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DFISA Calculation

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The DFISA rate

DFISA is the difference between a person's rate of income support payment and what the payment would be if adjusted DP were exempt from the assessment, but included in the calculation of rent assistance.    

Changes in the primary payment assessment rules which determine the extent to which adjusted disability pension may reduce the person's rate of income support payment, such as the income free area for social security benefits and pensions, may have a flow on effect on the calculated rate of DFISA.

Who calculates the DFISA rate?

A person's rate of DFISA is calculated by the agency that assesses their income support payment.    

No change in income support payment

The DFISA calculation does not change the person's existing income support payment assessment. The notional rate assessment is only used for comparison with the person's actual rate to determine whether DFISA is payable. No one will receive an increase in income support payment, or a reduction in rent assistance, as a result of DFISA.

The DFISA formula

The rate of DFISA is calculated as a daily entitlement, paid in fortnightly instalments. DFISA is the difference between the person's notional rate of income support payment and their actual rate of income support payment payment.

DFISA = notional rate minus actual rate

Note: If the compensation recovery rules apply to the person, the DFISA formula requires additional steps.     

The actual rate

The actual rate is the rate of payment as assessed under existing social security, ABSTUDY or DAFF rules. It is the amount payable to the person, including supplementary payments and rent assistance, but excluding remote area allowance (RAA) and any deductions such as deductions for lump sum advance. For some people this rate will be nil.    

The notional rate

A person's notional rate is calculated by excluding the adjusted DP of the person and/or the person's partner from the assessment of their rate of income support payment. This may lead to a notional increase in the person's rate of income support payment. If the person rents, a notional rate of rent assistance may be included in the calculation of their notional rate.     

If deductions or additions apply

The actual and notional rates are those calculated before deductions (such as lump sum advance repayments) or additions (such as remote area allowance) are made.

Notional rent assistance

If the person being assessed for DFISA is entitled to rent assistance under social security law or under the ABSTUDY guidelines, the adjusted DP is used to calculate a rent assistance reduction amount in order to determine the notional rent assistance rate. The rent assistance reduction amount is subtracted from the person's rent assistance rate to give the notional rent assistance rate. Calculation of the rent assistance reduction amount uses the same taper rates and income free areas as apply to the person's income support payment. Note: this step is notional only. There is no change to the person's actual payment of rent assistance.     

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Notional disability income test for rent assistance

5.9.3/DFISA Calculation Examples

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Taper rates and free areas

When calculating notional rent assistance reference is made to taper rates and income free areas. These are the same taper rate and income free areas that apply to the person's primary payment. Taper rates vary from payment to payment. Age, service and disability support pensions all have the same taper rate and free areas. However, other primary payments differ, for example, newstart allowance has a lower free area and higher taper rates with two thresholds.

DFISA rate differs from the rate expected

Some people will not receive any amount of DFISA, even though they are eligible for DFISA. Others may receive less than they thought they would receive as a result of the impact of adjusted DP on their income support payment.    

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Explanations and Examples of DFISA Calculations

5.9.3/DFISA Calculation Examples

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Defence Force Income Support Allowance (DFISA) is an income support payment to be made by DVA to people whose income support payment under Social Security Law is reduced, or not payable, because of the impact of adjusted disability pension. DFISA is the difference between the person's existing entitlement, and what the entitlement would have been had adjusted DP been exempt, but was assessed in the calculation of rent assistance.

 

 

Section 118NA of the VEA defines adjusted disability pension as:

  • disability pension paid under Parts II or IV of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA); and
  • permanent impairment payments and special rate disability pension paid under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004.

Adjusted disability pension does not include war widow's/widower's pension, or payments made by other governments to compensate for war or service related injuries.

 

 

For DFISA purposes, the notional rate is what the person's daily rate of income support payment would be if the following applied:

Note: This step is only for DFISA calculation purposes and does not change the person's existing social security assessment.

 

 

For DFISA purposes, the actual rate is the daily rate of the person's social security income support payment made under .

For DFISA-like purposes, the actual rate is the daily rate of the person's DAFF or ABSTUDY income support payment.

