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B02/1991 VETERANS' AFFAIRS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 1990 (NON-BUDGET AMENDMENTS)
DATE OF ISSUE: 08 JANUARY 1991
VETERANS' AFFAIRS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 1990 (NON-BUDGET AMENDMENTS)
The Veterans' Affairs Legislation Amendment Bill 1990 contains:
.minor legislative changes (non-budget amendments); and
.major legislative changes involving expenditure (budget amendments).
This Departmental Instruction covers the minor non-budget legislative changes. (The Budget amendments will be detailed in further Departmental Instructions).
The non-budget items consist of:
.amendments to mirror equivalent provisions contained in the Social Security Act (SSA);
.technical amendments; and
.the repeal of a redundant provision of the VEA.
The Bill has passed through both houses of Parliament and will commence with effect from the date of Royal Assent.
Most of the amendments apply to payments of pension that fall due on or after Royal Assent. The only exception is the Earnings Credit amendments which apply on and from 1 October 1990, to align with the Social Security Act (paragraphs 28 to 34 refer).
NATIONAL PROGRAM DIRECTOR
VETERANS' AFFAIRS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 1990
The following items were included in the Veterans' Affairs Legislation Amendment Bill 1990, and are explained in this instruction.
Part I - Equivalent amendments to the SSA: Paragraphs
.Exempting payments under a State mortgage relief
scheme as "income"1-3
.Exempting payments for part-time training under a
Labour Force Scheme as "income"4-6
.Exempting payments to assist in purchasing personal care
support services as "income"7-12
.Exempting ABSTUDY payments from the calculation of
Additional Pension for Child (APC)13-16
.Clarifying the investment income definitions — 17-27
.Sharing an earnings credit — 28-30
.Excluding an asset-tested service pensioner receiving
APC from accruing an earnings credit — 31-34
.Requiring a veteran to seek maintenance to retain
eligibility for payment of APC — 35-45
.Excluding the value of the family home when both members
of a pensioner couple enter a nursing home — 46-51
.Indexing the income test "free area"52-56
Part II - Technical amendments:
."Allotted for duty"57-58
.Requiring information "in the manner specified"
in a Section 127 notice — 59-71
.Extending the Administrative Appeals Tribunal's (AAT)
right to review all Commission decisions made under Section 59 — 72-75
.Incorporating certain regulations into the overpayment
recovery provisions 76-82
.Restoring service pension eligibility to those who served
in the F.E.S.R. and have other Qualifying Service 83-87
Part III - Redundant provisions repealed:
.Repealing Section 64 of the VEA — 88-93
PART I - EQUIVALENT AMENDMENTS TO THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT (SSA):
Exempting payments under a State mortgage relief scheme as "income"
1.Currently payments received under a Commonwealth mortgage relief scheme are exempt income for service pension assessment purposes (paragraph (f) of the definition of "income" in sub-section 35(1) VEA refers).
2.New paragraph (fa) extends this exemption to payments received under a State or Territory mortgage relief scheme.
3.This amendment commences from date of Royal Assent and applies to payments of service pension that fall due on or after this date.
Exempting payments for part-time training under a Labour Force Scheme as
4.The Social Security and Veterans' Affairs Legislation Amendment Act (No.4) 1989 exempted from the definition of "income" a payment made for part-time training under a Labour Force Scheme. This payment is only exempt where the trainee is also receiving one of the pensions or allowances listed under paragraph (ma) of the definition of "income" contained in sub-section 35(1) VEA.
5.A payment under Part VI of the SSA - a Widowed Persons Allowance was inadvertently omitted from that list. The current amendment corrects this oversight.
6.This amendment commences from date of Royal Assent and applies to payments of service pension that fall due on or after this date.
Exempting payments for purchasing personal care support services as "income"
7.Currently payments received for domiciliary nursing care benefit payable under the National Health Act 1953 are exempt as income for service pension assessment purposes (paragraph (e) of the definition of "income" in sub-section 35(1) VEA refers).
8.Representations from the Spastic Society of Victoria have been made to the Minister for Social Security to gain a similar exemption for payments made under the Society's proposed "Cash Allowance Attendant Care Scheme". These payments apparently will be similar in character to the domiciliary nursing care benefit.
9.The Prime Minister has agreed to the principle of exempting, for pension assessment purposes, schemes such as the Spastic Society of Victoria proposes, which are designed to assist in the purchase of personal care support services. The Minister for Social Security has been given the authority to approve the exemption of individual schemes for income assessment purposes.
