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Income support

Income support pensions are means-tested payments, designed to assist with everyday living costs.

Changes to your circumstances — letting DVA know

If you are receiving an income support payment from DVA, it is very important that you understand your obligations and ask us about anything you do not understand.

For further information regarding your obligations, please refer to:

You can tell us about events or changes to your circumstances that might affect your pension by using any of the following:

Income support payments available through DVA include:


Service pension

The Service pension is a means tested income support payment that provides a regular income for people with limited means. There are three different types of service pension — that is, age, invalidity and partner service.

Age service pension

The Age service pension provides income support for Australian veterans and mariners, Commonwealth veterans and mariners, and allied veterans and mariners. It is similar in many ways to the age pension paid by Department of Human Services (Centrelink) but is available five years earlier, in recognition of the effects of eligible service.

Invalidity service pension

The Invalidity service pension provides income support to Australian veterans and mariners, Commonwealth veterans and mariners, and allied veterans and mariners. It is paid to veterans considered permanently incapacitated for work due to medical factors, and who are not yet entitled to an age pension.

Partner service pension

The Partner service pension provides income support for a veteran's partner. If a veteran is receiving an age or an invalidity service pension, his or her partner does not automatically become eligible and must meet the criteria for a partner service pension.

Social security age pension (paid by DVA)

The Social security age pension can be paid by DVA to veterans eligible for the social security age pension if they do not meet the criteria for a service pension. If the veteran is receiving a disability pension from DVA, DVA can act as an agent for Human Services to pay the social security age pension, simplifying matters for the veteran.

Pension Loans Scheme – reduction in loan interest rate

From 1 January 2020, the interest rate for Pension Loans Scheme loans will reduce from 5.25%, down to 4.5%.

If you have a Pension Loans Scheme loan, you do not need to do anything to access the rate reduction.  The new rate will apply to your loan from 1 January 2020.

For loans granted after 1 January 2020, the new rate will automatically be applied.


Veteran payment

Veteran payment provides interim income support for persons who have lodged a claim for a mental health condition under either the Military, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 or the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988, are under age pension age and are incapable of working for more than eight hours per week. The Veteran payment is subject to income and asset limits similar to that of service pension and age pension.

Partners are also eligible for Veteran payment whilst the veteran is receiving the payment.

Rent assistance is payable to support veterans who rent their accommodation, subject to minimum rent limits.


There are ancillary allowances which may be payable depending on an individual's circumstances.

Defence force income support allowance

The Defence force income support allowance (DFISA) is an income support payment made by DVA. It may be paid to veterans or their partners when their social security income support payment is reduced or not payable because of a payment of adjusted disability pension from DVA.

Rent assistance and remote area allowance

Rent Assistance is payable to support pensioners who rent their accommodation, subject to minimum rent limits.

Remote area allowance is payable to income support pensioners who live in designated remote areas of Australia.

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Supplements are available to assist with the cost everyday living.

Pension supplement

The Pension supplement is a fortnightly amount to help with the cost of prescriptions, telephone and internet connections, energy, water and sewerage.

Veterans supplement

The Veterans supplement is a fortnightly amount paid to some veterans, war widow/ers and orphans who do not receive an income support payment from DVA or Centrelink.

Income support supplement

From 1 January 2015, income deemed to be received from superannuation account-based pensions will also be included in the income test.

The Income support supplement (ISS) provides income support for war widow(er)s in addition to their war widow(er)'s pension. The war widow(er)'s pension is a compensation type payment and not means tested, but the income support supplement is means tested.

Energy supplement

The Energy supplement is part of the Household Assistance Package, which provides ongoing financial assistance to certain members of the veteran and defence community.

Energy assistance payment

The Energy assistance payment is a one-off payment to help eligible clients with rising energy costs and will be paid automatically during the week commencing 10 June 2019.

To be eligible you must have been receiving one of the following payments on 2 April 2019:

  • Compensation
    • Disability pension
    • War widow(er)'s pension
    • Special rate disability pension (under the MRCA)
    • Wholly dependent partners
    • Permanent impairment
    • Veteran payment
  • Income Support
    • Service pension
    • Income support supplement
    • Age pension.

This includes those who previously chose a compensation lump sum instead of periodic payments.

The energy assistance payment is either of the following:

  • $75 for those in receipt of a compensation payment
  • $75 for singles and $62.50 each for members of a couple in receipt of income support.

Eligible DHS customers also receive the payment — see Department of Human Services (DHS).

MRCA and SRCA Supplements

The MRCA and SRCA Supplements are fortnightly payments to assist with the costs of living and the cost of pharmaceuticals.


DVA Gold Card, Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) holders may be eligible for concessions for a variety of goods and services, such as public transport, rates and utilities.

However, the eligibility criteria and nature of these concessions are determined by the individual provider or relevant State/Local Government, not DVA. So it is important to contact the organisation offering the concession to confirm your eligibility.

The concessions offered for the same product or service can also vary between different States, so the DVA Factsheets below provide an overview of the concessions available in each State and Territory.

In addition to the DVA Factsheets, more information about State and Territory Government concessions is available on

For more information about health and other care services available to DVA health card holders (including Gold, White and Orange Cards), refer to DVA health cards

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Commonwealth Seniors' Health Cards

From 1 January 2015, income deemed to be received from superannuation account-based pensions will also be included in the income test.

For further information regarding the CSHC, view the concession cards section within managing your pension

CSHCs are available to eligible veterans, partners, war widows and widowers who do not receive either an income support pension from DVA or a pension or benefit from Centrelink and who meet an annual adjusted income test.

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Veterans' pharmaceutical reimbursement scheme

Veterans' pharmaceutical reimbursement scheme (scheme) automatically reimburses eligible veterans for out-of-pocket costs associated with the concessional pharmaceutical co-payment. The second annual payment under the scheme was made in the last week of March 2014 for out-of-pocket costs incurred in 2013. Future payments will be made in March of each year for the previous calendar year.

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Make a claim

To make a claim, you can either:

  • download a claim form
  • write to us at:

    Department of Veterans' Affairs
    GPO Box 9998

Claims for pensions or benefits are considered by DVA on a case-by-case basis using evidence of your service and medical history.

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More information on your benefits

You can speak to a DVA officer about available benefits, by contacting your local Veterans' Access Network (VAN) office.

DVA's Outreach Programme also provides information sessions on DVA benefits and entitlements to veterans in certain outer metropolitan and regional areas.

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