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Snapshot of the veteran community

At 30 June 2014, DVA supported more than 300,000 clients, some through treatment cards (Gold and White Cards) and some through other benefits and services.

VEA beneficiaries have a relatively stable relationship with the Department, which assists with the estimation of future client numbers. The number of VEA beneficiaries is expected to almost halve over the next decade, dropping by 25 per cent by 30 June 2018 and by 41 per cent by 30 June 2023.

In contrast, the number of SRCA and MRCA beneficiaries has been steadily rising. SRCA and MRCA beneficiaries have a more episodic relationship with the Department; for example, they may apply and be assessed for a lump sum payment, be reimbursed for medical costs or come in and out of income replacement.

Detailed statistics about the veteran population are published on the DVA website each quarter at www.dva.gov.au/statistics.htm.

Table 1 shows recent changes in the veteran populations based on eligibility under the different Acts.

Table 1: Number of veterans with accepted disability by Act 2010–11 to 2013–14
  AT 30 JUNE 2011 AT 30 JUNE 2012 AT 30 JUNE 2013 AT 30 JUNE 2014
VEA 120,677 114,745 111,778 104,874
SRCA 48,285 48,875 49,436 50,153
MRCA 9,100 11,255 13,547 16,710

Table 2 shows the trend in benefit recipient numbers across a range of benefits between 2009–10 and 2013–14.

Table 2: Summary of benefit recipient numbers by type of benefit 2009–10 to 2013–14
  AT 30 JUNE 2010 AT 30 JUNE 2011 AT 30 JUNE 2012 AT 30 JUNE 2013 AT 30 JUNE 2014
Treatment population 257,566 245,605 233,800 223,181 217,562
Gold Card 207,945 196,619 185,031 174,168 163,578
White Card 49,621 48,986 48,769 49,013 53,984
VEA pension and allowances
Service pension includes 179,242 167,368 156,056 145,697 136,138
veterans 95,363 88,652 82,229 76,523 71,266
partners 83,879 78,716 73,827 69,174 64,902
Income support supplement 77,584 73,970 69,989 65,730 61,463
SSA age pension 5,167 4,779 4,412 4,121 3,833
Commonwealth Seniors Health Card 7,269 7,014 6,428 6,069 5,150
Disability pension 122,355 116,498 110,644 105,705 101,059
War widow(er)’s pension 101,090 96,761 91,925 86,865 81,531
POW Recognition1 N/A N/A 816 642 513
Orphan’s pension 190 187 179 171 177
Attendant allowance 777 710 614 528 457
Rent assistance 21,520 20,091 18,801 17,639 16,804
Remote area allowance 985 951 902 860 803
Decoration allowance 538 585 536 472 414
Recreation transport allowance 2,277 2,008 1,745 1,502 1,262
Vehicle assistance scheme 61 64 58 59 53
Funeral benefit 7,857 7,623 7,230 6,561 5,720
Veterans’ Children Education Scheme 3,336 3,084 2,746 2,652 2,443
Clothing allowance 771 709 630 567 511
Military compensation payments
Permanent impairment (SRCA)2 10,289 10,789 11,300 11,796 12,091
Permanent impairment (MRCA)2 1,128 1,629 2,246 3,245 4,467
Incapacity payments (SRCA) 2,138 2,102 2,008 1,962 1,867
Incapacity payments (MRCA) 752 914 1,142 1,547 2,062
Wholly dependent partner (MRCA)2 27 43 55 67 73
Eligible young person (MRCA)2 36 45 56 75 85
MRCA Education and Training Scheme 30 27 47 74 100
Defence Service Homes
Homes insured 76,320 73,940 71,071 68,491 65,292
Housing loan subsidies 22,913 20,329 17,700 15,237 12,799
  1. POW Recognition Supplement is a payment that provides special recognition of surviving former Australian prisoners of war, both veteran and civilian. The payment commenced September 2011.
  2. Clients who have received a commuted or periodic (MRCA only) payment.

VEA beneficiaries

Table 3 shows the estimated number of surviving veterans, by conflict, over the past five years.

Table 3: Estimated number of surviving veterans 2009–10 to 2013–14
  AT 30 JUNE 2010 AT 30 JUNE 2011 AT 30 JUNE 2012 AT 30 JUNE 2013 AT 30 JUNE 2014
Second World War1 93,800 81,100 69,200 58,200 48,300
Korean War, Malayan Emergency and FESR2 15,400 14,800 14,200 13,600 12,900
Vietnam War3 48,200 47,500 46,800 46,000 45,100
Other pre-1972 conflicts 7,400 7,000 6,700 6,400 6,000
Cambodia, Gulf War, Namibia, Somalia, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Bougainville4 10,600 10,600 10,600 10,500 10,500
Post-1999 conflicts5 46,400 50,000 53,600 56,000 56,500
Peacetime Defence Force6 156,500 155,400 154,300 153,000 151,700
British Commonwealth and Allied 34,000 31,500 29,000 26,700 24,400
Total7 410,500 396,300 382,800 368,800 353,900

FESR = Far East Strategic Reserve

  1. Based on nominal roll data.
  2. Where the veteran has service in more than one conflict, they are recorded by most recent conflict.
  3. Based on nominal roll data.
  4. Previously, Rwanda was shown separately and Bougainville was included under post-1999 conflicts.
  5. Includes East Timor, Solomon Islands, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Bougainville is no longer included. Figures are based on June 2014 Department of Defence data.
  6. Based on ADF data; those with three or more years of service from 1972 to 1994. Those with peacetime service after 1994 are not included.
  7. Total includes those potentially eligible for a service pension and/or disability pension. Components will not add exactly to total due to rounding and overlaps.

Table 4 shows clients by age group and location at 30 June 2014. Total DVA clients consist of any person in receipt of a pension/allowance from DVA or who is eligible for treatment or pharmaceuticals paid for by DVA.

Table 4: Clients by age group and location at 30 June 2014
  NSW VIC QLD SA WA TAS NT ACT O’SEAS TOTAL
Under 25 996 525 1,564 252 392 123 87 151 20 4,110
25–29 910 468 1,386 210 366 76 156 116 12 3,700
30–34 1,437 792 1,976 332 716 202 239 224 33 5,951
35–39 1,888 980 2,594 462 808 211 243 296 49 7,531
40–44 2,549 1,405 3,648 653 1,209 275 338 425 87 10,589
45–49 2,683 1,579 3,601 698 1,283 325 275 482 113 11,039
50–54 3,029 1,826 4,002 857 1,287 387 242 602 127 12,359
55–59 3,399 2,044 4,370 1,046 1,475 423 176 547 110 13,590
60–64 7,404 4,779 8,119 2,480 2,648 885 187 627 143 27,272
65–69 13,121 8,829 13,759 4,099 4,983 1,567 272 1,005 312 47,947
70–74 5,871 3,315 6,571 1,467 2,384 654 118 611 152 21,143
75–79 6,046 3,381 5,420 1,350 2,208 570 63 544 137 19,719
80–84 9,615 6,178 6,420 2,323 2,835 989 73 559 171 29,163
85–89 20,465 14,556 11,551 5,474 5,284 1,836 63 780 277 60,286
90 or over 19,394 14,158 10,871 5,256 4,852 1,613 54 734 279 57,211
Total 98,834 64,842 85,873 26,972 32,743 10,142 2,587 7,711 2,023 331,727
Average: 1 (2 votes)