Service pension overview
Find out what a service pension is, who can get it and how to claim.
What is a service pension
The service pension provides a regular income to veterans and their partners. It is an income support payment, so your income and assets affect how much you can receive.
We recognise that the impacts of service can reduce the length of time you are able to keep working. For that reason, you can get the service pension earlier than the social security age pension.
Who can get it
You may qualify for a service pension based on your age, invalidity or partner status. Depending on the way you qualify, your payment may be known as:
Each type of service pension has different rules to determine who is eligible.
You may be eligible if both of these apply:
- you meet residency requirements
- you have qualifying service.
You must also be either:
- at least 60 years of age
- permanently incapacitated for work.
Find details at Service pension for veterans.
You may be eligible if you are:
- the partner of a veteran
- separated from a veteran
- the widow or widower of a veteran.
Depending on your situation, you may also need to be above a certain age. Find details at Service pension for partners.
How much you can receive
How much you receive will depend on:
- your income and assets
- whether you are single or partnered.
If you are permanently blind, you can receive the maximum rate of service pension regardless of your income and assets.
The following tables show the maximum you could receive each fortnight.
If you are single
Maximum per fortnight
If you are partnered
Maximum per fortnight (each)
These rates are current from 20 March 2023 to 30 June 2023. Payment rates are reviewed every March and September, and adjusted in line with the cost of living.
Depending on your situation, you may also be eligible for:
- rent assistance
- remote area allowance
- pension supplement as included in the rates tables.
If you receive a service pension, we will send you a Pensioner Concession Card.
How to apply
You can claim a service pension online through MyService.
Using MyService means:
- it is simpler and faster to submit your claim
- you don't need to send us proof of identity documents
- we can access the information we need quickly
- there is no need to wait for documents through the post.
Find out how to register for MyService. If you need help to register, call us on 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372). To access MyService, sign in to MyGov.
We need to confirm that you or your veteran partner have qualifying service before you can apply for a service pension. If you don’t see an option in MyService to apply for a service pension, look for an option to apply for qualifying service.
If you prefer to use paper forms, contact us and we can send you the ones you need. There may be different forms to complete depending on your circumstances.
You can download the following forms:
- D0503 Claim for service pension part A – eligibility
- D0504 Claim for service pension by a partner, a former partner or widow or widower part A – eligibility
- D0648 Claim for service pension or income support supplement part B – income and assets
- D0503-4B About claiming service pension
Go to Forms to find others you may need.
If you're not ready to apply for a service pension yet but you want to find out whether you may be eligible, you can use MyService to:
- ask us to confirm that you have qualifying service
- let us know that you plan to claim a service pension so we can backdate your claim to the earliest date possible.
From 1 January 2023, if your payments are reduced to nil due to income, including some level of employment income, your payments will be suspended for two years, instead of cancelled, providing a streamlined return to payment if your income again becomes below the threshold. You won’t have to submit a full application to have your payments reinstated.
Get help with your claim
Many ex-service organisations have advocates who are trained to help you submit your claim. You can use the Advocate Register to find one near you.
You can also contact us if you have questions about applying.
What you need to tell us
When you apply for a service pension, we collect information about your financial and other circumstances to work out how much we can pay you.
While you receive a service pension, you are obliged to keep us updated about any changes to your situation. Changes we need to know about include your:
- financial circumstances
- living situation
- relationship status.
For details about the things we need to know, go to What you need to tell us about.
The amount of service pension you can get will always depend on your circumstances at the time. If you do not keep us informed about changes, we may pay you too much, and you will need to pay the extra amount back.
Update us when your circumstances change
To avoid being overpaid, you must tell us about any changes to your circumstances within 14 days. If you live overseas or receive the remote area allowance, you must tell us about these changes within 28 days.
If a change results in a higher rate of service pension, we can only pay the higher rate once the change has occurred and you have told us about it.
It is important that you take time to understand your obligations. If you have any questions, please contact us.
How to tell us about changes
You can tell us about changes to your circumstances:
- online through MyService
- by calling us on 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372)
- in person at a DVA VAN office
- by writing to us at:
Department of Veterans' Affairs
GPO Box 9998
BRISBANE QLD 4001
Set yourself a reminder
Savings can increase over time, resulting in a gradual change in your finances. It may be helpful to set yourself a 6-monthly reminder to provide us with:
- updated bank balances
- other income and asset changes.
You still need to tell us about significant changes within 14 days, or 28 days if you live overseas or receive a remote area allowance.
Get someone to act on your behalf
If you need help to keep us informed about your finances, you can nominate someone to act on your behalf. Once we have received your written authority, this person can contact us directly to let us know about any changes.
The person you nominate can register for their own MyService account to act on your behalf.