10.To ensure consistent treatment of all income-support pensioners, paragraph (va) of the "income" definition contained in sub-section 35(1) VEA will exempt, for income assessment purposes:
"a payment towards the costs of personal care support services for the person being a payment under a scheme approved under section 12AAA of the Social Security Act 1947".
11.To date no scheme has gained this exemption. However, a separate advice will be issued when a scheme gains this exemption.
12.This amendment commences from date of Royal Assent.
Excluding ABSTUDY payments from the calculation of Additional Pension for Child (APC)
13.Sub-section 37(1) VEA allows an income deduction for a veteran service pensioner for each dependent child. The maximum amount of the income deduction allowable is reduced by any payments the veteran receives in respect of that child. Exceptions to this are payments:
. under the VEA;
. of maintenance income;
. under the AUSTUDY scheme;
. under the Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme; or
. similar in nature to family allowance.
14.This amendment will include payments under "an aboriginal study assistance scheme" in the list of exempt payments (paragraphs 37(1)(a) & (b) refer).
15.New sub-section 37(5) will define "an aboriginal study assistance scheme" as being:
"(a) the ABSTUDY Scheme; or
(b)the Aboriginal Overseas Study Assistance Scheme; or
(c)a scheme prescribed for the purposes of this definition."
16.The amendment to sub-section 37(1) and the introduction of sub-section 37(5) commence from date of Royal Assent and apply to service pension payments that fall due on or after this date.
Changes to the investment income definitions
17.A recent AAT decision (Cowling vs the Repatriation Commission) examined the phrase "becomes entitled to receive" in relation to the issue of bonuses accruing to a friendly society investment (sub-section 37C(3) VEA refers).
18.It is Commission & DSS policy that any bonus (profit) received from pre-1988 friendly society investments is held as income for 12 months after the date the pensioner redeems or partially redeems the investment.
19.The AAT interpreted "becomes entitled to receive" to mean that the assessment of a bonus as income applied as soon as the bonus had been credited to the investor's account, not when the investor actually withdrew the money.
20.This interpretation of the legislation was never intended and would be contrary to the guarantee given by the Government that income from pre-1988 investments would only be assessed on redemption or partial redemption.
When is profit considered income?
21.The amendments to sub-sections 37C(3), 37D(3) & 37J(2) of the VEA ensure that the profit is considered income when the amount is physically withdrawn. The words "becomes entitled to receive..." will be omitted from these sub-sections and replaced with "realises the investment".
Note: These amendments maintain current Commission policy and specifically negate the Cowling decision.
22.New sub-sections 37C(3A)-(3D) & 37D(4)-(7) will provide an explanation of the different circumstances under which a person will be regarded as having received a return on an investment for accruing return and market-linked investments, respectively.
New sub-section 37C(3A) states:
"For the purposes of subsection (3), a person realises an investment if, and only if:
(a)all or part of the amount of the investment is withdrawn; or
(b)all or part of the return on the investment is paid to another person; or
(c)the investment matures; or
(d)the investment is assigned by the person to another person; or
(e)the investment is disposed of by the person otherwise than in the way referred to in paragraph (d)."
New sub-section 37C(3B) states:
"For the purposes of subsection (3), where a person assigns or otherwise disposes of an investment, the person is taken to receive by way of a return on the investment the amount of the return at the date of the disposal."
New sub-section 37C(3C) states:
"For the purposes of subsection (3), where a person realises an investment in circumstances where the return on the investment is paid to another person, the return is taken to be received by the person realising the investment."
New sub-section 37C(3D) states:
"For the purposes of subsection (3), where a person's investment matures, the person is taken to receive by way of return on the investment the amount of the return at the date of the maturity."
23.Sub-section 37J(2) will be replaced to account for the receipt of profit from an investment for "certain capital amounts taken to be received over 12 months". New sub-section 37J(2) will read:
" A person receives an amount for the purposes of subsection
(1) if the person receives an amount under an arrangement of
the kind referred to in the definition of "accruing return investment" in subsection 35(1) to the extent that subsection 37C(1) or (2) does not apply to the receipt.".
i.e. This provision covers an accruing return investment that was taken out prior to 13.12.87 (or prior to 1.1.88 for a friendly society accruing return investment).
