Prisoner of war recognition supplement

Last updated: 
22 January 2020

This page provides information about the Prisoner of War Recognition (POWR) Supplement and the eligibility requirements for the Supplement.

What is the Prisoner of War Recognition Supplement?

The POWR Supplement is a measure that provides special recognition of surviving former Australian prisoners of war (POWs), both veteran and civilian, for the severe hardships and deprivations they experienced. It applies to all surviving former Australian POWs from World War 2 and the Korean War.

The POWR Supplement payment is currently $578.20 per fortnight and is indexed annually in accordance with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).  This rate is current between September 20, 2019 and September 19, 2020.

Who is eligible for the Prisoner of War Recognition Supplement?

To be eligible for the POWR Supplement you must have been:

  • a member of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) who was held prisoner by Germany, Italy or their allies at any time between 3 September 1939 and 11 May 1945; or
  • a civilian who was interned or detained by the Germans, Italians or their allies at any time between 3 September 1939 and 11 May 1945, who was domiciled in Australia immediately before their detention or internment; or
  • a British subject who was detained by the enemy during World War 2 and was at the time a resident of the Territory of Papua or the Territory New Guinea; or
  • a member of the ADF who was held prisoner by the Japanese military forces between 7 December 1941 and 29 October 1945; or
  • a civilian who was interned or detained by the Japanese military forces between 7 December 1941 and 29 October 1945, who was domiciled in Australia immediately before their detention or internment; or
  • a member of the ADF who was held prisoner by the military forces of North Korea between 27 June 1950 and 19 April 1956.

The payment will be made to former POWs residing both in Australia and overseas. However, it is not payable to surviving spouses or the estates of deceased veterans.

Definition of ‘domiciled’

A domicile is usually the place an individual considers to be their ‘home’. Generally, ‘home’ is the country where the individual was born, raised, educated, worked and where their relatives live. Your domicile changes if you move to another country with the intention to live there indefinitely.

Will the payment affect any other Australian Government payments or benefits?

The POWR Supplement is not a pension and will be paid in addition to any benefit currently received from either DVA or Centrelink.

The POWR Supplement will not impact on income support payments received from DVA or Centrelink. However, if the supplement remains in a recipient’s bank account, it will form part of that person’s assets for the purposes of the assets test. As such, interest will be deemed on that amount.

The POWR Supplement will not affect aged care fees, Family Tax Benefit payments or certain tax offsets such as the Seniors Tax Offset.

Claiming the Prisoner of War Recognition Supplement

Former POWs previously unknown to DVA will need to contact the Department and submit a claim form, so their eligibility for the payment can be assessed.

There is no separate claim form for the POWR supplement; rather, former POWs should submit the application form for the POW ex-gratia compensation payment. Where an applicant is found eligible for the POW ex-gratia payment, POWR supplement will commence automatically.

For more information, please see Benefits for prisoners of war and their dependants