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DFISA Payability (ceased 2022)

Last amended 
28 February 2022

DFISA ceased 1 January 2022.  This is for historical reference only.    



When was DFISA payable?

DFISA was payable to a person who was qualified for a social security, DAFF or ABSTUDY income support payment where they or their partner received adjusted DP and they met one of the following criteria:

  • their income support payment was reduced because of the impact of adjusted DP, or
  • their income support payment was not payable because of the impact of adjusted DP.
When was DFISA not payable?

DFISA was not payable to a person if:

  • their social security income support payment was paid under the financial hardship provisions,
  • the rate of DFISA would have been nil,
  • they had elected not to receive DFISA, or    More ?
  • they received the Department of Agriculture's Farm Household Allowance.     More ?
Affected income support payments

Centrelink generally pays the following social security, DAFF and ABSTUDY income support payments, which may have been reduced by adjusted DP and may have attracted DFISA:    

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  • age pension (also paid by DVA)
  • disability support pension
  • carer payment
  • JobSeeker payment
  • parenting payment
  • youth allowance
  • austudy payment
  • mature age allowance
  • special benefit
  • special needs pension
  • ABSTUDY living allowance
  • exceptional circumstances relief payment (repealed 2014)
  • farm help income support (repealed 2014)
  • interim income support
Manner of payment

Payment of DFISA was directed to the eligible person's existing DVA payment destination. If there were no current payment destination details recorded with DVA for the eligible person, the DFISA payment could not be released until an authorised person nominated a payment destination. If the person wanted their DFISA payments released into an account other than their own, they would have needed to arrange for appointment of an agent. If the person's ill health, infirmity or age rendered them unable to manage their affairs, a trustee may be appointed.    

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One off payments

In some circumstances, a person may have been entitled to a one off payment of DFISA. For example, this may have occurred where a person was eligible for a sickness benefit payment for a period of only a few days, and goes on and off payment within the one DVA pension period. In this instance, DFISA was paid on the next DVA pension payday.




Reference Library - Departmental Instruction - Department of Agriculture - Farm Household Allowance



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Centrelink website: Guide To Australian Government Payments Booklet


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Payment by Direct Credit

Section 11.5.2

Accrual while awaiting payment destination details


11.5.2/Powers of Commission in Relation to Direct Credit Payments

Agents and Trustees

Chapter 11.3



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The information below is for historical reference only.

Defence Force Income Support Allowance (DFISA) ceased on 1 January 2022 because adjusted disability income became exempt income under the Social Security Act 1991.  It was an income support payment paid by DVA to people whose income support payment under Social Security Law was reduced, or not payable, because of the impact of adjusted disability pension. DFISA was 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.



Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Aboriginal study assistance scheme means:

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

On 1 January 2022, both DFISA and the Disability Income Rent Test were removed.   Thus the term Adjusted Disability Pension was made redundant.  The following is for historical reference only.

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

  • disability pension (known as disability compensation payment from 2022) 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 did not include war widow's/widower's pension, or payments made by other governments to compensate for war or service related injuries.



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.

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Aboriginal study assistance scheme means:

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

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 Compensation Payment 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 Disability Support pension is paid by Centrelink to claimants with a significant and long term inability to work and is broadly equivalent to an Invalidity service pension paid by DVA.

Means carer payment under the Social Security Act 1991.

According to subsection 5Q(1) (b), of the VEA a pension period is a period of two weeks that starts two days before a payday (i.e. Tuesday) and ends two days before the next payday (i.e. close of business Monday).



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.