Who owns the investment?
24.The amendment also clarifies the ownership of the investment. It ensures that any profit from the investment is assessed when the investment is assigned or otherwise disposed of.
25.Currently income is assessed on these investments only on withdrawal or at maturity. This amendment will cover a possible avenue of circumvention in that it would prevent a pensioner assigning the profits on an investment to, for example a son or daughter (who could then "return" the profits to the pensioner), thereby escaping the present provisions.
26.This amendment provides an additional reference to "acquires [and/or] acquired" to current references to "make [and/or] made" that appear in sub-sections 37C(1), 37C(2), 37C(3), 37D(1), 37E(1), 37E(2), 37G(1), 37H(3) & 37J(1).
27.These amendments commence from date of Royal Assent and apply to pension payments that fall due on or after this date.
Sharing an Earnings Credit
28.Section 49B VEA contains the Earnings Credit provisions. They are written in such a way that an Earnings Credit belongs to and may only be used by the individual pensioner. The legislation does not allow a pensioner couple to combine their Earnings Credit and share it between them. This can result in a situation where one member of a pensioner couple has accrued an earnings credit (but cannot use it) and the person's partner has exhausted his/her Earnings Credit and has no access to their partner's unused credit.
29.The amendment to section 49B VEA will provide legislative authority for the current departmental practice of allowing a pensioner couple to share their combined earnings credits. Section 12A Social Security Act (SSA) will contain a similar amendment.
30.The SSA amendment commences from 1 October 1990. Therefore, to retain consistent application dates for these identical amendments, the VEA amendment will commence with effect from 1 October 1990. However, no retrospective reassessments will be required given that departmental policy has been applied since before that date.
Excluding an asset-tested service pensioner receiving Additional Pension for Child (APC) from accruing an Earnings Credit
31.The Social Security and Veterans' Entitlements Amendment Act (No.4) 1989 introduced a provision into the VEA precluding certain pensioners from accruing an earnings credit (sub-section 49B(4) VEA refers).
32.Sub-section 49B(4) states that a person cannot accrue an earnings credit where their pension rate is less than maximum rate because of the assets test (ie whose pension is reduced under paragraph 47(5)(b) VEA for a veteran or paragraph 48(4)(b) VEA for a wife).
33.This amendment extends the exclusions to a veteran whose pension is asset-tested and who receives APC (ie a veteran whose pension is reduced under sub-paragraph 47(4)(a)(ii) will not be able to accrue an earnings credit).
34.This amendment is similar to the amendment to sub-section 12A(4) SSA. The SSA amendment commences from 1 October 1990. Therefore, to retain consistent application dates for these identical amendments, the VEA amendment will be effective on and from 1 October 1990. Again, no retrospective assessments will be necessary.
Requirement to seek maintenance to retain eligibility for payment of Additional Pension for Child (APC)
35.This amendment to the VEA introduces new sub-section 47(3A) which will provide that APC is not payable in cases where a veteran:
.receives APC for a child;
.is entitled to claim maintenance for that child;
.the Commission thinks it is reasonable that the veteran take action to obtain the maintenance; and
.the veteran does not take that action.
36.It is important to note that this amendment does not require the veteran to actually obtain the maintenance in order to retain eligibility for APC. It merely requires that reasonable action be taken to attempt to obtain maintenance.
37.This amendment does not apply to the payment of Guardian's Allowance.
38.Currently neither the service pension claim nor review forms ask about entitlement to claim maintenance. These forms will be updated to incorporate an additional question to cover this situation. There will not be a special exercise to identify service pensioners affected by this provision.
39.As an interim measure if, in the course of investigating a service pension claim or review, a case is identified where the veteran service pensioner could be entitled to maintenance, the examiner should obtain further details from the pensioner to enable the delegate to reach a decision on the application of new sub-section 47(3A).
40.After consultation with all Branch Offices, it is proposed to give this delegation to all Officers who currently have the delegation under sections 58 and 59 of the VEA. The Repatriation Commission has not formally approved this delegation of its power. Further advice will be issued when Commission approval has been received.
41.In reaching a decision whether it is reasonable to require the veteran to take action, a Delegate of the Repatriation Commission must assess each case individually. Guidelines to assess what is "reasonable action" will be issued in the new year.
42.If, in the interim, a Delegate decides that APC is not payable because of sub-section 47(3A), the higher rate of:
.rent assistance; and
.remote area allowance;
are also not payable, in respect of that child (ss55(6) & 57(7) refer).
