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Separation and Income Support Eligibility

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Last amended: 1 August 2011

Eligibility for partner service pension after marital separation

    

VEA ?

Eligibility for Partner Service Pension

Section 38(2AB) VEA

Section 38(2AC) VEA

Section 38(2AD) VEA

Section 38(2A) VEA

VEA ? (go back)

A separated spouse who was legally married to a veteran will have their eligibility for partner service pension limited to 12 months from the date of separation on a permanent basis unless:

[glossary:Eligibility for:] partner service pension [glossary:is lost from the date of separation where a spouse enters in to a:] de facto relationship [glossary:with another person. Eligibility for:] partner service pension [glossary:is also lost on divorce from the:] veteran[glossary:.:]

Partner service pensioner in special domestic circumstances

    

VEA ?

Veterans' Entitlements (Partner Service Pension — Retention of Eligibility for Non-illness Separated Spouse)

Determination R25/2009

VEA ? (go back)

A separated spouse who was legally married to a veteran may retain eligibility for partner service pension if the Commission has made a decision that special domestic circumstances apply.  Special domestic circumstances are accepted where:

  • the veteran has a psychological or mental health condition recognised by DVA and
  • there was an unsafe or abusive domestic environment in respect of the spouse or the spouse's family prior to separation and
  • the spouse and the veteran live apart and in separate residences.

An unsafe or abusive domestic environment means there was conduct, whether actual or threatened, by the veteran that caused the spouse and/or the spouse's children to fear for their personal well being or safety.

Partner service pensioner in a de facto relationship separates

    

VEA ?

De facto relationships

Section 11A VEA

VEA ? (go back)

When factors used to determine the existence of a de facto relationship are no longer present, or where two people in a registered relationship are living separately and apart from each other on a permanent basis, the two people should not be regarded as members of a couple.

A de facto partner who separates from the veteran on the grounds of breakdown in their relationship, becomes ineligible to receive partner service pension from DVA. They may be eligible to receive a pension or allowance from Centrelink.    

More ?

Policy Library –Relationship Separation From a Veteran

3.1.4/Eligibility for Partner Service Pension

More ? (go back)

Eligibility for a non-illness separated spouse who is widowed

If a widow/widower in receipt of partner service pension separated from the veteran prior to the veteran's death, then they will lose eligibility for partner service pension 12 months from the date of separation unless special domestic circumstances apply or they reach pension age within 12 months of the date of separation.

An additional 14 days after the 12 month period may be allowed before cancellation, consistent with the notification periods under the date of effect rules.     

Separated couple reconcile

A person may regain eligibility for partner service pension when there is a reconciliation and the partner returns to live permanently with the veteran.    

Separation and effect on ISS eligibility

A [glossary:person:] who was granted ISS on the basis of being the partner of an income support pensioner remains eligible for ISS after a non-illness separation. This is because the person continues to meet the primary eligibility criterion of being a war widow/widower and since 1 July 2008, it is no longer necessary to be of qualifying age, have a dependant child, be permanently incapacitated for work, or be the partner of an income support recipient, to be eligible for ISS. However, the person's rate of ISS may change once the assessment is updated to that of a single person  .    


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

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.

A person is considered to be in a de facto relationship if the person is:

  • living with another person (their partner) whether of the same sex or a different sex;

  • not legally married to the partner; and

  • certain features of that relationship are typical for members of a couple, and

  • the person and the partner are not within a prohibited relationship

Refer to section 11A of the VEA for the full definition.

 

Note: A relationship needs to be established for a period of twelve months to be considered a 'de facto relationship' for VCES purposes.

 

 

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

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.

For the purposes of Part VI of the VEA, a reference to a veteran is taken to be a reference to:

  • a veteran as defined in subsection 5C(1) of the VEA;
  • a member of the Forces as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA; or
  • a member of a Peacekeeping Force as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA.

For the purposes of Part VII of the VEA, according to subsection 5C(1), veteran means a person (including a deceased person):

  • who is taken to have rendered eligible war service, or
  • in respect of whom a pension is, or pensions are, payable under subsection 13(6) and
  • in Part III and Part VIIC of the VEA includes a person who is:

 

 

A person is considered to be in a de facto relationship if the person is:

  • living with another person (their partner) whether of the same sex or a different sex;

  • not legally married to the partner; and

  • certain features of that relationship are typical for members of a couple, and

  • the person and the partner are not within a prohibited relationship

Refer to section 11A of the VEA for the full definition.

 

Note: A relationship needs to be established for a period of twelve months to be considered a 'de facto relationship' for VCES purposes.

 

 

For the purposes of Part VI of the VEA, a reference to a veteran is taken to be a reference to:

  • a veteran as defined in subsection 5C(1) of the VEA;
  • a member of the Forces as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA; or
  • a member of a Peacekeeping Force as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA.

For the purposes of Part VII of the VEA, according to subsection 5C(1), veteran means a person (including a deceased person):

  • who is taken to have rendered eligible war service, or
  • in respect of whom a pension is, or pensions are, payable under subsection 13(6) and
  • in Part III and Part VIIC of the VEA includes a person who is:

 

 

The Department of Veterans' Affairs.

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.

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

For the purposes of Part VI of the VEA, a reference to a veteran is taken to be a reference to:

  • a veteran as defined in subsection 5C(1) of the VEA;
  • a member of the Forces as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA; or
  • a member of a Peacekeeping Force as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA.

For the purposes of Part VII of the VEA, according to subsection 5C(1), veteran means a person (including a deceased person):

  • who is taken to have rendered eligible war service, or
  • in respect of whom a pension is, or pensions are, payable under subsection 13(6) and
  • in Part III and Part VIIC of the VEA includes a person who is:

 

 

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.

 

 

The DVA program area which administers income support payment claims for means tested pensions or benefits is called income support.

 

 

A war widow/widower is generally a person who immediately before their partners death, was the partner of, or was legally married to:

Refer to 5E(1) of the VEA for the full definition.