You are here
5.3 Education Entry Payment (EdEP)
Last amended: 19 May 2011
What is EdEP
The education entry payment (EdEP) is a DVA payment to assist eligible pensioners with the cost of enrolling in a course of study in order to develop their skills, obtain a qualification and improve their employment prospects. EdEP can be paid to some DVA clients who receive payments under the VEA and also qualify for the Centrelink pensioner education supplement.
Eligibility for EdEP
To be eligible to receive EdEP, a person must be receiving:
- an invalidity service pension,
- a partner service pension, if the person's partner is receiving an invalidity service pension, or
- an income support supplement (ISS).
The other requirements for EdEP eligibility are that the person must:
- be below DVA pension age, and
- be enrolled or intend to enrol in either a full-time or part-time course of study that is the subject of a Section 5D determination by the Minister administering the Student Assistance Act 1973, and
- not have received EdEP in the current calendar year, and
- be qualified to receive the Centrelink pensioner education supplement (PES).
Pensioner Education Supplement (PES)
Subsection 1061PJ(3) of the Social Security Act 1991 (SSA) outlines those VEA pensions which entitle a pers — on to receive a payment of PES.
Payments attracting pensioner education supplement
Social Security Act 1991 – Section 1061PJ
The following DVA clients are qualified to receive the Centrelink pensioner education supplement:
- a veteran who is receiving an invalidity service pension,
- a person receiving war widow's/er's pension who has a dependent child,
- a person receiving disability pension who has a dependent child,
- a person receiving income support supplement,
- a person receiving partner service pension whose veteran partner is receiving invalidity service pension,
- a person receiving carer service pension (saved cases),
- a person receiving partner service pension from DVA and carer allowance from Centrelink,
- a person who has a dependent child and is receiving a pension under part IV of the VEA (pensions for member of Defence Force or Peacekeeping Force and their dependants),
- a former member who has a dependent child and is receiving, or is eligible for, permanent impairment payments or interim compensation payments under the MRCA,
- a former member who has a dependent child and is receiving special rate disability pension under the MRCA,
- a widow/er of a former member who has a dependent child and is receiving, or has received, wholly dependent partner payments under the MRCA, or
- a widow/er of a former member who is receiving, or has received, wholly dependent partner payments under the MRCA and income support supplement under the VEA.
Centrelink assesses each individual's circumstances and may require that additional criteria be met. For example, where a person receives income support supplement, Centrelink may also require that the person has a substantial disability or be receiving ISS on the basis of invalidity in order to be eligible for PES.
Other PES qualifying criteria that must be met are that the person must:
- satisfy the residence requirements for PES,
Qualification for PES
Guide to Social Security Law 3.8.10 Qualification for PES
- be over 16 years of age, or older than the maximum legal age for leaving school and be regarded as independent, and
- be undertaking qualifying study.
Qualification for PES
Guide to Social Security Law 220.127.116.11 Qualification for PES
Note: Qualifying study may be either full time or a concessional load, depending on the person's circumstances and the qualifying payment that they receive
Qualifying study for PES
Guide to Social Security Law 18.104.22.168 Qualifying study for tertiary students
Specific DVA clients who have eligibility under the VEA are also eligible for EdEP payments from DVA.
ABSTUDY PES is not a qualifying payment which attracts EdEP. ABSTUDY PES recipients may be able to qualify for EdEP (and the Training and Learning Bonus) if they swap to a standard 'social security' PES payment, but there may be some disadvantages in doing so. If an ABSTUDY recipient is considering swapping PES payments, it may be in their best interests to seek advice from Centrelink about the implications of doing so.
Need for written claim
No official claim form is required. However claims for EdEP must be in writing and must be accompanied by the original PES notice or statement confirming PES eligibility.
In processing claims for EdEP, the claimant will need to provide proof of PES eligibility. Evidence of fees paid, either the receipt, or a copy of the receipt, should also be sighted if possible.
If evidence suggests that a claimant may also have claimed EdEP from Centrelink, then liaison with Centrelink is necessary.
Payment of EdEP
Only one payment of EdEP is made in each calendar year. The payment is available to both new and existing students and is taxable.
Repayment of EdEP if person not enrolled
If a person has been paid an EdEP, but is subsequently not enrolled in the approved course, the person must repay the amount of the payment back to the Commonwealth.
Education Entry Payment Supplement
From 1 January 2009 to 30 June 2010, a temporary supplement of $950 was payable if a person qualifies for EdEP. The supplement is a Training and Learning Bonus prescribed under social security law and is administered by Centrelink. A separate claim is not required.
Other vocational assistance for veterans and former members
The Veterans' Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme is a voluntary scheme under the VEA that assists willing veterans, with or without a disability, to find suitable employment. Where assessed as necessary, suitable retraining may be provided which could include assistance with further study.
Other former members may be eligible for assistance with educational retraining as part of a vocational rehabilitation program under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) or the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA).
Education Entry Payment
Education Entry Payment (EdEP) is a payment to assist eligible pensioners with the costs of enrolling in a course of study in order to develop their skills, obtain a qualification and improve their employment prospects. It is paid once a year in accordance with section 118AAC of VEA.
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.
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.
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.
PES is a fortnightly Centrelink payment, which provides assistance with ongoing study costs in respect of approved courses of study.
Approved courses of study are wide-ranging and extend to secondary education, TAFE courses, preparatory courses for entry to tertiary education and Bachelor and higher degrees through universities and colleges.