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7.7 Cost of Living Payment
In response to rising costs of living, the Government announced a one-off $250 Cost of Living Payment to be paid to recipients of certain benefits from Services Australia and DVA.
The Cost of Living Payment has a test date of 29 March 2022.
To receive the Cost of Living Payment from DVA, a person must be an Australian resident and receiving one of the following underlying payments as at the test date of 29 March 2022:
- Service Pension (Age, Invalidity and Partner)* or Income Support Supplement*
- Veteran Payment
- Disability Compensation Payment
- Special Rate Disability Pension
- Permanent Impairment compensation**
- War Widow(er)’s Pension or Wholly Dependent Partner payment**
- Gold Cards, Commonwealth Seniors Health Cards and Pensioner Concession Cards
- Education Allowance under DVA’s Education Schemes, where recipients are aged 16 and over
- Age Pension paid by DVA
*including payments reduced to nil due to employment income during the 12 weeks prior to 29 March 2022.
**including lump sum payments taken in the past.
Rates of payment
The Cost of Living Payment is paid at a flat rate of $250 per person.
A person may receive only one instance of the Cost of Living Payment.
This payment requires the person to be residing in Australia on the test date. However, those who are temporarily absent from Australia on the test date remain eligible, as long as they are not a temporary or permanent resident of another country. If a veteran or family member currently overseas can provide evidence to show that they are in that country on a visitor’s visa, they satisfy the residency requirement for these payments.
Clients must be alive on the test date in order to be eligible for the Cost of Living Payment.
Clients who are alive and eligible for a Cost of Living Payment on the test date, but who die before payment can be made, remain eligible to receive the payment.
Where a claim for an eligible benefit is outstanding
If a person makes a claim for an eligible benefit (eg Service Pension) before 29 March 2022, and that claim is later accepted with coverage including 29 March 2022, they will be eligible to receive the Cost of Living Payment.
If a person makes a claim for Disability Compensation Payment, War Widow(er)'s Pension, Wholly Dependent Partner payments or MRCA PI payments after 29 March 2022, and their payment is backdated to a period covering 29 March 2022, they will also be eligible for the Cost of Living Payment.
Cost of Living Payment is not to be paid after a certain date
The last date for payment of the Cost of Living Payment is 30 June 2023. No payments may be made on or after 1 July 2023.
The Cost of Living Payment is not taxable.
The Cost of Living Payments is exempt from income testing. However, if the payment is used to purchase financial assets, the financial assets will be deemed to earn a certain amount of income.