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Eligibility for Energy Supplement

Last amended 
7 July 2022
Eligibility Criteria

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

Special rules apply for some UPs.    

Underlying payments and benefits

The underlying payments and benefits (UPs) for DVA clients are:

  • VEA Service Pension,
  • SSA Age Pension paid by DVA,
  • VEA War Widow/er's Pension,
  • VEA Disability Compensation Payment,
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) grandfathered,
  • VEA or MRCA Gold Card (only holders over qualifying age and not receiving income support),
  • MRCA Wholly Dependent Partner payment,
  • MRCA Special Rate Disability Pension,
  • MRCA Permanent Impairment payment,
  • VCES fortnightly education allowance, and
  • MRCAETS fortnightly education allowance.
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

VEA service pension

VEA Disability Compensation Payment

CSHC holders with grandfathered status

MRCA special rate disability pension

Gold card holders

MRCA permanent impairment payment

VEA war widow(er)'s pension


MRCA wholly dependent partner payment


VCES fortnightly education allowance


MRCAETS fortnightly education allowance


Social Security Act 1991 energy qualifying payments, eg age pension


ABSTUDY allowance



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



Where a person has eligibility for the general rate of Disability Compensation Payment 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.



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.