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Chapter 10 — payment of pensions

When, how and where your pension is paid

Your income support pension is paid every second Thursday*. If a pension payday happens to fall on a national public holiday, your pension will be paid earlier. You can view your last 90 days of payments via your MyAccount service.

*If you reside outside Australia, then your DVA payments are paid into your overseas account every four weeks. Each four-weekly deposit is the sum of the amounts you are entitled to for the previous two fortnights.

Your income support pension may be paid:

  • Directly into your bank, building society or credit union account — this is the fastest and safest way to pay your income support pension. The account can be in your own or joint names and you can change the account details at any time with proof of your identity. Your account must be held with an Australian financial institution.
  • Direct to an aged care home or hospital — A representative from the aged care home or hospital will need to be appointed as an agent if you require your pension to be paid directly to the facility. You can arrange for the agent to take out fees and other expenses and the money left will be paid directly to you.
  • To another person nominated by you — you can nominate, in writing, another person to be your agent. We can pay the income support pension into an account that is in the name of your agent.
  • To a trustee — if a pensioner is unable to manage their affairs, an application in writing may be made for a trustee to be appointed. The trustee would have full control of the pensioner's income support pension and must act in the pensioner's interests. The trustee can be the pensioner's relative, a friend, solicitor, a company, a representative from the aged care home or hospital or the Public Trustee.
  • To two separate accounts — a pensioner or agent can specify an amount to go direct to one account with the balance paid to another account, provided the accounts are in the person's or agent's names. For further details please contact your nearest DVA office.

Note: It is important that you seek advice before signing your pension over to anyone. State power of attorney or trustee arrangements do not automatically allow DVA to change your pension payment arrangements, and an agent or trustee must be appointed. For information about Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney or Guardianship, contact the Public Trustee in your State.

Agents and trustees are required to provide proof of identity documentation as part of the appointment process. If the proposed agent is a representative of an aged care home or hospital, then the application will need to include the organisation’s Australian Business Number (ABN), business stamp or letterhead and contact details.

See Factsheets

Obligations if you are a trustee or agent

If you are the trustee or agent of a pensioner, you need to tell us immediately if that person dies or you cease to act on behalf of that person.

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Direct deductions from your income support pension

You can request a direct deduction from your fortnightly DVA payments to pay certain bills.  This is a voluntary arrangement and is provided at no cost to you.
This service is currently available to:

  • Australian Taxation Office (ATO) — for tax deductions
  • Housing SA (State government housing authority in South Australia), and
  • the Queensland Department of Housing — for housing payments.

The deduction amount you specify is transferred from your DVA payment, and paid directly to your nominated payee.  The balance of your DVA payment is paid to your usual bank account.
For more information on how to request a deduction from your payment, contact your nearest DVA office.

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How to change payment arrangements

Phone your nearest DVA office and be prepared to provide proof of your identity. If the payment change is for yourself and your partner, both of you will need to speak to a DVA officer. If you are notifying of a change in payment arrangement by writing you will need to specify your details (and that of your partner). You can also update your payment destination via your MyAccount service.

At least one week's notice should be provided to allow DVA to change your payment details. Do not close the old account until you have confirmed that the pension is being paid into the new account.

There are some specific circumstances where a third party, such as an agent, trustee or relative can advise of change of payment details provided there is a third party authority in place, and after the person has undergone a security check. For social security age pension (paid by DVA), the representative must be nominated as a payment nominee.

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Payment to an overseas account

If you move overseas permanently, your DVA payments may be made every four weeks into your bank account in your country of residence. You will need to complete the International Bank Account details form for your country of residence. If the change is for yourself and your partner, you will each need to complete a form.

The account you nominate must be:

  • in your name, or it may be a joint account with another person, and
  • capable of receiving payments from overseas by direct deposit or international wire.

Payments are converted from Australian Dollars to the local currency (or US Dollars) before being transmitted to your account.  Your payments may vary due to exchange rate fluctuations and you may incur fees levied by your bank on deposits.

Note: You may elect to maintain an account in Australia for your DVA payments.  It is your responsibility to arrange access to your money.  Payments into an Australian bank account are deposited every second Thursday.

For information about what benefits are not payable overseas refer to If you travel or move overseas in Chapter 4 — living arrangements.  When you return to Australia, and advise DVA of your return, those payments will recommence.

Note: Contact your nearest DVA office if you intend travelling. There is a form available when travelling overseas (D0578 - Notification of Overseas Travel).  Alternatively you can use your MyAccount service to notify DVA of your intention to travel.

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Payment of Arrears

When you are granted an income support pension or your income support pension is increased retrospectively, we will write and let you know what arrears are payable and when they will be paid. Arrears will be a separate payment, not necessarily on a payday.  Keep the letter handy if you need to phone us and always check your bank account first.

If you have an outstanding overpayment, the calculated arrears will be offset against the overpayment prior to any payment being made.  Depending on the type of pension granted or varied, arrears may also be held to adjust any amount that may be owed to Centrelink. 

In some circumstances we hold your arrears while we check with Centrelink about any possible dual receipt of payments.

If you receive a social security pension or benefit from Centrelink and a disability pension under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 or permanent impairment payment under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 from DVA, we will advise Centrelink if your disability pension or permanent impairment payment increases. If so, there may be an adjustment in your social security pension or benefit and your Defence Force Income Support Allowance (DFISA) (see Chapter 3 — which pension do you get?) may also be adjusted.

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Quarterly payments

Income support pensioners may elect to defer a portion of their fortnightly pension supplement to be paid quarterly. The dates that quarterly payments are made vary. Payments are usually in late March/early April, July, late September/early October and January.

For information about these payments see Chapter 6 — benefits and services.

Check your payments online

Through MyAccount’s online services you can:

  • view recent payments including travel reimbursements
  • change your payment destination
  • set up or change payment instructions.

Online applications for a lump sum advance are available through MyAccount services.

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