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Factsheet DP28 - General Rate


This Factsheet provides a brief description of the General Rate of disability pension under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA).

What is the General Rate of disability pension?

A disability pension is paid to compensate veterans for conditions caused or aggravated by war service or certain defence service on behalf of Australia.

The General Rate is the scale of compensation that takes into account the medical impairment and lifestyle effects of a condition. It does not have regard to whether or not a veteran is employed. The initial assessment of pension follows automatically after a condition is accepted as war or defence caused.

If you cannot work because of your accepted condition/s you may be eligible to receive a pension at the Intermediate Rate, Special Rate (commonly known as Totally and Permanently Incapacitated – TPI pension), or Temporary Special Rate (commonly known as the temporarily totally incapacitated – TTI pension). These payments are further described in DVA Factsheet DP29.

If you are aged 65 or over and are severely incapacitated due to your accepted conditions, you may be entitled to an Extreme Disablement Adjustment. This pension is described in DVA Factsheet DP30.

How is the General Rate of disability pension determined?

The way that your pension is determined is complex and depends on your degree of incapacity due to your accepted conditions. Generally, the higher your degree of incapacity, the higher the rate of pension you will receive.

The General Rate is paid in 10% multiples up to the maximum rate payable per fortnight. For information on the current rates of General Rate of disability pension payable under the VEA, see DVA Factsheet DP43.

If compensation for the same incapacity is received from another source an adjustment will be made to the amount of disability pension paid to ensure that you are not compensated twice for the same incapacity. For more information, refer to DVA Factsheet DP82.

How do I apply for a pension or an increase in my rate of pension?

Information on how to apply for a disability pension is provided in DVA Factsheet DP18. This Factsheet also provides information on how to apply for an increase on your rate of pension if you believe your accepted condition/s have worsened, and/or you have developed further conditions which you believe are war or defence caused.

How do I apply to have my decision reviewed?

If you do not agree with the assessment of the rate of your disability pension you can appeal to the Veterans’ Review Board for a review of the decision.

Time limits apply for lodging appeals. The procedure on how to appeal is included in the Department’s notification of its decision on pension rate. For more information, refer to DVA Factsheet DP84.

More about the pension

Pension rates are indexed twice yearly. The General Rate is indexed in a similar manner as the service pension, that is, with reference to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE) and the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI). Any increases from indexation are paid automatically, you do not need to contact the Department.

Disability pensions are not taxed. You do not need to declare it as income in your tax return.

A disability pension is not counted as income for the service pension income test. However it is counted as income when assessing eligibility for rent assistance (an addition to the service pension) and for working out how much rent assistance is to be paid.

The disability pension is counted as income for the Age and Disability Support pensions and other benefits claimed under the Social Security Law. However, the Defence Force Income Support Supplement (DFISA) may be paid to you if your Centrelink income support payment is reduced or not payable because of adjusted disability pension. Information on DFISA is provided in DVA Factsheet IS19.

Energy Supplement

Energy Supplement may also be payable to disability pensioners. For more information, refer to DVA Factsheet CEP01.

More Information

DVA General Enquiries

Phone: 1800 555 254 *


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* Calls from mobile phones and pay phones may incur additional charges.

Related Factsheets


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.

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18 January 2019