DVA provides financial assistance, student support services and guidance and counselling services for 5 to 25 year old eligible students. This assistance is available through the Veterans' Children Education Scheme (VCES) and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme (MRCAETS) (the Education Schemes).
State DVA Education Boards
The Veterans’ Children Education Board (VCEB) and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Board (MRCAETB) (Boards) in each State and Territory include voluntary members from a variety of education and military service related backgrounds. Representatives may include educators (from primary, secondary and tertiary institutions), representatives from the ex-service organisations (ESOs) including Vietnam Veterans' ESOs, RSL, Legacy, Partners of Veterans’ Association, the War Widow’s Guild, and ministers of religion.
The Boards meet quarterly to address concerns regarding individual students and consider applications for assistance through the Education Schemes such as additional tuition and special financial assistance.
Board members offer advice, guidance and support to students and their families. They may speak with families and students privately, or provide additional information during workshops or meetings at local schools. More information is also provided through the education schemes questions and answers.
Some key subjects which the Board can provide advice on are:
- managing academic and social pressures at school
- choosing a course of study and applying for higher education
- managing financial pressures at school and applying for financial assistance.
Please contact the Education Secretary in your State if you have any questions.
Education assistance available through DVA
A range of assistance is available to eligible students through DVA. Advice on eligibility can be sought by contacting DVA.
Tertiary education assistance may also be available to eligible children of Vietnam veterans through the Long Tan Bursary. This initiative is administered by the Australian Veterans' Children Assistance Trust (AVCAT). More information about this scheme is available.
Education assistance may also be available under the Government’s Student Start-up and Relocation Scholarships.
Be aware that accepting one form of assistance may preclude other forms of financial assistance, so it may be necessary to identify which scheme will be most useful to the family. Please contact the Education Secretary for your State if you have any questions.
Managing your VCES / MRCAETS education allowance
Change in circumstances
Parents and students are legally obliged to contact DVA in writing or telephone to advise of any change in circumstances within 14 days of that change occurring. Relevant changes could include:
- ceasing study or training
- changing enrolment to part-time status; or withdrawing from a subject
- commencement of an allowance from any other Government Department
- changing schools/institutions
- being absent from studies for more than 15 school or academic days in a year (if the absence is due to illness or contact with infectious disease, a Medical Certificate for the period of absence [showing dates]is required)
- changing address
- changing rental situation
- marrying or entering into a de-facto relationship
- if you are the STEPCHILD of the Veteran and your parent has separated from the Veteran, or
- leaving Australia.
Any payments made beyond the eligibility period will be considered an overpayment and you will be asked to pay this amount back.
Please contact to advise of any changes in your circumstances.
The Family Tax Benefit
Children under age 16 can receive education allowances under the VCES or MRCAETS plus Family Tax Benefit (FTB) payments from Centrelink; however VCES and MRCAETS education allowances cannot be paid in addition to FTB for a child aged 16-19 and in full-time secondary study.
For further information on the Family Tax Benefit, visit the Department of Human Services website.
Students who are eligible for a VCES or MRCAETS education allowance may also be eligible for other benefits available under the Education Schemes. For more information please contact the Education Secretary for your State if you have any questions.
Child Dental Benefits Schedule
The Department of Health's initiative Child Dental Benefits Schedule is administered by the Department of Human Services (DHS). It provides benefits for basic dental services for eligible children capped at $1000 over two calendar years.
Your child may be eligible for the Child Dental Benefits Schedule if he/she:
- is aged 16-17 years old for at least one day in the calendar year and receive/s either the VCES or the MRCAETS education allowance from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA); or
- is aged 2-17 for at least one day in the calendar year and receives a qualifying DHS payment such as Family Tax Benefit Part A.
The child remains eligible all year, even if the payment that made them eligible stops this year or if they turn 18 this year. Eligibility for the program is assessed continually from the beginning of each year, and reassessed annually.
If you have not received a letter from DHS regarding the scheme and think you/your child is eligible, ring DVA on 133 254.
For further information on the Child Dental Benefits Schedule go to the Human Services website or contact DHS on 132 011.
Schoolkids Bonus ceased July 2016
The Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal and Other Measures Act 2014 continued payment of the Schoolkids Bonus until 31 December 2016. The final payment was made in July 2016.
Ceasing the Schoolkids Bonus does not affect any other payments or benefits available to students that receive a DVA Education Allowance.
The Income Support Bonus for secondary students and tertiary students
The Income Support Bonus is paid twice yearly to help secondary and tertiary students receiving education allowances (under the VCES or MRCAETS). Centrelink ceased payment of the Income Support Bonus for those receiving Family Tax Benefit (FTB) on December 2016. If your child is aged 16-19, in full-time secondary study and you choose to receive FTB rather than payments under VCES and MRCAETS, then you will no longer be eligible to receive the Income Support Bonus. Secondary students aged 16 years and older who receive a VCES or MRCAETS education allowance continue to receive the Income Support Bonus.
End of academic year
At the end of each school year, all students over the age of 16 need to tell DVA what they are planning for the following year. Education allowance for students is paid fortnightly dependent on the continuation of full time study. If a student advises DVA that they intend to continue to study in the coming academic year, their education allowance will continue.
What you need to do
By the end of November:
Complete the 'Intention To Continue Study' form that was sent to you. If you do not return this form your benefits will cease on the first pay day in the new year. This means your last payment will be made at the end of December.
By the end of February:
Provide a copy of your previous year or semester results and a confirmation of your new year enrolment. This can be emailed. If you do not return your confirmation of enrolment and your results, your benefits will cease on the first pay day in March, and action may be taken to recover payments made during the new academic year
Students in WA, SA or the NT:
Telephone (08) 8290 0505 Fax (08) 8290 0498
Interstate or Country Residents 1800 555 254 ext 50505
Education schemes email Postal Address: VCES, GPO Box 9998, (Your local city) 5001.
Students in QLD, VIC, NSW or the ACT:
Telephone (07) 3223 8395 Fax (07) 3223 8433
Interstate or Country Residents 1800 555 254 ext 48395
Education schemes email Postal Address: VCES, GPO Box 9998, (Your local city) 7000.
Students in Tasmania or studying overseas:
Telephone (03) 6221 6665 Fax (03) 6221 6602
Interstate or Country Residents 1800 555 254 ext 76665
VCES email Postal Address: VCES, GPO Box 9998, Hobart 7001.
DVA General Enquiries:
Telephone: 133 254 (metro)
Free Call 1800 555 254 (regional callers).