43.However, the child income deduction in respect of that child is still applied (sub-section 37(1) refers) and Guardian's Allowance may still be payable under paragraph 47(3)(e).
44.The PMF will not allow the income deduction without making a child-related payment (except where the child is a prescribed student child). Therefore, any assessment where sub-section 47(3A) results in a loss of APC and subsequent reductions in rent assistance and Remote Area Allowance should be recorded on the Manual Assessments Screen (under the "Other" classification). It is not proposed to modify the PMF to automatically process these assessments as it is estimated that the number of cases involved will be negligible.
45.This amendment commences from date of Royal Assent and affects payments that fall due on or after this date.
Excluding the value of the family home when both members of a pensioner couple enter a nursing home
46.Paragraph 50(8)(b) VEA excludes the asset value of the family home for a maximum period of two years after a person enters a "nursing home" (as defined in sub-section 35(18) VEA).
47.This means that the family home is only exempt for a maximum period of two years from the date the first member of a pensioner couple enters a "nursing home", even though the other member may remain in the family home.
48.This amendment extends paragraph 50(8)(b) to exclude the asset value of the family home for a two-year period:
.from the date of death of the partner remaining in the family home; or
.from the date the second member of the pensioner couple enters a nursing home.
49.It also excludes the asset value of the family home, for a period of one year, where:
.one member of the pensioner couple is in the nursing home; and
.the partner remaining in the family home temporarily vacates the residence (paragraph 50(8)(c) refers).
50.Obviously this exemption would not apply if the second member leaves the family home to enter a nursing home or the first member has not been in the nursing home for more than two years (the normal two-year exemption period would be used).
(a)The veteran entered the nursing home on 1.1.89. The spouse left the family home on 1.7.89 until 1.8.90. Although the spouse is temporarily absent for a period greater than one year, the two-year exemption (following the veteran entering the nursing home) would apply and the family home would be an exempt asset for the total period of the spouse's absence.
(b)The veteran entered the nursing home on 1.1.89. The spouse left the family home on 1.1.90 and expects to be away until 1.4.91. The family home would be an exempt asset for the two-year period from 1.1.89 (ie the date the veteran entered the nursing home) until 31.12.90. From 1.1.91 until 31.3.91 the family home would become an asset in the veteran and spouse's pension assessment. The exemption would recommence from 1.4.91 when the spouse returns to the family home.
Note: The family home remains an exempt asset whilst one member of the pensioner couple resides in it.
51.This amendment commences from date of Royal Assent and affects payments due after this date.
Indexation of the income test "free area"
52.The Social Security and Veterans' Affairs Legislation Amendment Act (No. 4) 1989 introduced section 198B into the VEA. This section provides for the indexation of the income test "free area" and rounds it to the nearest $1.00. The current result may be a weekly or fortnightly amount that comprises odd cents.
Current Standard Limit is:
$3640 per annum = $140 per fortnight = $70.00 per week
Using current indexation rounded to the nearest $1.00 a possible limit is:
$3860 per annum = $148.46 per fortnight = $74.23 per week
53.The amendment to section 198B VEA will ensure that the indexed income test "free area" will be rounded to the nearest $26.00:
$3926 per annum = $151 per fortnight = $75.50 per week
54.$13 is used as the yardstick for rounding to the nearest $26. If the indexed income test "free area" amount, when divided by 26, leaves an odd amount between 1 & 13 it is rounded down to the lower 26. If the indexed income test "free area" amount, when divided by 26, leaves an odd amount between 14 & 26 it is rounded up to the higher 26.
55.This amendment to paragraph 198B(4)(b) VEA will ensure that the annual income test "free area" is an amount divisible by 26, thus yielding an amount that is always a multiple of $0.50 per week or $1.00 per fortnight. This will simplify advices to clients and the calculation of fortnightly pension payments.
56.This amendment commences from date of Royal Assent and applies to payments that fall due on or after 1 July 1991.
PART II - TECHNICAL AMENDMENTS:
"Allotted for Duty"
57.Sub-section 5(12) VEA will be amended to provide a technical definition of the phrase "allotted for duty". Schedule 2 will be amended to restore the correct closing dates for operational service which were incorrectly transcribed from the (repealed) Special Overseas Act to the VEA.
