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9.4.4 Payments in Respect of Saved Children
Last amended: 1 May 2003
Saved child/children cases
On 1 January 1998, pensioners who were financially disadvantaged by or would lose their treatment entitlement because of the transfer of child related payments to Centrelink or who had no FTB entitlement (overseas residents and Norfolk Islanders) continued to have child related payments paid by DVA[glossary:.:]
Child related payment may discontinue
Child related payments will continue to be paid until the child becomes ineligible or the dependent child turns 16. An example of a child becoming ineligible would be if the child were no longer dependent on the pensioner. A person may also stop receiving child related payments from DVA if they elect in writing to receive payments of FTB under the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999. A person may decide to do so if the FTB would be greater than the child related payments they would be receiving from DVA.
A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999
The savings provisions under which these payments continued to be paid by DVA only applied to pensioners who:
- were in payment prior to 1 January 1998 and whose service pension or income support supplement included dependent child add-on, guardian allowance or additional rent assistance because of a dependent child, or
- had lodged a pension claim on or before 31 December 1997 and whose service pension or income support supplement included dependent child add-on, guardian allowance or additional rent assistance because of a dependent child.
Since 1 January 1998, it has not been possible for any new dependent child to be a saved child, unless the claim was lodged on or before 31 December 1997.
Dependent child add-on
Dependent child add-on is included in the calculation of a person's service pension or income support supplement where that person has a saved child.
The amount of the dependent child add-on depends on whether the child is under 13 years or between 13 and 15 years.
It is possible that in some cases only a percentage of the dependent child add-on is being paid to a pensioner. If this is the case, it is because only a percentage of the Family Tax Benefit payment is being made to the pensioner, and the Commission has determined, under section 42-C3AA of the VEA as in force on 31 December 1997, that only a percentage of the dependent child add-on is to be paid.
Guardian allowance is included in the calculation of a person's service pension or income support supplement where that person has a saved child and if that pensioner:
If a pensioner with a saved child is eligible for rent assistance, the rate of rent assistance payable may be increased because of that child.
If a service pensioner with a saved child is eligible for rent assistance, any disability pension may reduce the rate of rent assistance payable to the person. In such a case, a rent assistance free area applies. The rent assistance free area is increased for each dependent child. As with the ordinary/adjusted income free area, the additional rent assistance free area may be reduced by payments made to the pensioner or the pensioner's partner in respect of the child.
Rent Assistance Free Area
Children and the Ordinary/Adjusted income free area
Maintenance paid in respect of saved children
The rate of service pension or income support supplement payable to a pensioner with a saved child may be affected by maintenance income, in respect of a dependent child, being received by the pensioner or their partner.
The Department of Veterans' Affairs.
Section 5F(1) of the VEA defines dependent child as having the same meaning as in the Social Security Act 1991. For income support purposes, dependent child is defined as:
Child under 16 years
- the pensioner has legal responsibility either alone or jointly with another person for the day to day care, welfare and development of the young person AND the young person is in the pensioner's care, or
- the young person is not a dependent child of someone else AND the young person is wholly or substantially in the pensioner's care.
A child under 16 years cannot be considered a dependent child if:
- they are not a full-time student, and
- their weekly income from any source is more than the amount specified in section 5(3)(c) of the Social Security Act.
Child 16 years or older
A young person who has turned 16 years but is under 22 years can still be a dependent child of the pensioner if:
- they are wholly or substantially dependent on the pensioner, and
- their income in the financial year will not exceed the personal income limit, and
- they are receiving full-time education at a school, college or university.
A child over 16 years cannot be considered a dependent child if:
- they receive a social security pension or benefit such as youth allowance, or
- their personal income is more than the amount specified in section 5(4)(b) of the Social Security Act.
Income includes earning from casual, part-time or full-time earnings.
Note: the meaning of a dependent child for DVA income support pension purposes is not the same as the meaning for Family Tax Benefit purposes.
From 1 January 1998 responsibility for administration of most income support child related payments was transferred to Centrelink. However, saving provisions allow any person in receipt of service pension or income support supplement on 31 December 1997 who would be or is financially disadvantaged by the transfer to continue having their child related payments paid by DVA. Saved children are assessed under the rules contained in the VEA as at 31 December 1997.
The term not a member of a couple covers all persons who are not covered by the definitions of member of a couple.
An illness separated couple is a couple who cannot share a home because of the illness or infirmity of one or both partners. Illness separated couples may be paid the higher single rate of pension. Refer to subsection 5R(5) of the VEA for the full definition.
A respite care couple is a couple who Commission has determined are separated because one person has entered respite care in a nursing home or hostel to give the other member of the couple a temporary break from caring for that person.
Members of a respite care couple are entitled to be paid the single rate of pension.
Refer to subsection 5R(6) of the VEA for the full definition.