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In view of the complex nature of the legislation covering benefits available to widows/widowers, a ready reference table is contained in Appendix A to assist staff in advising of the options available. It is essential that delegates explain all the options in each category when advising the widow/widower, although it is recognised that some options may not be all that practical, dependent upon the circumstances. It is important that once the options are explained, the final decision on what benefit to apply for is left to the widow/widower.
In the table, references to a widow of an eligible person should be read to include references to a widower of an eligible person and similarly, references to a husband should also include a wife or de facto partner. The benefits available in the Additional Advance and Widow/Essential Repairs Advances columns are dependent upon the benefit in the Loan column being taken up. The table format, although comprehensive may not cover all widows'/widowers' circumstances. Any case in circumstances not covered by the table should be discussed with Team Leader/Senior Subsidy Officer , particularly where the widow has completed her own military service.
Where the applicant's circumstances indicate a Further Advance option, staff must check that the portability provisions are satisfied, eg previous loan current at, or funded after, 9/12/87, and where the previous loan was not current at 9 May 1995 that previous terms have not exceeded 25 years. Care also needs to be exercised in relation to the effective dates of legislative changes which bestow the benefits, ie. De-facto widows are eligible as widows if the person with qualifying service died after 10/11/78. De-facto widowers of female veterans are eligible if the person with qualifying service died after 18 December 1988. De facto partners are eligible if the eligible person died on or after 1 July 2009.
It is important to note that Instalment Relief does not comprise an advance nor alter the status of the Initial/Further Advance, and so the granting of Instalment Relief does not affect the beneficiary's status as a borrower. In other words, it is possible for a surviving joint tenant to receive Instalment Relief and retain eligibility for an Initial Advance.
Staff should be fully conversant with the legislation and other parts of the General Orders before using the table. Relevant GO's related to widows'/widowers' benefits are located in Eligibility Chapter 10 and GO 12.2.1 and Entitlement GO 3.6.4, Chapters 4,5,6 and 7, and GO's 10.13 and 10.14. It is emphasised that the complexities of some of the legislative provisions mean that they are open to some debate and variance in interpretation. Where this is so, the table applies a policy consistent with a beneficial interpretation of the legislation and sets down uniform guidelines to follow for the majority of cases. However, there may be cases where widows have received or acted upon previous DSH advice given under earlier views of the same legislation. It is not intended that the guidelines in the table would disadvantage those clients who have received or acted upon previous contrary advice given before the table was issued. Delegates are encouraged to consider the merits of cases in accordance with the provisions of the legislation and to satisfy themselves that such widows are not disadvantaged.
A table setting out the various benefit options available to widows/widowers is provided in the following pages in Appendix A
[for 11.1 to 11.3, see <a href="//clik.dva.gov.au/HW-DSH/GO/Widows%27/Widowers%27%20Benefits/Appendix%20A">Appendix A]
11.4 — ND "DSH/GO/Transfer of Estate or Interest in a Property/11/Introduction">