58.The Compensation and Review Branch will be issuing a Departmental Instruction fully explaining these two amendments in early 1991.
Requiring information "in the manner specified" in a Section 127 notice
59.Section 127 provides the legislative authority for the Secretary to oblige a pensioner to provide certain information.
60.Amendments to paragraphs 127(1)(e) & (f) will enable the Secretary to require a person to provide advice to the Department in response to a notice issued under section 127 "in the manner specified in the notice". This will ensure that a pensioner is not only obliged to provide information but to provide information to a particular person, address or section in a particular manner.
61.This amendment commences from date of Royal Assent.
62.Although the date of commencement is Royal Assent, this amendment does not affect an individual pensioner until he/she has received an obligations notification specifying the manner in which to respond to the notice.
63.This legislative amendment, combined with the proposed bi-annual indexation advices, will form the basis of the Department's strategy to ensure that:
.the number of unnecessary pensioner-initiated contacts (letter and telephone) is minimised (ie maximum-rate service pensioners advising of changes in their circumstances that do not affect their pension entitlements); and
.each pensioner is aware of his/her current assessment details, and the obligation to keep the Department informed of changes in circumstances that do affect pension assessment.
64.In March 1991, most pensioners will receive their first indexation advice which will include a section 127 obligations notice directing the pensioner to provide written advice of any variation to his/her circumstances and to direct that advice to a specific officer (e.g. the Manager Pensions).
Note: Further details of the indexation advice will be issued closer to the date of implementation
65.In the interim period, from the date of Royal Assent of this amendment to March 1991, section 127 notices will remain as they are currently formatted and therefore the work practices of staff during this period should be unaffected by the amendment.
66.In due course the payment advices will be changed to reflect the pensioner's obligations to advise the Department of a change to his/her circumstances.
Affect of the type of advice accepted by the Department
67.It is envisaged that the number of pensioners who will provide details in writing will increase if the section 127 notice states that a pensioner must respond in writing. However, pensioners should not be discouraged from providing information over the telephone nor should they be told that all information must be placed in writing. There may be valid reasons for the pensioner to opt for verbal advice (e.g. illness or illiteracy). Although the section 127 notification will specifically request written advice, staff should not alienate a pensioner by insisting on strict adherence to this requirement.
68.You should use your discretion when insisting on written documentation. If the information is a routine matter, verbal advice may be accepted (e.g. bank account no. 123456 now has a balance of $25,000 earning 13.25%). However, full details of complex issues may be requested in writing.
69.Remember, in any event, the new advices system (both current payment and proposed indexation) provide the pensioner with confirmation of the reviewed income/assets and any affect that change may have had on the rate of pension.
Overpayment and Debt Recovery
70.This amendment raises several issues regarding the creation of overpayments and debt recovery. This matter has been referred to Legal Advisings for advice and further instructions on overpayment and debt recovery will be issued early in 1991.
71.In the interim, where a pensioner advises, as a result of receiving a payment or indexation advice detailing changed income/assets details, that the Department has used the wrong figures, no overpayment recovery action should be taken unless fraud or loss of eligibility is evident.
Extending the Administrative Appeals Tribunal's (AAT) right to review all Commission decisions made under section 59 VEA
72.Sub-section 175(2) VEA currently states that the AAT can review Commission decisions made under section 59 that reviewed decisions made under:
.section 46 - determining a claim;
.section 53 - financial hardship; or
.section 58 - cancellation, suspension or variation.
73.This amendment removes the specific references to sections 46, 53 & 58 and allows the AAT to review any Commission decision made in accordance with section 59.
74.Effectively this will allow the AAT to review decisions made in accordance with section 124:
-ss124(1): cancellation of pension or allowance at the veteran's request;
-ss124(2): cancellation or suspension of pension or allowance where a veteran has failed to draw instalments for a continuous period of more than six months;
-ss124(3): termination of a suspension imposed under ss124(2);
-ss124(4): cancellation of pension where the person notifies of an event that causes loss of eligibility;
-ss124(5): cancellation or suspension of pension where a person fails to notify of an event which causes pension reduction or loss of eligibility.
75.This amendment commences from date of Royal Assent and applies to all AAT reviews conducted after that date.
