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4.1.5 Intermediate Rate Eligibility
What is Intermediate Rate disability pension?
Intermediate Rate disability pension is paid to compensate a veteran, member of the Forces, member of a Peacekeeping Force, or Australian mariner, who, because of incapacity resulting from eligible service, is unable to resume or continue in paid work for:
- 50 per cent or more of normal time, or
- 20 hours or more per week.
What is the purpose of the Intermediate Rate?
The purpose of the Intermediate Rate is to provide a rate of pension to bridge the gap between the General Rate and the Special Rate (T&PI) for ex-servicemen capable of part-time or intermittent work only.More ?
Eligibility criteria for intermediate rate
A person is eligible for the Intermediate Rate if:
- the degree of incapacity from his or her war-caused or defence-caused disabilities has been determined to be at least 70 per cent, or More ?
- he or she has suffered from or is suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis, and is receiving or entitled to receive a disability pension at the general rate, and More ?
- the incapacity from his or her accepted conditions, alone, renders him or her incapable of undertaking paid work otherwise than on a part-time basis or intermittently, and
- the person is prevented from continuing paid work due to his or her incapacity resulting from accepted conditions alone, and as a consequence, suffers a loss of earnings that they otherwise would not suffer.
A person will not be eligible for the Intermediate Rate if he or she is prevented from working by any factor other than their accepted conditions.
Eligibility for people over 65 years of age
The following additional eligibility criteria apply for the Intermediate Rate if the veteran has reached 65 years of age:
- they were engaged in paid work after the age of 65;
- that work was for a continuous period of at least ten years (NOTE: There is no requirement for the veteran to have only worked for one employer or in a single type of employment during this period);
- that continuous period of work commenced before the person turned 65.
It must also be the case, as per 23(3A)(d) of the VEA, that the veteran be prevented from continuing the remunerative work in which they were last engaged before making a claim for the pension.
The phrase “the remunerative work” potentially refers to a number of things: a type of work, a particular job, a particular set of hours in a particular job, and so on. The following cases are arranged, from greater to lesser discontinuity, to illustrate this ambiguity.
A. Person goes from working for 60 hrs per week as a self-employed plumber to 15 hrs a week as a call centre worker for a charity.
B. Person is reassigned by their employer to 10 hrs per week in the office after being employed as a fulltime delivery driver for the business.
C. Person is working full time as an accountant and has his hours reduced to 15 hours per week by his employer.
D. Person goes from working 15 hrs per week as a security guard to 10 hrs per week in the same position.
While there is no controversy in claiming that cases A and B involve a change in the remunerative work of the person, this is less clear in cases C and D.
The relevant case law allows for scenarios such as C or D to satisfy the requirements of section 23(3A)(d). As such, a delegate should be flexible and judge each case on its own merits. Clearly the issue is one of fact and degree. It should be noted that the change in case D represents a significant decrease in hours for the person (a drop of 1/3). Such an example should be contrasted with one in which the person drops from 15 to 14 hours, which is unlikely to be sufficient to satisfy the requirements of the legislation. In such borderline cases, delegates should fully document their reasons for making a decision one way or another. If there are any concerns, delegates should seek policy advice via the Compensation Advice Line.
Paid Work and Voluntary WorkMore ?
Paid Work and Voluntary Work
Guide to the Assessment of Rates of Pension (GARP) - degree of incapacity
GARP - CCPS Research Library\Guide to the Assessment of Rates of Pension
For the purposes of Part VI of the VEA, a reference to a veteran is taken to be a reference to:
- a veteran as defined in subsection 5C(1) of the VEA;
- a member of the Forces as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA; or
- a member of a Peacekeeping Force as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA.
For the purposes of Part VII of the VEA, according to subsection 5C(1), veteran means a person (including a deceased person):
- who is taken to have rendered eligible war service, or
- in respect of whom a pension is, or pensions are, payable under subsection 13(6) and
- in Part III and Part VIIC of the VEA includes a person who is:
- a Commonwealth veteran, or
- an allied veteran, or
- an allied mariner.
A member of the forces is a person who served in the defence force for a continuous period that commenced after 7 December 1972 and has the type of service required in sections 69, 69A and 69B of the VEA.
“Member of a Peacekeeping Force means a person who is serving, or has served, with a Peacekeeping Force outside Australia as an Australian member, or as a member of the Australian contingent, of that Peacekeeping Force."
A person who was during World War 2:
- a master, officer or seaman employed under agreement, or an apprentice employed under indenture, in sea-going service on a ship registered in Australia that was engaged in trading between a port in a State or Territory and any other port, or
- a master, officer or seaman employed under agreement, or an apprentice employed under indenture, in sea-going service on a ship registered outside Australia who was, or whose dependants were, resident in Australia for at least 12 months immediately before he or she entered into the agreement or indenture.
Refer to section 5C of VEA for a full definition.
According to subsection 5D(2), incapacity from a war or defence-caused disease or injury is a reference to the effects of that injury or disease, and not a reference to the injury or disease itself.
Eligible war service is:
- operational service, or
- continuous full-time service (not being operational service) as a member of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) during World War 1, or
- continuous full-time service (not being operational service) as a member of the Australian Defence Force during World War 2, being service that commenced before 1 July 1947, or
- continuous full-time service (not being operational service) as a member of the Interim Forces during World War 2, being service on or after 1 July 1947, or
- been employed on a ship as an Australian Mariner during World War 2, to 29 October 1945.
Section 7 of the VEA provides a full definition of eligible war service.