How to access the veteran payment

Last updated: 
24 August 2020

This page explains how to access the veteran payment.

What is the veteran payment?

The veteran payment provides interim financial support to current and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), who lodge a claim for a mental health condition under either the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) or the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA).

Who is Eligible?

To be eligible you must also be incapable of working more than 8 hours per week and have income and assets below the cut-off. Veterans must also be below Age Pension age at the time of their claim.

Partners may also be eligible for the veteran payment. The veteran payment is subject to an income and assets test.

For further information on veteran payment and who may be eligible please see Veteran Payment Overview.

What is Age Pension age?

Age Pension is determined by the following table:

Age Pension Age
If your date of birth is on or between: Then your pension age is:
Before 1 July 1952 65 years
1 July 1952 to 31 December 1953 65 years and 6 months
1 January 1954 to 30 June 1955 66 years
1 July 1955 to 31 December 1956 66 years and 6 months
On or after 1 January 1957 67 years

How do I access the veteran payment?

Veteran payment can be accessed by veterans who have lodged a claim for acceptance of a mental health condition under either the MRCA or the DRCA which has not yet been determined.

The below table provides information on how to access the veteran payment, depending on the status of your claim for acceptance of your mental health condition.

If: Then:
You have not yet made a claim for compensation, and will make this claim using a paper form:
You have not yet made a claim for compensation, and intend to make this claim online:
  •  Sections in  online claims allowing you to indicate you wish to receive veteran payment.
You did not want (or were not eligible for) veteran payment when you lodged your compensation claim, but your circumstances have now changed:
  • You will need to contact DVA to have your eligibility for the veteran payment assessed.

In each of these cases you will be required to provide additional details, including the income and asset details of you and your partner.

Further information on making a claim under the MRCA or DRCA can be found at How to claim benefits under the DRCA or How to Make a Claim under the MRCA.

Can I receive other Government payments?

You cannot receive the veteran payment and other Government payments including:

  • JobSeeker payment;
  • payments under the ABSTUDY Scheme;
  • Incapacity Payments;
  • Disability Support Pension;
  • Service Pension; and
  • War Widow / Widower’s Pension.

If you chose to receive veteran payment instead of your existing income support payment you will not receive a Pensioner Concession Card.

*Note: Family Tax Benefit is payable whilst you are receiving veteran payment.

What if I need help accessing veteran payment?

If you need help accessing veteran payment, you should telephone us on 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) or visit a local Veterans’ Information Service (VIS) or Veterans’ Access Network (VAN) for assistance. You can find a VIS or VAN through our location page

They will ensure that you receive assistance from Income Support staff.

Alternatively, an ex-service organisation (ESO) such as the RSL or Legacy, have pension and welfare officers who will be able to assist you to access veteran payment. You can find an ESO at our ESO page

Do I need to provide Proof of Identity?

Yes. As part of the process of completing a claim for a mental health condition you will have provided DVA with proof of identity.

Partners will be required to provide us with documentation to prove your identity. For more information refer to Proof of Identity Requirements.

What does DVA do when I have asked to access veteran payment?

DVA will determine if you (and, if applicable, your partner) are eligible for veteran payment. For eligibility requirements refer to Veteran Payment Overview.

If you are eligible, DVA will work out your rate of veteran payment, depending on your income or assets. When a decision has been made you will receive a letter which will include the date of grant, the amount of veteran payment you will receive and your obligations whilst receiving veteran payment.

If I receive veteran payment, when will it stop?

The veteran payment will continue initially for a period of up to 42 days following the determination of your claim for a mental health condition.

Please see the below table for further information on this process:

If: Then:
Your claim for a mental health condition is accepted:
  • You (and your partners) veteran payment will continue for up to 42 days following the determination date of your claim.
  • Your veteran payment can be extended in special circumstances, e.g. if your claim for incapacity payments is under investigation, veteran payment may be extended until a determination is made. If you are granted incapacity payments your veteran payment will cease on commencement if the incapacity payments.
Your claim for a mental health condition is rejected:
  • You (and your partners) veteran payment will initially continue for up to 42 days following the determination date of your claim.
  • DVA officers will assist you to transfer to a  Services Australia income support payment or to return to work under your rehabilitation plan.
  • Your veteran payment may be extended in these circumstances until you have other means of financial support.