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B17/1994 Ceiling (Frozen) Rates of Age, Invalidity or Carer Service Pension to be Paid to War Widow/ers
Date of Issue: 5 May 1994
Ceiling (Frozen) Rates of Age, Invalidity or Carer Service Pension to be Paid to War Widow/ers
This Departmental Instruction has been issued to remind staff of the changes that took place in 1986 concerning the rate of service pension payable to War Widows who are also veterans with Qualifying Service. The relevant Departmental Instructions previously issued on this subject are B26/86 and B25/86.
Ceiling (Frozen) Rate Assessments
The rate of service pension payable to War Widow/ers who are also veterans with Qualifying Service is subject to the income and assets tests but in addition to that there is a ceiling on the maximum amount of pension payable. The ceiling rate can vary with each case but is usually $120.10 pf. The rate of pension payable in each individual case can vary up and down from the ceiling to nil pension payable.
All of these cases are manual rates cases, however, there are a small number of different circumstances applicable and assessment should be made as follows.
In all cases the service pension rate is worked out using normal rate calculators for a single or partnered person depending on the person's marital circumstances. All income and assets are included except for Disability Pension and War Widow/ers Pension. The rate calculated is called the "provisional rate".
The provisional rate is then compared to the "Ceiling" rate which is often referred to as the "Frozen" rate. The ceiling rate is calculated as follows:
The Ceiling Rate Is:
If the person was not in payment of service pension on 1 November 1986 then the ceiling rate is $120.10 per fortnight.
If the provisional rate is more than the ceiling rate of $120.10 then service pension is paid at $120.10 per fortnight.
If the provisional rate is less than $120.10 then the provisional rate is paid.
If the person was in payment of service pension immediately before 1 November 1986 then the ceiling rate is the rate in payment to the person at that time, or if that rate was less than $120.10 the ceiling is $120.10. If, on 1 November 1986 payments for Rent Assistance or for Children were being made then those payments permanently increase the ceiling rate. The ceiling rate never changes even if the person's provisional rate is assessed as nil for a period and then increased above nil.
If the provisional rate is more than the ceiling rate then service pension is paid at the ceiling rate payable as at 1 November 1986.
If the provisional rate is less than the ceiling rate then the provisional rate is paid.
Manual Rates cases
In all cases where service pension is in payment to war widow/ers the payment must be recorded on PIPS as a manual rates case. This is the case even if the "provisional" rate is the rate in payment. Special care should be taken at AL exercises to avoid incorrect payments in these cases.
The following entry in the text field on PIPS should be made in each case:
Ceiling rate of $$$$ not to be exceeded & case must stay on manual rates.
DSS Pension in Payment Immediately Before 1 November 1986
A ceiling rate higher than $120.10 could not be transferred from DSS. The higher rate ceiling is only payable if the person was in receipt of either age, invalidity, TB or carer service pension.
British or Other Government War Widows (Non Veterans)
A person in payment of a British or other government war widow/ers pension will not be paid a Partner Service Pension nor the ceiling rate of service pension. The definition of a war widow (in S5E) allows a person to be classed as a war widow/er if a payment from a foreign government is considered by the Commission to be the same in nature as a war widows pension. Section 45 (the ceiling rate) will not apply because these war widows are not being paid a pension under Part II or IV of the VEA. A British or other government war widow/ers will not be paid a Partner Service Pension because they are considered war widow/ers and so are covered by the limitations in force under sub-section 38c(2).
British or Other Government War Widows (Veteran in own right)
A person paid a British or other government war widow/ers pension who is also a veteran with qualifying service in his/her own right can qualify for Standard rate service pension at the rate determined under appropriate rate calculator. That is, the maximum rate reduced by any income or assets other than war widow/ers pension which is excluded income.
Empire Air Training Scheme War Widows (EATS)
A War Widow paid a British rate of pension under the dual entitlement provisions of EATS is an Australian widow receiving a payment under Part II and if she has Qualifying Service in her own right then she would be entitled to the ceiling rate of service pension in addition to the British rate of pension. Otherwise she is not entitled to any Partner Service Pension.
Carers who are War Widows
A person who is a Carer Service Pensioner and who is also receiving a War Widow/ers pension payable under Part II or IV will be paid the Carer Service Pension at the ceiling rate determined under the various circumstances outlined above. The carer does not have to be a veteran with qualifying service in his/her own right. Section 39N(2)(b) refers.
A person who is a Carer Service Pensioner and who is also receiving a British or other government War Widow/ers pension payable under foreign legislation will be paid Carer Service Pension at the rate determined under appropriate rate calculator. That is, the maximum rate reduced by any income or assets other than war widow/ers pension which is excluded income.
The relevant legislative provisions are sections 5C (definition of veteran), 5E (definition of war widow and war widower) 38C(2) and 45, Carer Service Pension is 39N.
Should you require further information please contact Ric Moore on (06) 289 4739.
NATIONAL PROGRAM DIRECTOR