Service pension overview

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Find out what a service pension is, who can get it and how to claim.

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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.

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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.

Veterans

You may be eligible if both of these apply:

You must also be either:

  • at least 60 years of age
  • permanently incapacitated for work.

Find details at Service pension for veterans.

Partners

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.

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How much you can receive

How much you receive will depend on:

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

Single rate

Maximum per fortnight

Service pension

$882.20

Pension supplement

$85.30

TOTAL

$967.50

If you are partnered

Couples rate

Maximum per fortnight (each)

Service pension

$665.00

Pension supplement

$64.30

TOTAL

$729.30

These rates are current from 20 March to 19 September 2021. 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:

If you receive a service pension, we will send you a Pensioner Concession Card.

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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:

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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