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Disability Compensation Payment - Special Rate (T&PI or TTI or Blindness)

Last amended 
10 January 2023

Legislative Authority

Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986
Section 9 (liability provisions)
13 (eligibility of veterans and mariners)
Section 18 (duties of Commission in relation to pensions)
Section 19 (determination of claims and applications)
Section 24 (criteria T&PI)
Section 25 (criteria TTI)
Section 28 (capacity to undertake remunerative work)
Section 29 (Guide to the Assessment of Rates of Veterans' Pensions - GARP)
Section 30A to 30P and 74 (limitation due to payment of other compensation)
Section 70 (eligibility of Defence & Peacekeeping Forces)
Section 120 (Standard of Proof)
Section 120A and 120B (Statements of Principles)


Stated Current Purpose/Intent

To provide compensation to a veteran, member of the Forces, member of a Peacekeeping Force or Australian mariner where, because of either:

  • total and permanent incapacity; (T&PI) or
  • temporary total incapacity (TTI);

resulting from eligible service, the person is unable to resume or to continue in remunerative work for periods aggregating more than eight hours per week.


Current Eligibility Criteria

A person is eligible for T&PI pension if:

  • the degree of incapacity from his or her war-caused or defence-caused disabilities has been determined to be at least 70 per cent; or
  • he or she has suffered from or is suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis, and is receiving or entitled to receive a disability compensation payment at the general rate; and
  • he or she is totally and permanently incapacitated, that is to say, the person's incapacity from his or her accepted disabilities, alone, renders the person incapable of undertaking remunerative work for periods aggregating more than eight hours per week; and
  • he or she is, by reason of his or her incapacity from accepted disabilities alone, prevented from continuing to undertake remunerative work and, as a consequence, suffers a loss of earnings that the person would not suffer if free of that incapacity.

If the person is aged 65 years or over, they must have been engaged in continuous remunerative work that commenced prior to turning 65 and continued past the age of 65. There is no requirement for this continuous period of employment to have been with the same employer/self-employment (e.g. the person may have worked for multiple employers or owned more than one business).

A person is also eligible if he or she is blinded in both eyes as a result of a war-caused or defence-caused injury or disease.

A person is eligible for TTI pension if:

  • he or she is temporarily incapacitated from war-caused or defence-caused disabilities; and
  • if the incapacity were permanent, the person would qualify for a T&PI pension.

The period for which TTI pension is determined as payable is the time for which the incapacity is likely to continue.



  1. On the death of a person entitled to a special rate pension an eligible dependant of the person has an automatic entitlement to a war widow(er)'s pension or orphan's pension, as appropriate.


Date of Introduction



Original Purpose/Intent

To compensate "severely disabled veterans of a relatively young age who could never go back to work and could never hope to support themselves or their families or provide for their old age."


Significant Changes in Criteria or Purpose since Introduction


With the introduction of the VEA, the criteria for grant of special rate were amended so that the veteran must be prevented from working for more than eight hours per week because of the effects of war-caused or defence-caused incapacity alone.


From December the eligibility criteria were amended by reducing the level of incapacity required from 100 per cent to 70 per cent.


From June the eligibility criteria were amended such that a special rate pension will not normally be payable to veterans aged 65 or more at the time they make the claim.

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


From 1 January 1998, disability pensioners became eligible for payment of lump sum advance of pension (See the section on Lump Sum Advance of Pension).


From March 2004 the above general rate component of disability pension is indexed with reference to both CPI and MTAWE in the same manner as the service pension.


The standards used to determine blindness under the VEA were brought into line with those used by Department of Human Services - Centrelink and other government agencies.  This meant that the blindness standards for a veterans to be classified as permanently blind changed from a visual acuity of less than or equal to 3/60 in both eyes to a visual acuity of less than or equal to 6/60 in both eyes.


From 3 July 2007 the special rate and intermediate rate disability pension were increased by $50 and $25 per fortnight respectively.


From 20 March 2008 changes to the rate and indexation of disability pensions occurred. This measure included three distinct components:

  1. Increase the above general rate component of EDA by $15;
  2. Increase the general rate component of all disability pensions by 5%;
  3. Change the indexation arrangements for the general rate component of all pensions to MTAWE/CPI in same manner as the service pension.

From 1 July 2008 the estate of a deceased single veteran previously in receipt of a Special Rate (T&PI) or Extreme Disablement Adjustment (EDA) disability pension who died in indigent circumstances became eligible for a disability pension bereavement payment.


Introduction of British Nuclear Test Defence Service.


Clean energy advance payable for the period 1 July 2012 to 19 March 2013 for eligible recipients.


Clean energy supplement commenced 20 March 2013 for eligible recipients.


Clean energy supplement replaced by energy supplement from 20 September 2014.


Amendments to eligibility criteria for persons aged 65 or over. From 1 July 2017, these clients no longer need to demonstrate a 10 year period of employment with the same employer/self-employment.
2022The name changed from Disability Pension at the Special Rate to Disability Compensation Payment at the Special Rate to better reflect the nature of the payment, in response to the Tune Review 2019.
2023From 1 January 2023, the Special Rate of Disability Compensation Payment was increased by $38.46 per fortnight as provided for in the October 2022 Budget.