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Concession to Continuous Period


A Commonwealth veteran, Allied veteran or Allied mariner applying for service pension must, be an Australian resident and have resided in Australia for a continuous period of at least 10 years.  However a concession to the ten year requirement may be applied where a person has multiple periods of residency. Below are details of who is entitled to the concession and the formula for calculating it.    

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Eligibility for the Concession

This concession reduces the requirement for 10 years' continuous Australian residency, provided the following criteria are met:

  • the veteran was an Australian resident for more than one period; and
  • at least one of those periods is less than ten years but is not less than five years; and
  • the aggregate of all periods is more than 10 years.

Under this criteria, the required period of continuous residence is reduced by the period by which the aggregate of all periods exceeds 10 years.     

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Aggregate residence=  (total of all periods)

Excess=  (aggregate)  -  10

Concessional period of residency required=  10  -  (excess)

Example:   Someone who has Residency

Periods of residence7 years, 5 years and 4 years

Aggregate residence7  +  5  +  4=  16 years

Excess16  -  10=  6 years

Concessional period of residency required10  -  6=  4 years

Therefore, as the continuous period of residency required is only 4 years and this person has already exceeded that period, this person would immediately be eligible.

Example:   Someone who does not have Residency

Periods of residence6 years and 5 years

Aggregate residence6  +  5=  11 years

Excess11  -  10=  1 year

Concessional period of residency required10  -  1=  9 years

Therefore, as the continuous period of residency required is 9 years and this person has not reached that amount with either period of residence, this person is not yet eligible.

Calculation of Further Periods of Residence Required

If under the concessional formula, the veteran is not yet eligible, the period of residence still required is calculated using additional formulas.

A service pension is an income support payment broadly equivalent to the social security age and disability support pensions. It may be paid once a veteran or partner has reached the nominated age or is incapacitated for work.

An Australian resident is a person who:

  • resides in Australia; and
  • is one of the following:
  • an Australian citizen;
  • the holder of a permanent visa;
  • the holder of a special category visa who is likely to remain permanently in Australia;
  • the holder of a special purpose visa who is likely to remain permanently in Australia.

Australia is defined in the Acts Interpretations Act 1901 and includes the following territories and Islands:

  • Christmas Island
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Subsection 5Q(1) of the VEA provides specifically that the definition of Australia includes the external territories for many VEA purposes including Part III, IIIAB, some parts of Part IIIB, Parts IIID, VIIA, VIIC and sections 52ZO, 58A, and 132.  Norfolk Island is currently the only external territory of Australia. For the above VEA sections, which cover service pension, [glossary:income support supplement:118], pension bonus, pension loans scheme, Veterans supplement, pension supplement and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card purposes it is considered to be part of Australia. The test of residing in Australia does not by itself satisfy the full definition of Australian Resident, as residency also requires Australian citizenship or the holding of a specified visa.

Papua New Guinea and Nauru have both previously been external territories of Australia.  Lord Howe Island and Macquarie Island, formerly regarded as separate islands, are now part of mainland NSW and Tasmania respectively.