Date amended:

Legislative Authority

Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (Part IIIA)

Veterans’ Entitlements (Veteran Payment) Instrument 2018


Stated Purpose/Intent

The Veteran Payment is to provide interim income support for current and former members of the Australian Defence Force who may be in financial difficulty, between lodging a claim for a mental health condition under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act (Defence-related claims) 1988 (DRCA) or Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) and the claim being determined.

Additionally, the payment will provide early access to vocational and psychosocial rehabilitation, including financial counselling.



A person is eligible for a veteran payment if the person:

  • is a current or former member of the ADF
  • has made a claim for a mental health condition under either the DRCA or the MRCA and this claim is undetermined

  • is unable to undertake remunerative work for more than eight hours per week

  • is below Age Pension age on the day the claim was made

  • is a resident of Australia and was present in Australia at the time of lodging the claim for a mental health condition.

Veteran payment is also payable to partners who are either:

  • legally married to and living with a current or former member, or

  • living in a de facto relationship with a current or former member

and the member is receiving the veteran payment.

Veteran payment is an income support payment and as such is subject to the income and assets test, unless the person is blind.


Date of Introduction

Legislation for Veteran Payment was included as Schedule Two of the Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (Veteran-centric Reforms No. 1) Bill 2018 which received Royal Assent on 28 March 2018.

The veteran payment was introduced on 1 May 2018 under the Veterans’ Entitlement Act 1986. Prior to this, former members awaiting the determination of their claim for a mental health condition would approach Centrelink for financial assistance.

Veteran Payment was included as a recommendation in the Government’s Response to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee’s Report, The Constant Battle: Suicide by Veterans. The response included several measures to be put in place to reduce suicide and self-harm in the veteran community, with a package of new measures to deliver better support for veterans and their families.