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5.9.4 DFISA Bonus

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Last amended: 1 January 2008

    

What is the DFISA bonus?

The DFISA bonus is a VEA payment. A person is entitled to the DFISA bonus if their social security pension bonus is reduced because of the inclusion of adjusted DP in the calculation of their age pension rate.

There is no DFISA bonus payable to a recipient of DFISA-like payment.

How is it calculated?

    

VEA ?

Amount of DFISA bonus

Section 118NI VEA

VEA ? (go back)

The DFISA bonus is the difference between:

  • the amount of pension bonus received under social security law, and
  • the amount of pension bonus that would have been received if adjusted DP had not been included in the assessment of age pension.

Any amount of DFISA bonus payable will be calculated automatically, using the adjusted DP details from the age pension claim. There is no need to claim the DFISA bonus separately.

Who calculates the DFISA bonus?

The following table clarifies which agency should calculate the DFISA bonus.

If a person claims the pension bonus and age pension from...

Then...

Centrelink

Centrelink calculates the amount of DFISA bonus and transmits the amount payable to DVA.

DVA

DVA calculates the amount of DFISA bonus.

Who pays the DFISA bonus?

DVA will pay the DFISA bonus, regardless of whether it was calculated by Centrelink or DVA.

DFISA bonus may be payable where DFISA not payable

It is possible for a person to receive a DFISA bonus but not receive ongoing DFISA payments. Where the notional increase in age pension equals the reduction applied to the notional rate of rent assistance, no DFISA is payable. However, because the pension bonus calculation does not take account of rent assistance, a DFISA bonus payment may be payable.    

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Example of disability income rent test reducing DFISA to nil

5.9.3/DFISA Calculation Examples

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Example of DFISA bonus

Mrs Phillips registered with Centrelink for the social security pension bonus scheme in March 2004. On 27 March 2009 she claims the age pension and the pension bonus and a bonus of $15,000 is payable. The amount is reduced because of her husband's adjusted DP. If adjusted DP were excluded from her age pension assessment she would have received a bonus of $18,500.

Bonus if adjusted DP excluded

$18,500

less social security pension bonus payable

$15,000

DFISA bonus

= $3,500

Centrelink advise DVA to pay a DFISA bonus of $3,500.

Impact on pension bonus eligibility if DFISA bonus received

Once a person has received a DFISA bonus they:    

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Pension Bonus Scheme

Chapter 5.6

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  • can no longer be a member of either the social security law or VEA pension bonus scheme, and
  • can never receive a pension bonus.
Impact on pension bonus eligibility if DFISA payment received

Generally, if a person receives DFISA after the age at which they would otherwise become eligible for a pension bonus under the VEA or the SSA, they:     

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Pension Bonus Scheme

Chapter 5.6

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  • can no longer be a member of either the social security law or VEA pension bonus schemes, and
  • can never receive a pension bonus.

Note: This does not apply if the primary payment of the person, who received the DFISA, was a carer payment. That is, if their DFISA was paid in respect of carer service pension or carer payment.

DFISA top up

    

Top ups may apply to pension bonus claims lodged on or after 1 January 2008. They allow some pension bonus members to receive an extra amount on top of the pension bonus they originally received if there is a reduction in their income and/or assets in the first 13 weeks after pension grant. The top up is a recalculation of the original bonus amount. Where a person is eligible for a DFISA bonus, a DFISA top up may be payable. There is no formal claim for the top-up.

Where a person is eligible for a DFISA bonus, a DFISA top up may be subsequently payable. There is no formal claim for the top-up. The top up is a recalculation of the original bonus amount and only applies to pension bonus claims lodged on or after 1 January 2008.

The top up is most likely to be payable if there is a reduction in the person's income and/or assets in the first 13 weeks after pension grant and they had received less than the maximum possible combination of pension rate and DFISA at time of pension grant.

DFISA bonus bereavement payment

    

VEA ?

DFISA Bonus Bereavement Payment

Section 118NIB VEA

VEA ? (go back)

From 1 January 2008, if a DFISA bonus would have been payable to a person who dies before claiming the person's social security pension bonus, a DFISA bonus bereavement payment may be payable to the person's surviving partner. The payment will be made automatically when the pension bonus bereavement payment is worked out. No separate DFISA bonus claim is required.


DFISA bonus is defined in section 5Q(1) of the VEA and is a VEA payment under Part VIIAB of the VEA. A person is entitled to the DFISA bonus if their social security pension bonus is reduced because of the inclusion of adjusted DP in the calculation of their age pension rate. The DFISA bonus is the difference between:

  • the amount of pension bonus received under SSL   , and
  • the amount of pension bonus that would have been received if adjusted DP had not been included in the assessment of age pension.

 

 

Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.

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.

 

 

The Defence Force Income Support Allowance-like (DFISA-like) payment is an ISP under regulations made under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986. DFISA-like payment may be payable to a person whose:

  • income support payment administered by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), or
  • living allowance made under ABSTUDY

is reduced or not payable because of adjusted disability pension ADP.

 

 

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.

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.

 

 

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.

The Department of Veterans' Affairs.

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.

 

 

DFISA bonus is defined in section 5Q(1) of the VEA and is a VEA payment under Part VIIAB of the VEA. A person is entitled to the DFISA bonus if their social security pension bonus is reduced because of the inclusion of adjusted DP in the calculation of their age pension rate. The DFISA bonus is the difference between:

  • the amount of pension bonus received under SSL   , and
  • the amount of pension bonus that would have been received if adjusted DP had not been included in the assessment of age pension.

 

 

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.

Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.

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.

 

 

Social Security Act, 1991.