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Impact of Home Equity Access Scheme on Other Entitlements

Last amended 
1 July 2022
Effect on other entitlements




If a person participating in the Home Equity Access Scheme is entitled to a pension under the income and assets test, their participation in the scheme does not impact on their eligibility to receive the additional benefits associated with receipt of that pension, such as a Pensioner Concession Card, Pension Supplement and treatment benefits.    

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Effect on other entitlements – non-pensioners




If the person is not otherwise entitled to a pension, and is participating in the scheme to obtain a substitute for pension rather than just a top-up of pension, they are not entitled to the additional benefits associated with receipt of pension, such as a Pensioner Concession Card, and treatment benefits. The provisions of the Scheme require that for fringe benefits purposes, the participants are taken not to be receiving service pension or income support supplement.   

This does not apply to people who hold a reinstated PCC because their income support pension was cancelled on 1 January 2017 due to changes to the assets test. There is no requirement for HEAS participants in this category to be receiving an income support pension as their entitlement to the PCC arises through separate legislation unrelated to HEAS participation. 

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Participation in Home Equity Access Scheme and hardship provisions

Participation in the Home Equity Access Scheme precludes payment under the hardship provisions. Because the person is using their assets as security for borrowing, their assets cannot be regarded as unrealisable, which is one requirement that must be met for a person to access the hardship provisions.

However, the fact that a person may be able to use their assets as security for a loan under the Home Equity Access Scheme should not be used to prevent them from accessing the hardship provisions if they are not actually participating in the scheme. That is, a pensioner should not be required to test their eligibility for a loan under the Home Equity Access Scheme to determine whether or not their assets can be regarded as unrealisable for hardship purposes.    

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Appeals and obligations

Home Equity Access Scheme participants do not have any appeal rights or statutory obligations imposed on them under the VEA as a result of participation in the scheme, however, participants are required to notify DVA regarding changes to the secured property. Home Equity Access Scheme participants must comply with the statutory obligations relating to the pension, and will retain the associated appeal rights.    

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Effect on Bereavement Payment

If a Home Equity Access Scheme participant dies, then any payment made under Home Equity Access Scheme is not included as part of the bereavement payment.    

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The pension supplement is added to a person's maximum basic rate. The pension supplement is calculated as a 'combined couple' rate. The 'not a member of a couple' rate is 66.33% of the 'combined couple' rate. The member of a couple rate is 50% of the combined couple rate. From 1 July 2010, the minimum pension supplement amount will be able to be claimed on a quarterly basis rather than on a fortnightly basis.



Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.

A bereavement payment is an amount payable in respect of a deceased pensioner that represents a continuation of the pensioner's entitlement for a period following the death (the bereavement period).

The payment can be made as:

  • a lump sum in advance, or
  • a continuation of the deceased person's pension instalments, or
  • a combination of both, or
  • a portion of the rate of pension payable to the surviving member of a couple identified as a separate amount only for taxation purposes.