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Eligibility for Energy Supplement

Last amended 
16 December 2014


Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the energy supplement (ES) a person must be:     

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Special rules apply for some UPs.    

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Underlying payments and benefits

The underlying payments and benefits (UPs) are:

Receiving more than one ES

A person can be eligible for multiple ES payments. The following table demonstrates how people may receive more than one ES.

Group One

People can receive aN ES for one of...

Group Two

...and aN ES for one of...

Eligibility for more than one ES

service pension

disability pension

age pension

MRCA special rate disability pension

CSHC & eligible gold card holders

MRCA permanent impairment payment

war widow/widower's pension


MRCA wholly dependent partner payment


VCES fortnightly education allowance


MRCAETS fortnightly education allowance


Social Security Act 1991 energy qualifying payments


ABSTUDY allowance



Multiple entitlement exclusion rules prevent a person receiving more than one ES from within the same group.     

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Where a person has eligibility for general rate of disability pension ES and MRCA permanent impairment ES, MRCA permanent impairment ES is paid.

In all other cases, if a person is eligible for more than one ES from within the same group, the highest ES out of those they are eligible for is paid.



The energy supplement is an ongoing, regular payment designed to help recipients meet the cost of living impact of the carbon price.




An underlying payment means any pension, payment, supplement or allowance under the VEA or MRCA that attracts a clean enrgy advance and an energy supplement


An Australian resident is a person who:

  • resides in Australia; and
  • is one of the following:
  • an Australian citizen;
  • the holder of a permanent visa;
  • the holder of a special category visa who is likely to remain permanently in Australia;
  • the holder of a special purpose visa who is likely to remain permanently in Australia.

Australia is defined in the Acts Interpretations Act 1901 and includes the following territories and Islands:

  • Christmas Island
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Subsection 5Q(1) of the VEA provides specifically that the definition of Australia includes the external territories for many VEA purposes including Part III, IIIAB, some parts of Part IIIB, Parts IIID, VIIA, VIIC and sections 52ZO, 58A, and 132.  Norfolk Island] is currently the only external territory of Australia. For the above VEA sections, which cover service pension, [glossary:income support supplement:118], pension bonus, pension loans scheme, Veterans supplement, pension supplement and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card purposes it is considered to be part of Australia. The test of residing in Australia does not by itself satisfy the full definition of Australian Resident, as residency also requires Australian citizenship or the holding of a specified visa.

Papua New Guinea and Nauru have both previously been external territories of Australia.  Lord Howe Island and Macquarie Island, formerly regarded as separate islands, are now part of mainland NSW and Tasmania respectively.



A service pension is an income support payment broadly equivalent to the social security age and disability support pensions. It may be paid once a veteran or partner has reached the nominated age or is incapacitated for work.

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 form of pension that is paid to the partner of a veteran where the veteran has died as a result of war service or eligible Defence ServiceWar widow's/widower's pension is also paid to the partner of a veteran whose death was not war caused if the veteran was a ex-prisoner of war or if the veteran was receiving Extreme Disablement Adjustment Rate, Special Rate (T&PI) or a rate increased in respect of certain war-caused injury or disease.


Disability pension, for the purposes of service pension and income support supplement, means:

  • a pension paid for incapacity from war caused conditions, or peacetime, peacekeeping or hazardous service caused conditions (other than a war widow's or orphan's pension); or
  • temporary incapacity allowance; or
  • any other payment in respect of incapacity or death resulting from war or war-like operations in which the Crown has been engaged [usually paid by another Commonwealth country].

The CSHC is intended to assist those retirees and other eligible veterans, war widow(er)s and their partners of pension age who fail to qualify for an income support pension from DVA or a pension or benefit from Centrelink. The card entitles the holder to pharmaceuticals listed on the PBS at a concessional rate and seniors supplement.



The Repatriation Health Card - For All Conditions is gold in colour and frequently referred to simply as the “Gold Card”.  The card entitles its holder to obtain health care and related services for all the person's identified health care needs, whether they are war-caused or not.

Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004

The Veterans' Children Education Scheme, prepared by the Commission under s117 of the VEA.