Disability Pension changes
From 1 January 2022, pending passage of legislation, the DVA Disability Pension will be removed from the income test for Social Security payments.
This will simplify the way income support payments are calculated, indexed, and administered by DVA and Services Australia. The initiative will exempt the Disability Pension from the Social Security Act 1991 income test and the rent assistance test under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986.
As part of these changes Disability Pension will be re-named ‘Disability Compensation Payment’ to better reflect the nature of the payment.
The Defence Force Income Support Allowance (DFISA) will no longer be paid because the Disability Pension will not reduce income support payments from Centrelink and Age Pension from DVA. These payments to affected Disability Pension recipients and their partners may increase.
DVA Disability Pension will no longer affect the Rent Assistance of Service Pension, Income Support Supplement and Veteran Payment recipients.
This means that Disability Pension recipients and their partners may receive increased Rent Assistance payments, or receive Rent Assistance for the first time if they are renting privately.
DVA will contact you towards the end of 2021 if you may become entitled to Rent Assistance to invite you to update your accommodation details so that your Rent Assistance is calculated on up to date information. You can update your details online using MyService via myGov. If this is not possible, you can contact DVA via phone 1800 VETERAN or email. You will need to provide evidence of the rent you pay.
Rent Assistance is payable to Service Pension, Income Support Supplement and Veteran Payment recipients who pay rent of more than the rent threshold of, as at 1 July 2021, $125.80 (singles) and $203.60 (couples combined) per fortnight.
You cannot receive Rent Assistance if you live in state or territory government public housing.
If you or your partner already receive Rent Assistance with a Family Tax Benefit payment from Services Australia, you will not be eligible for Rent Assistance from DVA as well.
For more information, go to the DVA website's Rent Assistance and DFISA pages (on introduction of legislation). More information will be provided in the next edition of Vetaffairs.