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6.2.3 Obligation requirements under the VEA and the RA Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) was introduced on 22 May 1986. The VEA replaced the Repatriation Act 1920 (RA). 54 VEA contains the obligation provisions which require an income support pensioner or a person in receipt of fringe benefits to advise the Department within a prescribed period (from 13 July 1999 no later than 14 days [28 days if living overseas or receiving remote area allowance]; prior to 13 July 1999 no less than 14 days, 21 days in practice), of an event or change of circumstances which might affect the payment to the person of the income support pension or the provision of fringe benefits. In order for the person to have failed in their obligations to advise, they must have been issued with a valid notice under section 127 VEA or section 54 VEA as appropriate, requiring them to advise of certain changes that might affect their pension, benefit or allowance. obligation provisions were contained under section 96 and section 121 in the repealed Repatriation Act 1920 (RA). Section 121 in the RA, which was introduced with the assets test on 14 March 1985 and remained in force until the introduction of the VEA, had the same provisions for notification as section 54 VEA. Section 96 in the RA contained provisions similar to those of section 121 in the RA. However, under section 96 in the RA, no requirement for the Secretary to issue a notice existed. That is, the provision was a statutory one, and a person in receipt of service pension was required to notify the Department within 14 days only if their income in any 8 week period exceeded a prescribed amount. If they did not notify, an overpayment exists. rolling 8-week period for notification only applies where:

  • the overpayment is raised pursuant to a breach of section 96 in the RA; and
  • the income support pensioner was in receipt of service pension at the maximum rate at the time the overpayment commenced. (This is because pensioners on a reduced rate would already have average income in excess of the income free area and any additional payment would take the average weekly income over the prescribed rate).