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B54/1992 ASSET TEST FOR SERVICE PENSION WIDOWS, WIDOWERS AND NON- ILLNESS SEPARATED SPOUSES
DATE OF ISSUE: 04 DECEMBER 1992
ASSET TEST FOR SERVICE PENSION WIDOWS, WIDOWERS AND NON- ILLNESS SEPARATED SPOUSES
The purpose of this instruction is to advise on the relevant Asset Value Limit (AVL) to be applied to widows, widowers and non-illness separated spouses..
Under the VEA the AVL for this group is the non partnered rate. That is the rate shown for single veterans on the rate chart. Currently $112,500 for home owners and $193,000 for non home owners. The rate chart and ADP have used half te married rate.
The maximum basic rate of service pension payable to pensioners in this category, is contained in table B, Section 44-B1 of the VEA is an amount equal to one half of the combined married rate. The ordinary income free area used in the assessment of pension is contained in section 44-D4 of the VEA is an amount equal to one half of the married rate. The AVL used in the assessment of pension is contained in table F-1, section 44-F3 and is equal to that for a pensioner who is "not a member of a couple".
This has led to differences with some states manually assessing in line with the legislation, while other states have been relying on auto assessment. Fortuanately there are a very few cases in this category that are affected by the asset test.
Auto assessing will be brought into line with the legislation, but this is not possible until approximately April 1993. Existing cases will be automatically reassessed in July 1993, when the new Asset Values Limits are updated. In the meantime any case of widows, widowers and non-illness separated spouses which come to notice, and need action before the adjustments to the system are completed, should be manually assessed.
The rates charts are in the process of being redrawn and will be issued early January.
A/g NATIONAL PROGRAM DIRECTOR