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Continuation of Pensions under s24A -

  1. Under s 24A, Special Rate pension and Intermediate Rate pension will continue to be paid unless:
  • the initial decision to grant the rate of pension was based on misleading or false information; or
  • the veteran in question has undertaken or has become capable of undertaking remunerative work aggregating
  • more than 8 hours per week in the case of Special Rate; or
  • more than 50% of the full-time hours ordinarily worked or 20 hours per week in the case of Intermediate Rate.

  1. Section 24A was inserted into the VEA to in response to Federal Court decisions which had held that a veteran needed to satisfy “the alone test” on an ongoing basis in order to remain entitled to the Special Rate pension.

  1. It is important to note that s 24A does not displace the Repatriation Commission's power under s 31(6) in circumstances where a decision to grant pension at the Special Rate or Intermediate Rate has been shown to be incorrect on the basis of new evidence. Section 24A also does not protect a decision to grant Special Rate or Intermediate Rate which has resulted from a misapplication of the relevant provisions of the VEA.

  1. Subsection 24A(1A) makes it clear that a Special Rate pension, or a Special Rate pension which is reduced by virtue of s 24(2B)(5) [i.e. because the veteran is undertaking paid work through the Veterans' Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme (VVRS)], may be (further) reduced if the offsetting provisions of s 25A of the VEA apply.

  1. Section 25A applies to claims or applications lodged on or after 1 July 2004 which result in the veteran being granted Special Rate, Temporary Special Rate, Intermediate Rate or Loss of Earnings Allowance under the VEA and the veteran has received a permanent impairment (PI) lump sum under ss 24, 25 or 27 of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) for any condition that is not accepted under the VEA.     More ?

  1. Section 24A(2) provides an exemption from the work hour thresholds for veterans participating in the VVRS. In these cases, s 115D of the VEA applies and the veteran's Special Rate or Intermediate Rate pension will be gradually reduced over a seven-year period to one hundred per cent of the General Rate. However, the Special Rate or Intermediate Rate pension status and all ancillary benefits are retained – effectively their Special Rate or Intermediate Rate pension is continued but at a reduced level.     More ?