Energy supplement

Last updated:

This page explains what the Energy Supplement is, who is eligible for it, how much it is and how it is paid.

This page is current from 1 July 2021 to 19 September 2021.

Back to top

What is the Energy Supplement?

The Energy Supplement provides ongoing financial assistance to certain DVA clients to assist with energy costs. It is paid fortnightly or quarterly. 

Back to top

Who is eligible?

You may be eligible for an Energy Supplement if you receive one or more of the underlying payments:

  • service pension;
  • age pension paid by DVA;
  • war widow(er)'s pension;
  • disability pension;
  • Military Rehabilitation Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) wholly dependent partner payment;
  • MRCA special rate disability pension;
  • MRCA permanent impairment payment;
  • a fortnightly Veterans' Children Education Scheme (VCES) education allowance; or
  • a fortnightly Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme (MRCAETS) education allowance.

You may also be eligible if you hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC), or have reached qualifying age (60 years old) and hold a Veteran Gold Card.

CSHC holders granted the card on or after 20 September 2016 will only be eligible for the Energy Supplement if the grandfathering rules apply.

Back to top

What are the grandfathering rules for CSHC holders?

The grandfathering rules are met in the following circumstances:
Status on 19/9/2016 Changes since 19/9/2016 Extra Conditions
CSHC holder No changes Nil
Income support recipient Income support payment ceased, now a CSHC holder Claim for CSHC must have been lodged within 6 weeks of effective date of income support cancellation
CSHC holder Moved from CSHC to an income support payment, then back to the CSHC

Income support payment must have commenced from the day that CSHC eligibility was lost.

On return to the CSHC, the CSHC claim must have been lodged within 6 weeks of the effective date of the income support cancellation.

CSHC holder Departure from Australia Departure must be temporary and for less than 19 weeks.
Neither CSHC holder nor income support recipient Commenced receiving an income support payment, which was later cancelled on 1/1/2017 due to assets test changes.

CSHC was automatically issued for those of pension age who were cancelled on 1/1/2017 due to assets test changes.

Energy Supplement must have been paid with the income support payment on 31/12/2016.

Energy Supplement cannot be paid beyond 19 March 2017 for CSHC holders who do not meet the grandfathering rules.

CSHC holders who also hold a Veteran Gold Card will continue to receive Energy Supplement with their Veteran Gold Card regardless of whether or not they meet the grandfathering rules for their CSHC.

Back to top

Can I receive my Energy Supplement quarterly?

CSHC holders or eligible Veteran Gold Card holders can only receive the Energy Supplement as a quarterly payment. All other recipients can elect to receive their Energy Supplement payment either fortnightly or quarterly.

Energy Supplement entitlements are calculated daily, so there is no financial advantage or disadvantage in changing from fortnightly to quarterly payments. To choose this payment option, you must notify DVA via email, telephone, mail or by visiting a DVA office. You can also change back to a fortnightly payment at any time.

Back to top

Do I need to apply?

No. The Energy Supplement is automatically paid to eligible recipients. However, if you want to change from fortnightly to quarterly payment, or from quarterly back to fortnightly payment, you will need to notify DVA.

Back to top

Are the payments assessable or taxable income?

No. The Energy Supplement is excluded from the income used to assess income support payments and does not form part of your taxable income.

Back to top

Can I receive more than one Energy Supplement?

You can be eligible for multiple Energy Supplement payments depending on the payments you receive.

Group One Group Two
This table shows who might be eligible for more than one Energy Supplement payment.
People can receive an Energy Supplement for one of.... ...and an Energy Supplement for one of...
Service pension Disability pension
Age pension MRCA Special Rate Disability Pension
Eligible CSHC or Veteran Gold Card MRCA permanent impairment payment
War widow(er)'s pension
MRCA wholly dependent partner payment
VCES fortnightly education allowance
MRCAETS fortnightly education allowance
Social Security Act 1991 energy qualifying payments
ABSTUDY allowance

Multiple entitlement exclusion rules prevent a person receiving more than one Energy Supplement from within the same group.

Back to top

How much is the Energy Supplement?

This table shows the Energy Supplement amounts payable.
Type of payment Energy Supplement per fortnight
Service and age pension (single) $14.10
Service and age pension (partnered - each) $10.60
War widow(er)'s pension $14.20
10% - 100% disability pension $7.70
Extreme Disablement Adjustment rate $11.80
Intermediate rate $14.50
Special rate $21.50
Type of payment Energy Supplement per week
MRCA Special Rate Disability Pension $10.75
MRCA wholly dependent partner payment $7.10
MRCA permanent impairment payment $3.80
Type of card Energy Supplement per quarter
Eligible CSHC or Veteran Gold Card holder (single) $92.66
Eligible CSHC or Veteran Gold Card holder (partnered - each) $69.66
Type of payment Energy Supplement per fortnight
Secondary/Tertiary student living at home  
VCES and MRCAETS (under 16 years old) $0.90
VCES and MRCAETS (16-17 years old) $3.90
VCES and MRCAETS (18 years or older) $4.60
Secondary/Tertiary student, living away from home  
VCES and MRCAETS (under 16 years old) $5.90
VCES and MRCAETS (16-17 years old) $7.00
VCES and MRCAETS (18 years or older) $7.00
Secondary/Tertiary student, homeless  
VCES and MRCAETS (under 16 years old) $7.00
VCES and MRCAETS (16-17 years old) $7.00
VCES and MRCAETS (18 years or older) $7.00
Secondary/Tertiary student, double orphan  
VCES (under 16 years old) $3.90
VCES (16-20 years old) $7.00
VCES (21 years or older) $8.60
Back to top

What if I go overseas?

The Energy Supplement is only payable to Australian residents in Australia, or for the first six weeks of a temporary absence from Australia.

For non-CSHC holders, Energy Supplement payments will resume upon the date of return to Australia regardless of the duration of the absence and whether temporary or permanent.

CSHC holders will lose their grandfathered status after 19 weeks of temporary absence from Australia or on permanent departure from Australia. Energy Supplement payments will not resume upon their return to Australia.

Back to top

Obligations

You have a responsibility to keep us informed of changes that may affect the amount of pension and Energy Supplement you receive. These responsibilities are described in our letters to you as 'obligations', and apply equally to trustees.

In order to meet your obligations, you need to tell DVA within 14 days (28 days if you live overseas or receive remote area allowance) if:

  • your residential situation changes;
  • your single/partnered status changes;
  • you move or travel overseas; or
  • there is any other change that would affect your eligibility for DVA payments.

Fulfilling your obligations within the specified time period assists us in maintaining your correct rate of payment.

Back to top
Was this page useful?
Please tell us why you selected 'Yes'?
Please tell us why you selected 'No'?