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Electing Not to Receive DFISA




Election not to receive DFISA

As DFISA is an automatic entitlement, there is no process for claiming payment. However, a person may elect not to receive DFISA. The election must be made in writing and can be withdrawn at any time.

Impact of election

The date of effect for the election is the day after the written request is received by DVA. After that date, no DFISA payment will accrue. The election continues until it is formally withdrawn. Electing not to receive DFISA does not impact the person's income support payment in any way.

Election where no amount of income support payment is payable

Where a person is receiving social security income support at a nil rate, and subsection 23(1D) of the SSA applies, their status as a social security recipient continues even if they elect not to receive DFISA. A person in this situation continues to be a social security recipient for the purposes of obligations, concessions, pension bonus scheme, etc. for as long as their qualification for the social security payment continues.    

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Where a person's rate of ABSTUDY or DAFF income support allowance is reduced to nil and they elect not to receive DFISA-like payment the person loses entitlement to the benefits and concessions associated with the income support payment and are no longer subject to obligations related to the primary payment.

Withdrawing election

If a person decides to withdraw the election not to receive DFISA, the withdrawal must be in writing. DFISA becomes payable only from the day after their withdrawal is lodged with DVA.

Retrospective increase in adjusted disability pension

A retrospective increase in adjusted DP may result in an overpayment of income support payments for the person and the person's partner. Where a person has elected not to receive DFISA, and has not withdrawn this request prior to the date of effect of the adjusted DP increase, arrears of DFISA will not be payable for any time prior to the date of effect of the election withdrawal.

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.



The date of effect, or effective date, is the day on which a certain incident or 'event' begins affecting a pension assessment.

The Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Social Security Act, 1991.

Aboriginal study assistance scheme means:

  • the ABSTUDY scheme, or
  • the Aboriginal Overseas Study Assistance Scheme.

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

The Defence Force Income Support Allowance-like (DFISA-like) payment is an ISP under regulations made under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986. DFISA-like payment may be payable to a person whose:

  • income support payment administered by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), or
  • living allowance made under ABSTUDY

is reduced or not payable because of adjusted disability pension ADP.



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.



A person's 'partner' is someone who is a member of a couple with that person.