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Pensioner Dissatisfied with DFISA Rate

If DFISA rate is less than expected

Some people will not receive any amount of DFISA even though they are eligible for DFISA. Others may receive less than they thought they would receive as a result of the impact of adjusted DP on their income support payment. This may occur if the person's notional rate is assets tested or impacted by the notional rate of rent assistance calculation.    

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No decision about DFISA rate

There is no legislative decision made with regard to the rate of DFISA. The calculation of the rate of DFISA flows directly from decisions made regarding the person's income support payment assessment. Variations and cessations in the rate of DFISA occur only when a person's income support payment varies or ceases.     

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DFISA and appealing primary income support payment

As a person's rate of DFISA is based on decisions made in relation to their income support payment, a person can indirectly appeal their rate of DFISA by seeking a review of a decision made in relation to their rate of income support payment.

Further avenues

If the person remains dissatisfied with their rate of DFISA following the review of their income support payment assessment, the following options remain available:

  • writing to the Ombudsman, or     More →
  • writing to the Minister.

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.



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.



Means a payment of:

  • job search allowance, or

  • youth training allowance.



For DFISA purposes, the notional rate is what the person's daily rate of income support payment would be if the following applied:

Note: This step is only for DFISA calculation purposes and does not change the person's existing social security assessment.



For DFISA purposes, if the person is entitled to rent assistance, the adjusted DPis used to calculate a rent assistance reduction amount in order to determine the notional rent assistance rate. Calculation of the rent assistance reduction amount uses the same taper rates and income free area as apply to the person's income support payment.

Note: This step is only for DFISA calculation purposes and does not affect the person's actual payment of rent assistance. The notional rent assistance calculation is similar to the disability income rent test used to calculate rent assistance for service pensioners.