Maximise your pension or veteran payment

Last updated: 
20 January 2020

This page provides information on the date of effect for pension or veteran payment variations and how to maximise your veteran payment or pension entitlement under the date of effect rules.

This information is for service pensioners, recipients or veteran payment and for war widow/ers who receive income support supplement. There is a separate page for age pensioners paid by DVA, Date of effect for pension variations – age pensioners.

Pensions are calculated on a daily basis

The service pension, income support supplement or veteran payment you receive every fortnight is calculated on a daily basis. For example, a change in your income or asset value mid-way through a pension or veteran payment fortnight may change your payment from that day. This means that the amount of pension or veteran payment paid will more accurately reflect your true entitlement. To get the most out of these arrangements, you must tell us:

  • about changes that affect your pension or veteran payment, within 14 days of the event (28 days if you live overseas or receive remote area allowance); and
  • the date of the change.

A detailed explanation of the arrangements is below.

How can I maximise my pension or veteran payment?

If a change you tell us about results in an increase to your pension or veteran payment, the increase will apply on the day you tell us about the change or on the day on which the change occurred, whichever is the later.

If a change you tell us about results in a drop in your pension or veteran payment, and you let us know about the change within 14 days of it happening (28 days if you live overseas or receive remote are allowance), the reduction won’t apply until after the 14 days (or 28 days) have passed.

If a change results in a drop in pension or veteran payment, and you tell us about it more than 14 days after it happens (28 days if you live overseas or receive remote area allowance), the reduction will apply from the day that the change occurred. This means that any excess payment made after that day would have to be paid back. DVA would advise you about the best way to repay any excess payments.

For all changes, it is very important that you tell us the date the change occurred. This will assist DVA to respond to your changes as quickly as possible and ensure that you receive exactly what you are entitled to.

Any delays in processing the information you give us will not alter the date that the change applies to your pension or veteran payment. This means that if you are due for an increase to your pension or veteran payment, the increase will apply from the day you tell us about it. Similarly, if you are due for a reduction, the reduction will apply from either the day of the change, or after the 14 days (or 28 days) have passed as outlined above, depending on when you tell us about it. In all cases, any excess payments made after the date that the change applies to your pension or veteran payment are recoverable.

What is within 14 days?

A change to your circumstances must be notified within 14 days. This excludes the day of the change. For example, if a change occurs on the 1st of the month, you have to tell us on or by the 15th of the month, as shown in this diagram.

1st

change occurs

2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th

8th

9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th

15th

notify on or by here

           

Exceptions to the 14 day rule

The general rule is that a change to your circumstances must be notified within 14 days. However, where a person lives overseas or receives remote area allowance the 14 day period is extended to a maximum of 28 days.

There are also circumstances where the standard rules don't apply. For example, if the Department has advised you in writing that you only need to advise of changes in your employment income after a specified review period and you comply with that advice, any increase in pension or veteran payment as a result of those changes will be backdated to the beginning of the review period and any reduction will only commence on the day the change is processed.

For service pension

In cases of bereavement, it is very important that you contact us as soon as possible to notify of the death. It is especially important to notify us of a death as soon as possible if your late partner also received a disability pension from DVA.

For veteran payment

If a veteran or partner receiving veteran payment dies, it is very important that you contact us as soon as possible. For further information on veteran payment following a recipient's death, please see Veteran Payment Overview.

Pension and veteran payment calculated daily

Pension and veteran payment is calculated on a daily basis. This means that the pension or veteran payment paid each fortnight is made up of an amount for each day, for a period of 14 days. The daily amount is worked out depending on what changes to your circumstances affect your pension or veteran payment on that day. Whether or not a change in your circumstances affects your pension or veteran payment on a particular day depends on when you tell us about the change, as described in the ‘How can I maximise my pension or veteran payment’ section above.

Example

On the 1st of the month Frank Smith withdraws $5000 from his bank account and spends it on home renovations. He rings DVA and tells us about it that afternoon. The change results in an increase to Frank’s pension. Frank is entitled to the pension increase from the day he told us about the change.

Pension or veteran payment indexation increases and paydays

For the first payday occurring after an indexation increase, your pension or veteran payment is calculated for part of the fortnight where the old rate is correct and the rest of the fortnight is at the new increased rate. This ensures that you receive your correct daily entitlement.

Your pension payment or veteran payment is made up of an amount for each day of the previous fortnight's pension period ending on the Monday before the payday being calculated. This means that your first full payment at the new rate of pension or veteran payment will be paid from the 2nd payday after the indexation date.

What is a change in circumstances?

When we talk about changes to circumstances we mean changes that are likely to affect your rate of pension or veteran payment. If you are unsure about the things that you should tell DVA about, you may wish to read page on related topics, The things you need to tell us about and The things you do not need to tell us about or contact DVA for advice. For service pensioners - you can refer to the You and Your Pension booklet (refer to Chapter 2).

Effect for recipients of maximum rate pension or veteran payment

The notification arrangements have little impact on pensioners who have a small amount of income and few assets and who receive the maximum rate of service pension, income support supplement or veteran payment. Persons need only advise of changes that will affect their pension or veteran payment. The things you need to tell us about and The things you do not need to tell us about, provide information on what you do and do not need to tell DVA about. The You and Your Pension booklet also contains information on what changes you need to tell DVA about (refer to Chapter 2).

Obligations

Do tell us about changes to your circumstances within 14 days (28 days if you live overseas or receive remote area allowance).

Do tell us the date the change occurred.

Don’t tell us about changes that won’t affect your pension or veteran payment.