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Decoration Allowance

Legislative Authority

Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986
Section 102


Stated Current Purpose/Intent

To reward battle deeds and successes.


Current Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for the allowance a veteran or mariner:

  • must be in receipt of a pension under Part II, or would be in receipt of such pension but for cancellation under section 124(1), or reduction under section 26;
  • must not be in receipt of an allowance or gratuity from a foreign government for a similar award at the same time; and
  • must have been awarded an "eligible decoration" which is one of the following decorations awarded for gallantry during a war to which the VEA applies or during war-like operations:


Imperial Honours

Victoria Cross*
George Cross
George Medal
Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Service Cross
Military Cross
Distinguished Flying Cross
Distinguished Conduct Medal
Conspicuous Gallantry Medal
Distinguished Service Medal
Military Medal
Distinguished Flying Medal
Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Military Division)**
Medal of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Military Division) (1919-1958), and with Gallantry Emblem (1958-1974)


Australian Honours System

Victoria Cross for Australia*
Star of Gallantry
Medal for Gallantry
Cross of Valour**
Star of Courage**


*In addition to decoration allowance, Victoria Cross recipients are entitled to receive an annual Victoria Cross Allowance.

**These medals must be awarded during a war or during warlike operations covered in the VEA to qualify for the allowance.

Veterans who were admitted as a member of the Order of the British Empire or received the British Empire Medal between 1919 and 1958 will also be eligible for decoration allowance if the award was for gallantry.


Date of Introduction

Since World War I.


Original Purpose/Intent

The original intention has not changed.



  1. An "eligible decoration" does not refer to a bar to such a decoration.
  2. If the veteran has been paid a gratuity by Australia, a State, or an overseas country in respect of the award of an eligible decoration, no allowance will be paid until the sum of the amounts of the allowance that would have been awarded to the person under section 102 equals the amount of such gratuity.
  3. After WWI, the amount was either a pension or lump sum.
  4. From 1966 to 2000 the amount of $2 per fortnight was paid to disability pensioners who had been awarded a decoration for gallantry specified in section 102 and who were in receipt of a Disability Compensation Payment.  This amount was increased to $2.10 per fortnight on 1 July 2000.


Significant Changes in Criteria or Purpose Since Introduction


The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire was added to the list of decorations.


From 1 July 1994 the SWPA Act and Regulations were repealed and Australian mariners became eligible under the VEA on the same basis as veterans.