets).

The service pension or income support supplement may also be cancelled where the pension has been determined to be nil. Note: Cancellation where the pension has been reduced to nil is not normal practice and would only occur in special circumstances where this was considered appropriate.     

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Recipient obligations

Chapter 12.1

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Provision of tax file number

    

A person in receipt of service pension or income support supplement is required to provide DVA with their and their partner's tax file number[glossary:.:] The provision of a tax file number is necessary for the purposes of the data matching program. If the tax file number is not provided, the pension is not to be paid, unless the requirement to provide the number is waived by the Secretary, or an exemption applies.    

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The provision of tax file number

Chapter 12.3 Data Matching

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Pension rate is nil

    

Where a person's service pension rate would be reduced to nil, the pension is not payable. However, where the service pension rate is nil only because an advance payment of pension has been paid to the person, the pension remains payable.    

Minimum amount

    

Where a person's service pension or income support supplement (ISS) rate including pension supplement would be reduced to less than the minimum amount, the minimum amount is payable.  Once the rate is reduced to nil the pension/ ISS is not payable.

Impact of pension no longer being payable

    

VEA ?

Eligibility for treatment

Section 85 VEA

Advance Payments

Section 79J VEA

Eligibility for Pensioner Concession Card

Section 53A VEA

VEA ? (go back)

Loss of payability may mean loss of:


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.

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.

 

 

If a person lodges a claim, which is not a proper claim, they may be considered to have made an initial claim. Where this happens, pension may be granted from the date on which the initial claim was made, provided the person subsequently lodges a proper claim:

  • within 3 months of being notified that the initial claim was not a proper claim, or
  • at any time if the person was not so notified.

 

 

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

Currently, the pension age for a veteran is 5 years earlier than pension age for a non-veteran.

Male Pension Age

  • If a veteran = 60 years. Veteran pension age is specified in VEA section 5QA.
  • If a Non-Veteran = 65 years. Pension age for non-veterans is specified in VEA section 5QB.

Pension age for a female is subject to age equalisation. Pension age for females is being raised by 6 months every two years, so that by 1 January 2014 the eligibility ages for males and females will be the same.

From 1 July 2017, the pension age for both male and female non veterans born on or after 1 July 1952 will progressively increase by 6 months every 2 years, so that by 1 July 2023, pension age for a non veteran will be 67.  Veteran pension age will not change so by 1 July 2023 pension age for a veteran will be 7 years earlier than pension age for a non veteran. A table explaining this gradual increase can be found in 3.4.1 Age requirements.

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).

If a person lodges a claim, which is not a proper claim, they may be considered to have made an initial claim. Where this happens, pension may be granted from the date on which the initial claim was made, provided the person subsequently lodges a proper claim:

  • within 3 months of being notified that the initial claim was not a proper claim, or
  • at any time if the person was not so notified.

 

 

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

Qualifying service is one of the criteria used to determine eligibility for certain benefits under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986. Refer to section 7A of the VEA for the full defintion.

 

 

Qualifying service is one of the criteria used to determine eligibility for certain benefits under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986. Refer to section 7A of the VEA for the full defintion.

 

 

A form of pension that is paid to the partner of a veteran where the veteran has died as a result of war service or eligible Defence ServiceWar widow's/widower's pension is also paid to the partner of a veteran whose death was not war caused if the veteran was a ex-prisoner of war or if the veteran was receiving Extreme Disablement Adjustment Rate, Special Rate (T&PI) or a rate increased in respect of certain war-caused injury or disease.

 

The term social security pension is defined in Section 5Q(1) VEA to mean:

  • age pension;
  • disability support pension;
  • wife pension;
  • carer payment;
  • pension PP (single);
  • sole parent pension;
  • bereavement allowance;
  • widow B pension;
  • mature age partner allowance;
  • special needs pension.



As benefits (pensions) may change, for the most current definition access this link to the Social Security Act 1991

http://www.comlaw.gov.au/comlaw/management.nsf/lookupindexpagesbyid/IP200401781?OpenDocument

 

 

The term social security benefit is defined in Section 5Q(1) of the VEA to mean:

  • widow allowance;
  • youth allowance;
  • austudy payment;
  • newstart allowance;
  • sickness allowance;
  • special benefit;
  • partner allowance;
  • mature age allowance;
  • benefit PP (partnered);
  • parenting allowance.

As benefits (pensions) may change, for the most current definition access this link to the Social Security Act 1991

http://www.comlaw.gov.au/comlaw/management.nsf/lookupindexpagesbyid/IP200401781?OpenDocument

 

 

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.

 

 

The Department of Veterans' Affairs.

According to Section 179 of the VEA, the Commission is a body corporate under the name of Repatriation Commission.

 

 

Income support pension is:

 

 

A TFN is a number issued by the Australian Taxation Office to individuals, partnerships, trusts or companies. Each taxpayer has unique TFN which must be declared when you:

  • loge a tax return,
  • apply for certain income assistance or support payments,
  • make or receive payments under Prescribed or Reportable Payment System,
  • start or change jobs,
  • have savings accounts or investments that earn income, or
  • study at a tertiary institution under the HECS Scheme.