When do I make a claim

Compensation claims

For compensation claims there are no age criteria.
If you believe you are suffering from a condition which is related to your service, you should lodge a claim for compensation.

See Lodging my claim.

If you are a serving member and you incur an injury or contract a disease which you think could be related to your ADF service on or after 1 July 2004, it is important that you lodge a claim with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) as soon as possible. Do not wait until you are discharging from the ADF. Concealing an injury or disease can often make the condition worse or endanger others by putting them at risk when injuries compromise your ability to do your job.

Lodging a claim shortly after the incident will also mean your claim will be processed sooner. Following a decision on your claim, any payments you may be entitled to will also start sooner. The claim process will also be simpler because incident and medical records are easier to locate for recent events. Details such as dates, injuries and symptoms are still fresh in your mind and the minds witnesses and medical staff.

Income support claims

Note: If you download pension claims forms from the Internet to apply for any of the following income support pensions, you should advise DVA by phone of your intention to claim. This will ensure that any pension payable can be granted from the earliest possible date. However, if your claim is not received within 3 months of notifying DVA of your intention to claim, then the earliest possible date of grant is the date the claim forms were lodged.

Service Pension

To be eligible for a service pension, the veteran must have ‘qualifying service’. You can have your qualifying service determined at any time even if you are not going to immediately apply for any related benefits. It is advisable to do this well in advance of making retirement plans.

Age criteria for service pension can vary depending on the type of service pension (age, invalidity or partner) as well as the gender and date of birth of the veteran and their partner.

It is recommended that a claim for service pension be made within the 3 months prior to being eligible. Service pension cannot be backdated prior to receiving a claim or the person being eligible for the pension.

See Lodging my claim.

Income Support Supplement

Income support supplement provides a regular income in addition to the war widow’s pension for Australian war widows and widowers with limited means. This includes wholly dependent partners under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) with limited means.

If you were already receiving a service pension from DVA when a war widow’s pension is granted, you do not need to claim income support supplement. Your entitlement to income support supplement will be automatically assessed if war widow’s pension is granted.

However, if you were previously receiving a pension or benefit from Centrelink, then it will be cancelled if a war widow’s pension is granted.  You should therefore apply for income support supplement at the same time that you apply for war widow’s pension.

See also Factsheets: