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C07/2008 Processing of Income Support Supplement (ISS) claims prior to change to ISS eligibility


DATE OF ISSUE:  09 April 2008

Processing of Income Support Supplement (ISS) claims prior to change to ISS eligibility


The Veterans' Entitlements Amendment (2007 Election Commitments) Bill 2008 (the Bill), which, if passed, will change eligibility for ISS, was introduced to Parliament on 13 February 2008. This Departmental Instruction (DI) instructs staff on changed procedures for assessing claims for ISS received between now and commencement of the changes.


The Bill provides for the extension of eligibility for ISS to war widow(er)s under qualifying age who do not meet the other eligibility criteria, repealing the current eligibility criteria (qualifying age, dependent child, partnered to person receiving income support, or permanent incapacity) and retaining permanent incapacity as a payability. These changes will mean that, subject to means testing, all war widow(er)s including MRCA wholly dependent partners will be eligible for ISS. The changes to ISS eligibility will take effect from 1 July 2008.

Processing of claims for ISS between now and 1 July 2008

Procedures for processing all claims for ISS between issue of this DI and up until the new eligibility rules have been promoted into PIPS on the June Statutory Increase (SI) weekend, are provided in the table below.

Note:  No further claims for ISS should be rejected using the PIPS menu option Case\Reject Claim unless the claimant is not a war widow or has for some other reason failed to submit a valid claim.

If the ISS claimant is a war widow(er) and is...


eligible under the current rules (qualifying age, permanently incapacitated, dependent children or partnered to a person receiving income support)

process as usual – grant or reject depending on payability, send standard grant or rejection letter.

not eligible under current rules (under qualifying age, not permanently incapacitated, no dependent children, or not partnered to a person receiving income support)

process claim through PIPS with Pension Type as “DP (Disability Pension) Only”.  This will data collect the claimant's income and assets but will ensure they are not incorrectly put into payment prior to 1 July 2008.

If income and assets are within the limits that would allow for payability of ISS

Send claimant deferral letter at Attachment A.  This will inform the client that their claim will be reconsidered when the new eligibility rules are in force.

These cases will be identified and granted from 1 July 2008. Further information about this process will be provided closer to implementation.

If income and/or assets are above the limits that would allow for payability of ISS

Send claimant standard rejection letter to advise that they are not payable ISS due to the level of their income and/or  assets.

Add the following paragraph to the rejection letter:

You are not currently eligible for ISS because you are below the qualifying age of      .  However, subject to passage of legislation, from 1 July 2008, the ISS qualifying age restriction will be removed. If your income and assets decrease to below the relevant limits, ISS may be payable to you after 1 July 2008.

Contact officer

If you have any queries or concerns, please contact Kirrily Lucas, Income Support and Aged Care Policy, on ext 16011, or Marisa Ashford, Income Support Service Delivery, on ext 36399.

Ric MooreJohn Sadeik

A/g National ManagerNational Manager

Income Support & Aged Care PolicyIncome Support

9 April 20089 April 2008




I am writing to you about your claim for income support supplement, which was received by the Department on      .

Changes to eligibility for ISS

Subject to passage of legislation, from 1 July 2008 the eligibility criteria for income support supplement is being extended to all war widows and war widowers, regardless of their age, partnered status, invalidity status or whether they have a dependent child.

Current eligibility criteria

For you to be eligible to receive an income support supplement under the current rules you must:

  • be qualifying age (      years old); or
  • be permanently incapacitated for work; or
  • have a partner who is in receipt of an income support payment; or
  • have a dependent child.

Outcome of Your Claim

Your claim has been deferred and will be determined under the new eligibility criteria from 1 July 2008.  You are not eligible for payment of income support supplement at this time, as you do not meet the current eligibility criteria.

Reassessment on 1 July 2008

Although you do not currently meet the eligibility criteria, from the information that you have provided I have decided that you may be eligible for an income support supplement when, subject to passage of legislation, the legislation changes on 1 July 2008.

Final assessment of your claim will therefore be deferred until 1 July 2008, when a reassessment will take place.  You will be advised of the outcome of your claim following the reassessment.


You need to tell us within 14 days of changes to your income and assets which may affect any rate of pension granted from 1 July 2008.  This means that when reassessing your claim we are using the most up to date information available, ensuring that your pension, if granted, will be paid at the correct rate.  If you fail to advise of changes to your income and assets, and your claim is granted at an incorrect rate, a debt may be raised for any overpayment paid to you.

Your right of Review

If you do not agree with the deferral of your claim until 1 July 2008, you may apply to have these decisions reviewed by the Review Officer at this office.  A request for a review must be in writing and set out your reasons for seeking a review.

Please contact me on       if you have any further queries regarding your claim.

Yours sincerely

Delegate of the Secretary