Skip to Content

Factsheet IS57 - Australian, Commonwealth and allied World War 2 Veterans Qualifying Service

Purpose

This Factsheet explains qualifying service for Australian, Commonwealth and allied World War 2 veterans.

An Australian, Commonwealth or allied World War 2 veteran with qualifying service may be eligible for a service pension from DVA. Commonwealth and Allied veterans may also be aligible for the DVA Health Card - Pharmaceuticals Only (Orange Card).

What is qualifying service?

Qualifying service is defined in the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) and is one of the criteria used to determine if you are eligible for a service pension.

The table below shows qualifying service for World War 2 veterans.

Australian veteran Service in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) during the period: 3 September 1939 to 29 October 1945 (inclusive), in operations against the enemy, at a time when the person incurred danger from hostile forces of the enemy.
Commonwealth veteran Service (as a member of the defence force established by a Commonwealth country) during the period 3 September 1939 to 29 October 1945 (inclusive) either:
  • in an area and at a time when you incurred danger from hostile forces of the enemy outside the country in whose defence force you served; or
  • within the country of enlistment for which you received, or were eligible to receive, a campaign medal.

*Note: - A Commonwealth country is a country (other than Australia) that is, or was at the time of service, part of the British Commonwealth.

Allied veteran Service (as a member of the defence force established by an allied country) during the period 3 September 1939 to 29 October 1945 (inclusive) within or outside the country of enlistment when danger was incurred from hostile forces of the enemy.

Who is a Commonwealth veteran?

A Commonwealth veteran is a person who has rendered continuous full-time service as a member of:

  • the naval, military or air forces; or
  • the nursing or auxiliary services of the naval, military or air forces; or
  • the women’s branch of the naval, military or air forces

of a country (other than Australia) that is, or was at the time of service, part of the British Commonwealth.

Who is an allied veteran?

An allied veteran is a person:

  • who has been appointed or enlisted as a member of the defence force of an allied country; and
  • who has rendered continuous full-time service as such a member during a period of hostilities.

When am I not eligible?

You are not eligible if you have ever served:

  • in the forces of a country, or its allies, that was at war with Australia at that particular time; or
  • in any forces that were engaged in hostile operations against Australia at that particular time.

What are the defence forces of allied countries?

The defence force established by an allied country or Government in exile includes:

  • the regular naval, military or air forces; and
  • the nursing or auxiliary services of the regular naval, military or air forces; and
  • the women’s branch of the regular naval, military or air forces.

What is incurred danger?

An Australian, Commonwealth or allied World War 2 veteran incurs danger when he or she is at risk or in peril of actual bodily harm or mental injury from hostile forces. Danger is not incurred by merely perceiving or fearing danger. It is an objective test of facts.

Australian veterans service outside Australia

For some purposes of the VEA, World War 2 lasted from 3 September 1939 to 28 April 1952, the date on which the Treaty of Peace with Japan came into force. However, cease fire arrangements and the actual cessation of all hostilities varied between the European and Pacific theatres of war.

Qualifying service is based on actual hostilities. The dates that are accepted for the purpose of other types of service can differ from the formal dates of peace treaties and from the dates for operational service.

You have qualifying service if you served outside of Australia between 3 September 1939 to 29 October 1945 (dates are inclusive), in operations against the enemy, at a time when the person incurred danger from hostile forces of the enemy.

Service within Australia — service in the Northern Territory

You may have qualifying service if you served as a member of the Australian armed forces for a continuous full-time period of at least 3 months in that part of the Northern Territory above 14.5 degrees south latitude between 19 February 1942 and 12 November 1943 (both dates inclusive).

This covers service in and around Darwin during the Japanese air attacks. DVA can provide further information on the towns and locations that fall within the area north of the 14.5 degrees parallel.

If your service in the upper Northern Territory was for a period less than three months, you will have to tell us how and when you faced danger from the enemy.

Service within Australia — other locations

You may have qualifying service if you served in other areas of Australia that were subject to enemy attack. For example, you may have qualifying service if you served in Townsville or Newcastle at the time those cities were subjected to Japanese bombing raids. You will need to provide a statement describing how you incurred danger from hostile forces of the enemy.

