This Factsheet provides an overview of disability pensions and allowances available under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA).
What is disability pension?
Disability pension is paid to compensate veterans for injuries or diseases caused or aggravated by war service or certain defence service rendered on behalf of Australia before 1 July 2004. It is a non-taxable pension.
Who is eligible for disability pension?
You may be eligible for a disability pension if you suffer from an injury or disease that is a result of service rendered:
- in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) during a time of conflict before 1 July 2004;
- in the Australian Merchant Navy during World War 2;
- as a United Nations Peacekeeper representing Australia overseas before 1 July 2004;
- in the ADF whilst undertaking service overseas before 1 July 2004 that has been designated as hazardous;
- during the British Nuclear Tests program in Australia at prescribed nuclear test areas or whilst performing certain tasks during prescribed nuclear testing periods in the 1950s and 1960s;
- as one of certain civilians who assisted the ADF in wartime before 1 July 2004; or
- in the ADF (after completion of 3 years qualifying period, unless medically discharged) from 7 December 1972 to 6 April 1994.
You may also be entitled to a disability pension if you served with a Commonwealth or allied country and you lived in Australia before you enlisted.
*Note: - If you enlisted in the ADF before 22 May 1986 you can also claim for injuries or diseases resulting from service after 6 April 1994 up to 30 June 2004.
How much is the disability pension?
The amount of disability pension paid depends on the level of incapacity you suffer as a result of your war-caused or defence-caused injuries and diseases. Generally, the more incapacitated you are, the higher the amount of pension you will receive.
There are four 'categories' of disability pension payable:
- General Rate, payable in multiples of 10% up to 100%;
- Extreme Disablement Adjustment (for over 65 years of age only);
- Intermediate Rate; and
- Special Rate.
Disability pension is generally payable from three months before the date on which the claim for a pension was received at a DVA office.
For information on the current rates of disability pension payable, refer to DVA Factsheet DP43.
How do I claim disability pension?
For further information about how to lodge a claim and how claims are decided, please refer to DVA Factsheet DP18.
What is a disability pension allowance?
A disability pension allowance may be paid to pensioners to provide financial assistance, compensation or reward for valour.
Applications can be made under the VEA in respect of the following allowances:
- attendant allowance;
- clothing allowance;
- decoration allowance;
- loss of earnings allowance;
- recreation transport allowance;
- vehicle assistance scheme.
Attendant allowance may be paid to an eligible veteran to assist with the cost of an attendant to help with such things as feeding, bathing, dressing and other activities of daily living. The allowance is payable where a veteran has certain war or defence-caused amputations, blindness, or injury or disease affecting the brain and spinal cord system, or has a condition similar in effect or severity. For more information and how to apply, see DVA Factsheet DP72.
Clothing allowance may be paid to an eligible veteran to help offset the cost of modifications, deterioration or damage, to clothing. The allowance is payable where a veteran has certain war or defence-caused amputations, blindness or disabilities that adversely impact the veteran's clothing. For more information and how to apply, see DVA Factsheet DP73.
Decoration allowance may be paid to a veteran who is eligible for a DVA disability pension and has received an eligible decoration. For more information and how to apply, see DVA Factsheet DP74.
Loss of earnings allowance
Loss of earnings allowance compensates an eligible veteran for salary, wages or earnings lost due to absence from work. This can be for treatment of war or defence caused disabilities or to attend certain appointments. It may also compensate the veteran's authorised representative or attendant who accompanies the veteran. For more information and how to apply, see DVA Factsheet DP75.
Recreation transport allowance
Recreation transport allowance is paid to an eligible veteran suffering from severe war or defence-caused disabilities that affect mobility to promote access to recreational activities. The allowance is payable where a veteran has certain war or defence-caused amputations or blindness, or is handicapped to a similar extent to these disabilities. For more information and how to apply, see DVA Factsheet DP76.
Vehicle Assistance Scheme
The Vehicle Assistance Scheme may assist an eligible veteran to purchase and modify a motor vehicle. The assistance may be provided where a veteran has certain service or war caused amputations, complete paraplegia, or a condition similar in effect or severity to certain amputations. A running and maintenance allowance is also payable to assist with the costs of vehicle registration, insurance and other incidental costs. For further information, see DVA Factsheet DP78.
How much are these allowances?
The allowances are paid at different rates. For details of the current rates of allowances, see DVA Factsheet DP43.
Energy Supplement may also be payable to disability pensioners. For more information, refer to DVA Factsheet CEP01.
DVA General Enquiries
Metro Phone: 133 254 *
Regional Phone: 1800 555 254 *
DVA Website: www.dva.gov.au
Factsheet Website: www.dva.gov.au/factsheets
* Calls from mobile phones and pay phones may incur additional charges.
- CEP01 Energy Supplement
- DP02 Disability pension entitlements for service in wars, conflicts and operational deployments
- DP15 Defence and Peacekeeping Service under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986
- DP18 Making a Claim/Applying for an Increase in Disability Pension
- DP28 General Rate
- DP29 Special and Intermediate Rates
- DP30 Extreme Disablement Adjustment
- DP43 Disability Pension and War Widow(er)'s Pension Rates and Allowances
- DP72 Attendant Allowance
- DP73 Clothing Allowance
- DP74 Decoration Allowance and Victoria Cross Allowance
- DP75 Loss of Earnings Allowance
- DP76 Recreation Transport Allowance
- DP78 Vehicle Assistance Scheme
The information contained in this Factsheet is general in nature and does not take into account individual circumstances. You should not make important decisions, such as those that affect your financial or lifestyle position on the basis of information contained in this Factsheet. Where you are required to lodge a written claim for a benefit, you must take full responsibility for your decisions prior to the written claim being determined. You should seek confirmation in writing of any oral advice you receive from DVA.