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Administration of Energy Supplement
For service pension, age pension, war widow/widower pension, disability pension, MRCA wholly dependent partner payment and MRCA special rate disability pension, the energy supplement (ES) commenced on 20 March 2013. Energy supplement for Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) and eligible Gold Card holders also commenced 20 March 2013.
For MRCA permanent impairment payment, the ES commenced on 1 July 2013.
No need to apply
Eligible recipients do not need to apply for an ES. If they are eligible, the ES will be paid automatically to the same payment destination as the underlying payment (UP).
ES is a daily entitlement and is paid as part of the UP. Where a person's UP is cancelled part way through the pension period, they will be paid ES for every day within the period they were entitled to the UP.
Payment dates and frequency
Unless an election is made to receive quarterly ES, the ES will be paid on the same and at the same frequency as the person's underlying payment except that:
- People who are paid pension supplement on a quarterly basis will receive their ES on the same day as their pension supplement.
- MRCA wholly dependent partners and permanent impairment payment recipients who elect to receive all or part of their UP as a lump sum will be paid their ES on a fortnightly basis.
Election to receive quarterly ES
People receiving a fortnightly UP may elect to receive ES as a quarterly payment, and may also revoke this election at any time. Electing and revoking to receive the ES quarterly requires notifying the Department in person, via telephone, via email or in writing (fax or mail). ES in respect of CSHC and eligible Gold Card holders can only be paid on a quarterly basis.
The quarterly ES is paid on the first pension pay day after 20 March, 20 June, 20 September and 20 December each year.
The ES is portable for up to 6 weeks of a temporary absence from Australia, after which time this payment will cease. For CSHC holders that depart Australia permanently or for a temporary absence greater than 19 weeks, they will still receive Energy Supplement for the first six weeks but on return to Australia, they will not be grandfathered and will not be able to receive Energy Supplement after 19 March 2017. This rule applies to anybody absent from Australia on 19 September 2016 and to any departure from Australia after that date.
Recipients of a UP who live permanently overseas are not eligible for ES.
Recipients of ES must notify the department if they are leaving Australia permanently or for any overseas absence.
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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.
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.
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 Service. War 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.
Disability pension, for the purposes of service pension and income support supplement, means:
- a pension paid for incapacity from war caused conditions, or peacetime, peacekeeping or hazardous service caused conditions (other than a war widow's or orphan's pension); or
- temporary incapacity allowance; or
- any other payment in respect of incapacity or death resulting from war or war-like operations in which the Crown has been engaged [usually paid by another Commonwealth country].
Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004
The energy supplement is an ongoing, regular payment designed to help recipients meet the cost of living impact of the carbon price.
Veterans' Children Education Scheme provides financial assistance and guidance in the education and training of eligible children as defined under section 116 of the VEA. Eligible children must be full-time students and be under 25 years of age at the time of application.
The VCES aims to encourage and assist eligible children to achieve their educational potential and prepare for suitable careers. The education allowance is not means tested, however, benefits cannot be paid to a student who is receiving other Commonwealth education assistance (including Youth Allowance), income support or assistance from any other similar scheme.