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Snapshot of the veteran community

At 30 June 2013, DVA supported more than 300 000 clients, some through treatment cards (Gold and White Cards) and some through other benefits and services. VEA clients and treatment-card-holding MRCA clients made up the vast majority – 313 880 in total.

While VEA beneficiaries have a relatively stable relationship with the Department, MRCA and SRCA beneficiaries have a more episodic relationship, in that they may apply and be assessed for a lump sum payment, be reimbursed for medical costs, come in and out of income replacement and so on. Therefore MRCA and SRCA beneficiaries are counted where they have received a benefit or service in the last two years – 18 557 in total. MRCA treatment cardholders are included in both figures above.

Detailed statistics about the veteran population are published on the DVA website each quarter on the data and statistics page

Table 1 shows the trend in benefit recipient numbers across a range of benefits between 2008-09 and 2012-13.
  At 30 June 2009 At 30 June 2010 At 30 June 2011 At 30 June 2012 At 30 June 2013
Treatment population 269 248 257 566 245 605 233 800 223 181
Gold Card 218 858 207 945 196 619 185 031 174 168
White Card 50 390 49 621 48 986 48 769 49 013
VEA pension & allowances          
Service pension includes 191 025 179 242 167 368 156 056 145697
veterans 102053 95 363 88 652 82 229 76 523
partners 88 972 83 879 78 716 73 827 69 174
Income support supplement 80 521 77 584 73 970 69 989 65 730
SSA age pension 5572 5167 4779 4412 4121
Commonwealth Seniors Health Card 8390 7269 7014 6428 6069
Disability pension 128146 122355 116498 110644 105 705
War widow/ers pension 104 760 101 090 96 761 91 925 86 865
POW Recognition1 N/A N/A N/A 816 642
Orphan’s pension 201 190 187 179 171
Attendant allowance 861 777 710 614 528
Rent assistance 22 923 21 520 20 091 18 801 17 639
Remote area allowance 1044 985 951 902 860
Decoration allowance 596 538 585 536 472
Recreation transport allowance 2575 2277 2008 1745 1502
Vehicle Assistance Scheme 80 61 64 58 59
Funeral benefit 8570 7857 7623 7230 6561
Veterans’ Children Education Scheme 3615 3336 3084 2746 2652
Clothing allowance 861 771 709 630 567
MRCA and SRCA clients2          
Permanent impairment 2608 2552 2669 2856 3268
Incapacity payments 4162 4303 4663 4873 5343
Health services 8127 8818 9334 10 087 10 728
Other 4851 4460 4860 5837 6556
Defence Service Homes          
Homes insured 79 514 76 320 73 940 71 071 68 491
Housing loan subsidies 25 748 22 913 20 329 17 700 15 227

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 benefit in the previous two years.

Table 2 shows recent changes in the veteran populations based on eligibility under the different Acts.
  At 30 June 2011 At 30 June 2012 At 30 June 2013
VEA 120 677 114 745 111 778
SRCA 48 285 48 875 49 436
MRCA 9100 11 255 13 547

VEA beneficiaries

Commensurate with the decline in the number of surviving veterans, the number of VEA beneficiaries is expected to almost halve over the next decade, dropping by 26.2 per cent to an estimated 231 500 by 30 June 2018, and by 42.8 per cent to an estimated 179 400 by 30 June 2023.

Table 3 shows the estimated number of surviving veterans, by conflict, over the past five years.
  At 30 June 2009 At 30 June 2010 At 30 June 2011 At 30 June 2012 At 30June 2013
Second World War1 107600 93 800 81 100 69 200 58 200
Korean War, Malayan Emergency and FESR2 16 000 15 400 14 800 14 200 13 600
Vietnam War3 48 800 48 200 47 500 46 800 46 000
Other pre-1972 conflicts 7700 7400 7000 6700 6400
Cambodia, Gulf War, Namibia, Somalia & Yugoslavia4 5400 5400 5300 5300 5300
Rwanda 600 600 600 600 600
Post-1999 conflicts5 46 500 50 300 54200 58 100 61 900
Peacetime Defence Force6 157500 156 500 15 5400 154 300 153 000
British Commonwealth and Allied 36 600 34 000 31 500 29 000 26 700
Total7 425 800 410 700 396 700 383 500 371 000

1 Based on nominal roll data.

2 FESR = Far East Strategic Reserve. 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 labelled post-1972 conflicts.

5 Includes East Timor, Solomon Islands, Afghanistan, Iraq & Bougainville.

6 Based on ADF data; those with three or more years of service post-1972.

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. Figures have been revised since the last annual report due to revision of mortality rates; hence, figures previously published for 2009, 2010 and 2011 will differ.

At 30 June 2013, VEA veterans numbered 151 240, which is 48 per cent of total VEA beneficiaries. VEA war widow/ers numbered 86 865, which is 28 per cent of total beneficiaries. The remaining 24 per cent comprised other dependants, mostly service pension partners, widows with children and orphans. This profile of total VEA beneficiaries is expected to remain fairly stable over the next three years.

Table 4 shows beneficiaries by age group and state at 30 June 2013. This includes persons receiving pensions or allowances or who hold a Gold, White or Orange Card or a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.
  NSW1 Vic Qld SA1 WA Tas Other2 Australia
Under 55 7571 4079 9591 2052 2972 806 256 27 327
55-59 3700 1924 4041 1120 1317 434 96 12 632
60-64 8949 5447 9140 2977 3081 990 184 30 768
65-69 12 367 7629 12 138 3747 4322 1324 252 41 779
70-74 6174 3163 6147 1477 2324 599 132 20 016
75-79 6749 3525 5284 1468 2264 634 133 20 057
80-84 12 432 7819 7535 2970 3306 1173 177 35 412
85-89 25 751 17 860 13 668 6775 6334 2237 315 72 940
90 or over 18 640 13 092 10 135 4898 4424 1493 267 52 949
Total 102 333 64 538 77 679 27 484 30 344 9690 1812 313 880

1NSW and SA include ACT and NT residents respectively.

2Includes persons residing overseas and at unknown addresses.

MRCA and SRCA beneficiaries

Table 5 shows the number of MRCA and SRCA beneficiaries who have received a benefit in the past two years
Age NSW1 Vic Qld SA1 WA Tas Other2 Total
Under 20 51 22 61 8 14 0 1 157
20-24 275 129 298 72 58 18 1 851
25-29 527 246 682 167 180 40 5 1847
30-34 659 314 792 199 294 61 12 2331
35-39 665 301 883 202 218 49 14 2332
40-44 668 353 951 237 313 69 15 2606
45-49 518 261 642 194 205 52 14 1886
50-54 413 216 507 200 147 47 9 1539
55-59 292 173 420 139 120 35 11 1190
60-64 420 201 446 133 151 43 6 1400
65 or over 796 398 644 179 309 86 6 2418
Total 5284 2614 6326 1730 2009 500 94 18 557

1NSW and SA include ACT and NT residents respectively.

2Includes persons residing overseas and at unknown addresses.

A member of the Second AIF in front of the Civil Rehabilitation Centre in Melbourne, March 1946.

A member of the Second AIF considers his options before entering the Civil Rehabilitation Centre in Melbourne, March 1946. (AWM 126088)

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