Veteran Payment

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You may receive this payment while you wait for us to approve your claim for a mental health condition.

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Payment while you wait

The Veteran Payment is an interim payment that you may receive while we assess your claim. You may be eligible for it once you have lodged a claim for a mental health condition under either:

If we approve your claim for a mental health condition

We will move you from the Veteran Payment to the appropriate benefit or payment. We will continue to pay your Veteran Payment for up to 42 days while this is taking place.

If we do not approve your claim for a mental health condition

We will help you to apply for an appropriate Services Australia support payment. We will continue to pay your Veteran Payment for up to 42 days during this time. You may receive the Veteran Payment until you have other means of financial support, even if it takes more than 42 days.

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Eligibility

You may receive the Veteran Payment if you:

  • have lodged a claim for a mental health condition under either the DRCA or the MRCA
  • can't work more than 8 hours a week
  • are below Age Pension age on the day that you lodged the claim for the mental health condition
  • are a resident of Australia
  • are in Australia when you lodged the claim for the mental health condition
  • are below the income and asset test thresholds.

You must participate in a rehabilitation program if you are able to. Your rehabilitation coordinator will arrange this for you.

Blind veterans

If you are considered to be blind, the Veteran Payment is not subject to the income and assets tests and is paid at the maximum rate. For more information see Financial help if you are blind.

Other government payments

You can receive the Veteran Payment and the Family Tax Benefit at the same time.

You cannot receive the Veteran Payment and the following payments:

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

If you chose to receive the Veteran Payment instead of your existing income support payment, you will not receive a Concession Card.

You may be eligible for the Low Income Health Care Card. You will need to apply to Services Australia for this.

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Partners and the Veteran Payment

Your partner may receive their own Veteran Payment. In this situation, you and your partner would each receive the Veteran Payment at the couples rate.

Your partner can be your legal spouse or your de facto partner. If you are a member of a couple and your partner is not receiving a Veteran Payment, you will be paid at the couples rate.

We may pay members of a couple at the singles rate if they have to separate due to illness. Contact us if this situation applies to you.

After death

Your partner may receive your Veteran Payment at the singles rate for 6 weeks after your death.

If your partner dies while you are receiving the Veteran Payment, we will keep paying you. You will receive the payment at the singles rate for as long as you remain eligible.

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What you can get

A taxable payment every 2 weeks. You can find the current rates in our summary of pension rates, limits and allowances page.

The exact amount you receive will depend on your:

  • relationship status
  • assets
  • income.

In March and September each year, the payment rate may increase. Rates increases are to keep up with the cost of living and average wages.

Your relationship status affects whether you receive the singles rate or couples rate.

Other benefits

Once your Veteran Payment has been granted, you may also be eligible for other benefits, including:

When you receive the Veteran Payment, you cannot get the Pensioner Concession Card or the Energy Supplement.

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Apply

You will first need to make an eligible application for a mental health condition under either the DRCA or the MRCA. You can do this on MyService. Once you have submitted the initial claim, you will be able to apply for the Veteran Payment.

If you complete paper forms, you will need to complete either:

You will then need to complete D9333 for the Veteran Payment.

Supporting documents

You will need to provide a copy of a medical certificate that states you cannot work for more than 8 hours a week. A GP can write this. You can provide this to us up to 4 weeks after we start the Veteran Payment.

You may also need to provide us with proof of identity documents.

Tax file number

All applicants must provide us with their tax file number.

Back pay

We may back pay you up to 2 weeks before the date you lodged your claim for a mental health condition. Your payment will begin once we confirm your eligibility. After this, we pay you every 2 weeks on pension payday.

Help with your application

Call us on 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) if you need help completing the application forms.

You can also visit:

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Increase to the Veteran Payment

You can apply for an increase to your Veteran Payment if you receive a reduced rate and your situation changes.

You can:

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What you need to tell us

You must tell us about changes to your circumstances that can impact your rate of payment. You need to tell us about these changes within 14 days, or 28 days if you live overseas or receive the remote area allowance.

You must tell us if:

  • your residential situation changes (such as you move house or your rent changes)
  • your relationship status changes (such as you start a de facto relationship or you separate from your partner)
  • you move or travel overseas
  • you receive the maximum rate Veteran Payment and your income exceeds the income-free amount or your assets exceed the assets value limit
  • you receive a reduced rate of Veteran Payment and your income or assets exceed the limits stated in our most recent letter to you about your Veteran Payment.
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The income and asset test

The Veteran Payment you receive depends on your individual circumstances and the amount of income and assets that you have. If you are a member of a couple, your partners income and assets is also included.

The Veteran Payment is calculated under 2 separate tests: the income test and assets test. The test paying the lower rate of payment is the one that we apply. For more information, see Income Test and Assets Test.

The income and assets limits

You can have a certain amount of income and assets and still receive the maximum rate of Veteran Payment. These limits are known as the ordinary income free area and the assets value limit.

There are 2 ordinary income free areas:

  • the singles income free area
  • the couples income free area.

There are 4 assets value limits:

  • singles who own their home
  • singles who do not own their home
  • couples who own their home
  • couples who do not own their home.

Income or assets above the ordinary income free area or assets value limit reduces the amount of the Veteran Payment that we can pay. We will stop the Veteran Payment when income or assets exceed certain cut-off limits.

If you are a member of a couple, you are both treated as if you each receive half your combined income and you each own half your combined assets, regardless of who actually receives the income or owns the assets.

Superannuation

Super products are not counted as income producing or an asset until the person who owns the super either:

  • reaches Age Pension age
  • makes a withdrawal from the investment.

Our page on Managed investments has more information about how we assess super.

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Freedom of Information

Under the Freedom of Information Act 1982, you may seek to access information about yourself. This means that you can look at your personal files and ask for copies of documents.

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Privacy

The Privacy Act 1988 governs how Australian Government agencies, including DVA, collect and handle personal information. The Privacy Commissioner oversees this process to ensure the rights of individuals are protected.

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