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13.08 Other benefits of being eligible for Special Rate Disability Pension

Last amended 
18 January 2022

Last updated 8 June 2011

Irrespective of whether a former member chooses to receive SRDP, or continue to receive incapacity payments, there are a few other benefits associated with eligibility to receive SRDP, even if the member chooses not to receive the payment.

A former member who is assessed as eligible to receive SRDP is automatically entitled to:

  • MRCA Supplement at the high rate;
  • education assistance for eligible young persons; and
  • Gold Repatriation Health Card ('Gold Card').

The Gold Card will be embossed with 'TPI' enabling access to various State and Local government concessions.  Please note that concessions are not administered by DVA and no guarantees can be given in relation to what State and Local governments will provide.

Section 282 provides that once a person has becomes eligible for a Gold Card by virtue of being eligible for SRDP, they retain the Gold Card even if they later cease to be eligible for SRDP.

A person who is eligible to receive SRDP may also be eligible for invalidity service pension under the VEA. Invalidity service pension is a tax free payment until the former member reaches age pension age, thereafter the payment continues but is assessable income for taxation purposes.

Invalidity service pensioners are eligible for a Pensioner Concession Card (PCC). The PCC provides similar rebates and concessions to the Gold Card. However, dependants of a service pensioner (a partner and dependent children) can also be listed on a PCC. This means that dependants are able to access many of the same concessions as the card holder, including the benefit of concessional rate prescription medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Please note that concessions are not administered by DVA and no guarantees can be given in relation to what State and Local governments and businesses may provide.    

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Former members receiving SRDP who have a dependant child are qualified for the Centrelink Pensioner Education Scheme (PES). This supplement is intended to assist with some of the ongoing costs of study.  PES is not subject to an income or assets test.

Eligible former members must be undertaking “qualifying study”. The Guide to Social Security Law states that a person is undertaking “qualifying study” for PES purposes if:

they are enrolled in a course; OR

  • they are a continuing student intending to enrol in a course of education at an educational institution; AND
  • the course is an approved course of education or study; AND
  • the recipient is a full-time student or a concessional study load student; AND
  • the recipient's progress is satisfactory.

If a SRDP recipient is receiving invalidity service pension, and their partner is receiving partner service pension, then the partner will qualify for PES.

DVA clients receiving the following payments are also eligible for PES:
compensation for permanent impairment,

  • payments for additional compensation for impairment from another service injury or disease, or
  • interim compensation payments under section 75 of the MRCA, or
  • some payments to widows, partners and veterans under the VEA    More ?

The PES is a fortnightly non-means-tested payment and a part rate is payable to students undertaking a concessional study load.  The current rate of PES is available on the Centrelink website at the following address

Eligible former members should be encouraged to contact Centrelink for further details.



Comp and Support  Policy Library

5.3 Education Entry Payment


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