 

 

Defence Force Income Support Allowance (DFISA) is an income support payment to be made by DVA to people whose income support payment under Social Security Law is reduced, or not payable, because of the impact of adjusted disability pension. DFISA is the difference between the person's existing entitlement, and what the entitlement would have been had adjusted DP been exempt, but was assessed in the calculation of rent assistance.

 

 

For DFISA purposes, the notional rate is what the person's daily rate of income support payment would be if the following applied:

Note: This step is only for DFISA calculation purposes and does not change the person's existing social security assessment.

 

 

For DFISA purposes, the actual rate is the daily rate of the person's social security income support payment made under .

For DFISA-like purposes, the actual rate is the daily rate of the person's DAFF or ABSTUDY income support payment.

 

 

For DFISA purposes, the actual rate is the daily rate of the person's social security income support payment made under .

For DFISA-like purposes, the actual rate is the daily rate of the person's DAFF or ABSTUDY income support payment.

 

 

Aboriginal study assistance scheme means:

  • the ABSTUDY scheme, or
  • the Aboriginal Overseas Study Assistance Scheme.

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

For DFISA purposes, the notional rate is what the person's daily rate of income support payment would be if the following applied:

Note: This step is only for DFISA calculation purposes and does not change the person's existing social security assessment.

 

 

Section 118NA of the VEA defines adjusted disability pension as:

  • disability pension paid under Parts II or IV of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA); and
  • permanent impairment payments and special rate disability pension paid under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004.

Adjusted disability pension does not include war widow's/widower's pension, or payments made by other governments to compensate for war or service related injuries.

 

 

A person's 'partner' is someone who is a member of a couple with that person.

For DFISA purposes, if the person is entitled to rent assistance, the adjusted DPis used to calculate a rent assistance reduction amount in order to determine the notional rent assistance rate. Calculation of the rent assistance reduction amount uses the same taper rates and income free area as apply to the person's income support payment.

Note: This step is only for DFISA calculation purposes and does not affect the person's actual payment of rent assistance. The notional rent assistance calculation is similar to the disability income rent test used to calculate rent assistance for service pensioners.

 

 

The social security law includes:

  • the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999; and
  • the Social Security Act 1991;and
  • the Social Security (International Agreements) Act 1999.

Aboriginal study assistance scheme means:

  • the ABSTUDY scheme, or
  • the Aboriginal Overseas Study Assistance Scheme.

Section 118NA of the VEA defines adjusted disability pension as:

  • disability pension paid under Parts II or IV of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA); and
  • permanent impairment payments and special rate disability pension paid under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004.

Adjusted disability pension does not include war widow's/widower's pension, or payments made by other governments to compensate for war or service related injuries.

 

 

For DFISA purposes, if the person is entitled to rent assistance, the adjusted DPis used to calculate a rent assistance reduction amount in order to determine the notional rent assistance rate. Calculation of the rent assistance reduction amount uses the same taper rates and income free area as apply to the person's income support payment.

Note: This step is only for DFISA calculation purposes and does not affect the person's actual payment of rent assistance. The notional rent assistance calculation is similar to the disability income rent test used to calculate rent assistance for service pensioners.

 

 

The taper rate is used to reduce the rate of a person's service pension or income support supplement if they or their partner have any ordinary income in excess of the ordinary/adjusted income free area (IFA). Any income in excess of the IFA will reduce the maximum payment rate by a 'taper rate' of 50 cents in the dollar (or 40 cents for transitional rate of pension). The result is the income reduced rate.

The same taper rate is also used in disability income rent test calculations to determine the amount of rent assistance for service pensioners and income support supplement recipients.

In addition to the income test taper, any assets in excess of the assets value limit will reduce the maximum payment rate per fortnight by 37.5 cents for every $250 over the Asset Value Limit. The result is the assets reduced rate

 

The income free area is the amount of income that an income support pensioner may receive without suffering any reduction in pension under the income test.

Section 118NA of the VEA defines adjusted disability pension as:

  • disability pension paid under Parts II or IV of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA); and
  • permanent impairment payments and special rate disability pension paid under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004.

Adjusted disability pension does not include war widow's/widower's pension, or payments made by other governments to compensate for war or service related injuries.