Service after 29 October 1945

A veteran has qualifying service after 29 October 1945 if, as a member of the Australian armed forces he or she was awarded, or has become eligible to be awarded, the Naval General Service Medal or the General Service Medal (Army and Royal Air Force) with one of the following medals or clasps:

  • the Mine-sweeping 1945-51 Clasp;
  • the Bomb-Mine Clearance 1945-53 Clasp;
  • the Bomb and Mine Clearance 1945-49 Clasp; or
  • the Bomb and Mine Clearance 1945-56 Clasp.

Persons regarded as members of the Australian armed forces

In addition to people enlisted as members of the Australian armed forces, certain other groups of people may be regarded as performing continuous full-time service as if they were members.

These groups include:

  • philanthropic organisations, such as:
    • the Australian Red Cross Society;
    • the Young Men’s Christian Association;
    • the Young Women’s Christian Association;
    • the Salvation Army; and
    • the Australian Comforts fund.
       
  • Commonwealth employees attached to the Australian forces, as members of:
    • the Australian Broadcasting Commission (personnel of field broadcasting units);
    • the Department of Home Security (camofleurs attached to the RAAF);
    • the Department of Information (official war correspondents and photographers);
    • civil aviation personnel (RAAF reserve) who were employed in forward areas;
    • telegraphist employees of Amalgamated Wireless Australasia Ltd (AWA) who were attached to the Royal Australian Navy; or
    • canteen staff employed by contractors on HMA Ships.

If you were in one of these groups, you may provide a statement describing how you were in danger during your service.

Civilian on special missions

If, as a civilian, you served outside Australia during World War 2 and performed special missions in aid of the Commonwealth war effort you may have rendered qualifying service. You will need to describe the special mission and the danger you experienced.

Civilian veterans - eligible civilians

Certain other civilians may also have qualifying service during World War 2. An eligible civilian is a civilian who in World War 2 was:

  • detained or killed by the enemy; and
  • a British subject (this includes Australian civilians); and
  • a resident, but not an indigenous inhabitant, of the Territory of Papua or the Territory of New Guinea.

How do I confirm qualifying service?

To confirm qualifying service, you will need to complete a form based on the circumstances of your service. If you are:

  • an ex-member of the Australian armed forces, you will need to complete DVA Form D0506; and DVA Form D0506A;
  • a Commonwealth or Allied Veteran, you will need to complete DVA Form D0507; and
    • if you served with the Forces in Yugoslavia in the Second World War, you will also need to complete DVA Form D0507B

DVA forms are available from your nearest DVA office or the DVA website.

You can have your qualifying service determined at any time, even if you are not immediately applying for any related benefits such as a service pension.

Documents required

With your application you should send in certified copies of any documents that support your claim, such as a discharge certificate. The Department of Defence will provide us with service documents for Australian World War 2 veterans.

What is a certified copy?

A certified copy is a copy of an original document that has been signed and dated by a Justice of the Peace, medical practitioner, person in charge of a Post Office or other authorised person. You can also have copies certified at any DVA office.

What if I have no service documents?

If you have no service documents you should provide us with any documents which support your claim such as, training certificates or medals citations. You may also be asked to make a Statutory Declaration.

The declaration should include dates, places, duties, witnesses and specific information about the danger you were in.

For Commonwealth veterans, your claim can be assisted if you are entitled to a campaign medal in relation to service during the period of hostilities for World War 2.

Campaign Medals

  • 1939 – 45 Star
  • Atlantic Star
  • Air Crew Europe Star
  • Africa Star
  • Pacific Star
  • Burma Star
  • Italy Star
  • France and Germany Star
  • Any other medal considered to be a campaign medal in relation to service during that period.

More Information

DVA General Enquiries

Phone: 1800 555 254 *

Email: GeneralEnquiries@dva.gov.au

DVA Website: www.dva.gov.au

Factsheet Website: www.dva.gov.au/factsheets

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

Related Factsheets

Related Forms

Disclaimer

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.

Average: 1.5 (4 votes)
7 May 2019