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Domicile, in broad terms, means the country in which a person is, or is presumed to be, permanently resident or have their permanent home. It is not only a question of residence but also the person's intention of remaining in that place indefinitely. There are two types of domicile:

  • Domicile of origin

This is the domicile that occurs at birth – a child is assigned their parents' domicile until they reach the age of majority (between 1974 and 1982 in each of the Australian States and Territories the age of majority was reduced from 21 years to 18 years) and choose to have another domicile.

  • Domicile of choice

Once a child reaches the age of majority they can choose to have another domicile. A person may acquire a new domicile by, for example, migrating from one country to another with the intention of making it a permanent home.

Temporary moves from one country to another do not alter domicile. While a person may have no home, or a home in more than one country, the law is that they can only have one domicile at a time.

For those who enlisted in the forces before the age of majority, their domicile is considered to be the domicile of their father, if he was living at the time.

For service pension purposes, Australian domicile at the time of enlistment is established in order for the Commonwealth veteran, Allied veteran or Allied mariner to gain entitlement to medical treatment at departmental expense.

For Disability Compensation Payment, domicile establishes entitlements to claim Disability Compensation Payment and related medical benefits.

The references in the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 to domiciled in Australia include section 6A, section 6C, section 53D and section 80 of VEA.



A service pension is an income support payment broadly equivalent to the social security age and disability support pensions. It may be paid once a veteran or partner has reached the nominated age or is incapacitated for work.

A Commonwealth veteran is a person who served on a continuous full time basis in the defence forces of a Commonwealth country during a period of hostilities.  Refer to subsection 5C(1) of the VEA for the full definition.



An allied veteran means a person who:

An allied veteran does not include a person who has served at any time:

  • in the forces of a country that was, at the time, at war with Australia, or in forces engaged in supporting or assisting the forces of such a country, or
  • in the forces that were, at the time, engaged in war like operations against the Naval, Military or Air Forces of Australia

See section 5c(1) VEA

Disability compensation payment (known before 2022 as disability pension), for the purposes of service pension, income support supplement and veteran payment, means:

  • a pension paid by way of compenstion for incapacity from war caused conditions, or peacetime, peacekeeping or hazardous service caused conditions (other than a war widow's or orphan's pension); or
  • temporary incapacity allowance; or
  • any other payment in respect of incapacity or death resulting from war or war-like operations in which the Crown has been engaged (usually paid by another Commonwealth country).

Please note that the Disability Compensation Payment is legally a pension by way of compensation under the VEA so that concessional benefits under state, territory and local government legislation to pensioners/pensions under the VEA are not denied.


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