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DVA and Centrelink Arrangements


Last amended: 7 August 2009

Who pays DFISA?

DVA pays DFISA in all circumstances, irrespective of whether Centrelink or DVA assesses the primary payment and calculates the rate of DFISA.

Who calculates DFISA?

A person's rate of DFISA is calculated by the agency that assesses their income support payment.

Centrelink's role

DVA's role

Centrelink DFISA – where Centrelink assesses the person's income support payment

Centrelink calculates the person's daily rate of DFISA.

Centrelink transmits the daily rates to DVA.

DVA calculates the fortnightly rate based on the daily rate transmitted by Centrelink.

DVA delivers the payment to the person's nominated account, and advises the person of the amount payable and the payment destination.

DVA DFISA – where DVA assesses the person's age pension or wife pension

DVA calculates the person's rate of DFISA.

DVA delivers the fortnightly payment to the person's nominated account, and advises the person of the amount and the payment destination.

Income support assessment unchanged by DFISA

The rate of DFISA is determined by the person's income support payment assessment. Regardless of which agency calculates DFISA, the person's income support payment will not change. Both agencies apply the same rules for calculating the DFISA rate. Therefore, the calculated rate of DFISA would be the same, whether DVA or Centrelink administers the income support payment.

Who should clients contact?

DFISA recipients can contact either DVA or Centrelink with queries about DFISA.

Establishing proof of identity for DFISA payments

Proof of identity for DFISA is established when the person claims the primary income support payment and does not need to be re-established when DFISA becomes payable. Proof of identity is the responsibility of the agency administering the primary payment. This includes situations when Centrelink grants a payment at nil rate.

No POI is required where a person is already receiving DFISA and their age pension is being transferred from Centrelink to DVA. This is because the person's identity was proven at the time of the initial claim for adjusted disability pension from DVA. The only exception to this is where a full POI has not been previously carried out, or where the person has not contacted DVA for a number of years and the delegate is not reasonably satisfied as to their identity.

DVA's role

DVA staff can answer queries about the calculation of the rate of DFISA and payment of DFISA, where DVA calculated the rate of DFISA. Where Centrelink calculated the daily rate of DFISA, DVA staff can answer questions about payment delivery and the calculation of the fortnightly instalment; that is, the daily rate transmitted by Centrelink, summed for each of the days in the pay period.

Centrelink's role

Centrelink staff can answer queries about the calculation of the daily rate of DFISA where Centrelink calculated the rate, but cannot answer questions about the delivery of the DFISA payment or the calculation of the fortnightly instalment.

DFISA paydays

People receiving income support from Centrelink may receive their income support payment on any of the 10 working days in a fortnight. This option is not available at DVA. As DFISA is a DVA payment, DFISA will only be paid on DVA pension paydays. This means that a person may receive their income support payment in one week, and receive DFISA in respect of the impact of adjusted DP in the following week.    

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The Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Defence Force Income Support Allowance (DFISA) is an income support payment to be made by DVA to people whose income support payment under Social Security Law is reduced, or not payable, because of the impact of adjusted disability pension. DFISA is the difference between the person's existing entitlement, and what the entitlement would have been had adjusted DP been exempt, but was assessed in the calculation of rent assistance.



Centrelink is a Government service delivery agency responsible for delivering a range of Commonwealth Government services (including social security pensions and allowances) to the Australian community through a network of more than 400 Centrelink offices.

An age pension is a means tested income support payment paid by Centrelink  or DVA on behalf of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. The majority of age pensions are paid through Centrelink. However, eligible veterans  who have an accepted disability or receive a disability pension from DVA, but do not have qualifying service, may be paid their age pension by DVA. Their partner may also receive their age pension from DVA, if eligible.



A wife pension was granted under the Social Security Act 1991 to a woman who qualified for that pension on or before 30 June 1995. Wife pension is not to be granted after 30 June 1995.

A woman is qualified for a wife pension if she:

  •       is a member of a couple, and
  •       has a partner who is receiving:
  •       an age pension, disability support pension or disability wage supplement, or
  •       a rehabilitation allowance and was, immediately before he became qualified for that allowance, receiving an invalid pension.

Commencing from the Thursday falling on 11 July 1991, DVA pension payday falls on each succeeding alternate Thursday.  Refer to the fact sheet IS144 Pension Paydays, Allowance Payment Dates & Pension Periods for a listing of these days.



Section 118NA of the VEA defines adjusted disability pension as:

  • disability pension paid under Parts II or IV of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA); and
  • permanent impairment payments and special rate disability pension paid under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004.

Adjusted disability pension does not include war widow's/widower's pension, or payments made by other governments to compensate for war or service related injuries.