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Snapshot of the veteran community

At 30 June 2017, DVA supported more than 291,000 clients, some through health treatment card entitlements (Gold Card or White Card) and some through other benefits and services.

Overall, VEA client numbers have continued to decline, seeing a 27 percent reduction in service pensioners over the past four years, and a 16 percent reduction in disability pensioners. This will continue: service pensioner numbers are forecast to decline by 44 percent and disability pensioner numbers by 20 percent over the next decade.

In contrast, the number of veterans with an accepted initial liability under the SRCA and MRCA continues to rise. Over the past four years, the number of SRCA veterans with an accepted initial liability has increased by 5 percent and the number of MRCA veterans has increased by 89 percent. This overall increase is also shown in the increasing numbers of SRCA and MRCA payments and benefits being accessed, with an increase of 194 percent in the number of MRCA veterans who have received a permanent impairment payment.

Despite the significant growth in numbers of MRCA clients, the number of new clients from the VEA, MRCA or SRCA has not significantly impacted the overall downward trend in DVA client numbers.

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

Tables 1 to 4 provide additional details of DVA clients, including clients receiving certain payments over time.

Table 1—Clients by age group and location at 30 June 2017
Age NSW VIC QLD SA WA TAS NT ACT O/S Total
Under 25 931 502 1,707 231 369 111 102 133 20 4,106
25–29 1,209 634 1,791 324 368 93 214 172 24 4,829
30–34 1,628 866 2,316 381 685 164 254 248 46 6,588
35–39 1,894 1,082 2,653 432 806 241 269 305 65 7,747
40–44 2,270 1,206 3,378 551 989 266 284 369 93 9,406
45–49 3,024 1,732 4,291 774 1,439 367 351 570 122 12,670
50–54 2,999 1,761 3,937 837 1,331 372 285 562 142 12,226
55–59 3,294 2,019 4,416 981 1,400 418 208 627 142 13,505
60–64 5,021 3,203 5,838 1,487 1,891 607 156 547 131 18,881
65–69 10,997 7,373 12,059 3,674 4,217 1,288 245 839 273 40,965
70–74 10,023 6,609 10,954 2,965 3,837 1,136 181 872 255 36,832
75–79 5,420 3,016 5,685 1,230 2,126 575 100 572 158 18,882
80–84 5,923 3,476 4,658 1,344 2,033 583 52 497 120 18,686
85–89 10,214 6,943 6,395 2,521 2,774 946 48 474 140 30,455
90 or over 18,636 13,687 10,439 5,230 4,761 1,534 54 769 294 55,404
Total1 83,508 54,134 80,533 22,974 29,039 8,706 2,804 7,562 2,025 291,285

O/S = Overseas

  1. Clients of unknown age are included in the totals only; therefore, these totals are not the sums of the columns.

Note: Includes any person who is in receipt of a pension/allowance from DVA or who is eligible for treatment or pharmaceuticals paid for by DVA.

Table 2—Numbers of benefit recipients by type of benefit 2012–13 to 2016–17
  30 June 2013 30 June 2014 30 June 2015 30 June 2016 30 June 2017
Treatment population 223,181 217,562 208,181 200,245 193,968
Gold Card 174,168 163,578 153,033 143,635 135,263
White Card 49,013 53,984 55,148 56,610 58,705
VEA pension and allowances
Service pension includes 145,697 136,138 126,647 118,174 106,970
  • veterans
76,523 71,266 66,016 61,504 55,641
  • partners
69,174 64,902 60,631 56,670 51,329
Income support supplement 65,730 61,463 56,725 52,292 47,036
SSA age pension 4,121 3,833 3,658 3,538 3,380
Commonwealth Seniors Health Card 6,069 5,150 4,698 4,321 7,222
Disability pension 105,705 101,059 96,493 92,374 88,974
War widow(er)'s pension 86,865 81,531 75,536 69,960 64,500
POW Recognition Supplement1 642 513 387 299 217
Orphan's pension 171 177 173 150 157
Attendant allowance 528 457 403 353 304
Rent assistance 17,639 16,804 15,639 14,694 13,580
Remote area allowance 860 803 741 697 648
Decoration allowance 472 414 378 328 289
Recreation transport allowance 1,502 1,262 1,087 936 802
Vehicle Assistance Scheme 59 53 43 48 52
Funeral benefit 6,561 5,720 5,211 4,709 4,175
Veterans' Children Education Scheme 2,652 2,443 2,331 2,288 2,243
Clothing allowance 567 511 449 398 348
Military compensation payments
Permanent impairment (SRCA)2 11,796 12,091 12,516 12,852 13,400
Permanent impairment (MRCA)2 3,245 4,467 6,021 7,659 9,544
Incapacity payments (SRCA) 1,962 1,867 1,807 1,777 1,792
Incapacity payments (MRCA) 1,547 2,062 2,484 2,689 3,218
Wholly dependent partner (MRCA)2 67 73 86 91 105
Eligible young person (MRCA)2 75 85 91 97 114
MRCA Education and Training Scheme 74 100 153 203 246
Defence Service Homes
Homes insured 68,491 65,292 62,127 58,825 55,838
Housing loan subsidies 15,237 12,799 10,296 8,322 6,669

MRCA = Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004, POW = prisoner of war, SRCA = Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988, SSA = Social Security Act 1991, VEA = Veterans' Entitlements Act 1985

  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 in September 2011.
  2. Clients who have received a commuted or periodic (MRCA only) payment.

Note: As veterans can have disabilities accepted under multiple Acts, these numbers cannot be summed.

Table 3—Number of veterans with accepted disability by Act 2012–13 to 2016–17
  30 June
2013
30 June
2014
30 June
2015
30 June
2016
30 June
2017
Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 111,778 104,874 100,135 95,983 92,328
Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 49,436 50,153 50,689 51,320 51,956
Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 13,547 16,710 19,538 22,305 25,551

 

Table 4—Estimated numbers of living veterans 2012–13 to 2016–17
  30 June
2013
30 June
2014
30 June
2015
30 June
2016
30 June
2017
Second World War1 58,200 48,300 39,400 31,900 25,200
Korean War, Malayan Emergency and FESR2 13,600 12,900 12,200 11,700 11,000
Vietnam War3 46,000 45,100 44,200 43,400 42,500
Other pre-1972 conflicts 6,400 6,000 5,700 5,400 5,000
Cambodia, Gulf War, Namibia, Somalia, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Bougainville 10,500 10,500 10,400 10,400 10,300
Post-1999 conflicts4 56,000 56,500 56,400 58,400 58,300
Peacetime Defence Force5 153,000 151,700 150,200 149,000 147,400
British Commonwealth and Allied 26,700 24,400 22,200 20,300 18,400
Total6 368,800 353,900 339,400 329,000 316,900

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. Includes East Timor, Solomon Islands, Afghanistan and Iraq. Figures are based on June 2014 Department of Defence data. Forecasting method has been revised since the 2014–15 annual report.
  5. Based on Australian Defence Force data: those with three or more years of service from 1972 to 1994. Those with peacetime service after 1994 are not included.
  6. 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. Based on 2016 version of survivor model. This model does not include any service personnel with post-1994 service who have not seen operational service. Therefore, this is not a complete record of all service personnel who have served and who are estimated to be living.
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