Legislative Authority

Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986
Sections 115A - 115L

Veterans’ Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme Instrument 1997 No.5


Current Eligibility Criteria

Most people with eligible service under the VEA can apply for assistance under the VVRS.  This includes the following types of service:

  • Operational;
  • Peacekeeping;
  • Hazardous;
  • Eligible Defence Service (generally means at least three years continuous full time service during the period 7 December 1972 to 6 April 1994); and
  • British Nuclear Test Defence service (between certain periods from 1952 to 1965).


Commonwealth veterans, allied veterans or allied mariners in receipt of invalidity service pension can also apply to the VVRS for assistance.


Date of Introduction

1 December 1997


Original Purpose/Intent

Under the VVRS, the Repatriation Commission will provide a range of services for veterans to find, or continue in, suitable paid employment, with a particular emphasis on those separating from the Australian Defence Force, and assisting those veterans whose jobs are in jeopardy. VVRS services include advice on job-seeking, assistance with updating or upgrading skills (including help to gain recognition for on-the-job training) and assistance with finding work.

Pensioners who receive Disability Compensation Payment at the special or intermediate rate will retain all their ancillary benefits such as treatment, whilst participating in the VVRS. Disability Compensation Payments are paid at a lower rate under the VVRS equating to 100% of the general rate plus a percentage of the difference between the general rate and either the special or intermediate rate (whichever the veteran was receiving) for the first two years of employment. Over the next five years, while remaining in employment, the rate is gradually reduced to 100% of the general rate.

If the veteran leaves the workforce for any reason, including retirement, they will return to the rate of Disability Compensation Payment they were receiving prior to participating in the VVRS.

The VVRS also provides for concessional assessment of earnings for invalidity service pension recipients. Under the scheme, only 50% of their gross employment earnings are taken into account for the income test for the first two years. After the first two years, for the following five years, the proportion of the earnings used for the income test increases at a rate of 5% every six months until 100% of employment earnings is used.

Significant Changes in Criteria or Purpose Since Introduction