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13/1991 Eligibility Extension - Spouse, female members & veterans

Document

Central Office Instruction

Instruction No. 13

Date of Effect: 25 June 1991

EXTENSION OF ELIGIBILITY PROVISIONS TO SPOUSES OF FEMALE MEMBERS AND VETERANS

Eligibility for Defence Service Homes benefits has been extended to spouses of female members of the forces and entitled female veterans with effect from 25 June 1991, being the date amending legislation received Royal Assent. These amendments are resultant from the announcement made by the Minister, Ben Humphreys on 22 January 1991.

Revised copies of both the Defence Service Homes Act (DSH Act) and the Veteran's Entitlement Act (VEA) will be despatched as soon as practicable.

The most significant changes involve the removal of discrimination ensuring that the dependants of service women who served in the Persian Gulf, as well as dependants of female veterans from earlier periods of conflict or service will be now entitled to apply for Defence Service Homes loan subsidy and insurance.

In order to implement this change, three areas of entitlement have been amended under the DSH Act:

  • who is an "eligible person" (s.4)
  • entitlement to widows' advances (s.20) , and
  • entitlement to instalment relief (s.23).

Section 4 – Interpretation

An eligible person for the purposes of the DSH Act formerly included reference to a"female dependant" of an "eligible person". Under the new provisions the definition of "female dependant" has been omitted and replaced by "a widow, widower or dependant parent" of an "eligible person".

A "dependant parent" is defined as a parent of a person mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (g) of the definition of 'eligible person' if:

(a) the person so mentioned:

(i) is dead; and

(ii) at the time of death, was not legally married; and

one of the following sub-paragraphs applies:

(i) the parent is a widow or widower and was dependent on the person before the person became an eligible person;

(ii) the parent's husband or wife is so incapacitated as to be unable to contribute materially to that parent's support.

Section 20 – Criteria for issue of certificate of entitlement: widow/widower advances

Section 20 changes are primarily the omission of "widows advance" to the amended "widow or widower advance". Paragraph 20(1)(a) will now read as:

"(a) the person is:

  1. the widow, widower, widowed mother or widowed father of an eligible person; or
  2. the wife or husband of an eligible person who is temporarily or permanently insane; and ,

(b) the person is a purchaser or a borrower in relation to land or land and a dwelling house; and,

(c) the widow or widower advance relates to that land or land and dwelling house ...

Section 23 – Certificate of entitlement: instalment relief

Section 23 changes are primarily the incorporation of the following paragraph:

"(a) the applicant is a purchaser or borrower who is:

  1. the widow or widower of an eligible person; or
  2. the widowed mother or widowed father of an eligible person; or
  3. the wife or husband of an eligible person who is temporarily or permanently insane, or ..."

Effective dates to be used in all cases, regardless of the date of lodgement of claim or application, cannot, as is the usual practice, precede the date of Royal Assent of the amendment to the DSH Act, being 25 June 1991.

FELICITY M. BARR

GENERAL MANAGER

25 June 1991