Incorporating certain regulations into the overpayment recovery provisions
contained in section 205 of the VEA & section 55A of the Seamen's War
Pensions and Allowances Act
(i) Relocation of Regulations
76.Paragraph 205(1)(b) VEA allows Commission to recover an amount paid to a person under a "prescribed educational scheme". This is defined in the Veterans' Entitlements Regulation (VER) 14A as meaning:
"(a) the AUSTUDY scheme;
(b)the Aboriginal Study Assistance Scheme;
(c)the Aboriginal Secondary Assistance Scheme;
(d)the Post-graduate Awards Scheme;
(e)the Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme;
(f)the scheme to provide an allowance known as the Adult Migrant Education Program Living Allowance;
(g)the scheme to provide an allowance known as the Maintenance Allowance for Refugees."
77.The SWP&AA contains similar provisions at paragraph 55A(1)(b) and Regulation 40, respectively.
78.Regulation 14A VER and Regulation 40 SWP&AA will be incorporated into their respective Acts as an additional definition in sub-sections 205(8) and 55A(8), respectively.
(ii) Recovery of overpaid amounts of English as a Second Language Allowance (ESLA)
79.ESLA is an allowance paid by DSS on behalf of Department of Education, Employment and Training (DEET).
80.ESLA will be incorporated into the definition of "prescribed educational scheme" to allow for recovery of overpayments of this allowance under section 205 VEA and section 55A SWP&AA, respectively.
81.A further amendment will include new item (j) in that definition: "a scheme prescribed for the purposes of this definition". This amendment will provide the flexibility to include additional scheme payments in that definition in the future with minimal difficulty.
82.Both amendments commence from date of Royal Assent.
Restoring service pension eligibility to those who served in the F.E.S.R.
and have other Qualifying Service
83.Under the provisions of the (repealed) Special Overseas Service (SOS) Act, a Commonwealth veteran whose unit was attached to the Far East Strategic Reserve (F.E.S.R.) AND who rendered qualifying service in the Federation of Malaya, the territory of Malaysia, the territory of Singapore or Vietnam Southern Zone during the period 31 July 1962 to 11 January 1973 was eligible to receive service pension. FESR service alone did not entitle ex-service personnel to receive service pension.
84.The SOS Act provision was incorrectly translated into the Veterans' Entitlements Act when it commenced in 1986 and subsequent amendments failed to rectify this problem.
85.The result was that all Commonwealth personnel who had been attached to the British Commonwealth FESR at any time, regardless of any qualifying service rendered between 31 July 1962 to 11 January 1973, were excluded from receiving service pension.
86.The current amendment to section 36 VEA will restore the original intention of the Special Overseas Service Act provisions and allow Commonwealth personnel who were attached to the FESR and have rendered qualifying service outside the dates listed in Item 3 of Schedule 2 of the VEA to qualify for service pension.
87.This amendment commences from date of Royal Assent and affects decisions made on or after this date.
PART III - REDUNDANT PROVISIONS REPEALED:
Repealing Section 64 VEA
88.Non-indigenous inhabitants of the Territories of Papua and New Guinea who were residing there immediately before the Territories gained Independence as Papua New Guinea (PNG) on 16 September 1975, are deemed to be Australian residents until such time as they cease to reside in PNG (sub-section 5(5) VEA refers).
89.A person who is:
(i)the spouse of a service pensioner who is deemed to be an Australian resident by virtue of sub-section 5(5); and
(ii)became a resident of PNG after Independence, is deemed to be an Australian resident (sub-section 35(5) VEA refers).
90.Section 64 VEA currently provides Commission with the discretion to cancel pension paid to a service pensioner who:
.is living in PNG;
.is deemed to be an Australian resident by virtue of sub-section 5(5) or 35(5); and
.leaves PNG, for a destination other than Australia, without first providing written advice to the Department.
91.The VEA has not empowered the Commission to cancel service pension paid to any other group of "travelling" pensioner, except for carer service pensioners, since service pension paid to a veteran and spouse was made fully portable in 1973. Therefore, as section 64 is obsolete and discriminatory, it has been repealed.
92.Although the restriction on carer service pension in sub-section 64(2) will be removed, the normal exclusion on the payment of carer service pension outside Australia still applies (sub-section 63(3A) refers). Therefore a carer of a veteran deemed to be an Australian resident in accordance with sub-section 5(5) VEA would retain the payment of carer service pension only if the veteran and carer moved from PNG to Australia. Any other destination would result in the cancellation of the carer service pension.
93.This amendment commences from date of Royal Assent.