A Service Pension provides a regular income for people with
limited means. A Service Pension can be paid to a veteran
on the grounds of age or invalidity, and to eligible partners,
widows and widowers. It is subject to an income and assets
The Age Service pension is paid to veterans five years earlier
than the Aged Pension paid by Centerlink. The Invalidity
Service Pension may be granted at any time if the required
criteria are met.
The Service Pension is paid fortnightly, based on daily
entitlements. The rate of Service Pension is adjusted twice
yearly, in March and September, in line with movements in the
cost of living and/or the average wage.
A Service Pension is payable to eligible veterans, their
partners, widows and widowers. For Service Pension
purposes, a veteran is a person who has qualifying
service. The criteria for qualifying service is not the
same as war or defence-caused disability pension requirements.
Eligible veterans include:
- Australian veterans;
- Commonwealth veterans;
- Allied veterans;
- Australian war-time mariners; and
- Allied mariners.
You are eligible for the Service Pension if you are a veteran
- has qualifying service - generally those who have served
in operations against the enemy and incurred danger
from hostile forces; and
- meets the residency requirements - that is, a resident
of Australia, present in Australia at the time of
lodging the claim for service pension.
Commonwealth, Allied veterans and mariners must have
been an Australian resident for at least 10 years,
although there are some exceptions.
- is of service pension age -60 years for males and 55.5
for females; or
- is permanently blind or is permanently unable to work
and meets the criteria of permanent incapacity to
You cannot receive a Service Pension from the Department of
Veterans' Affairs in addition to an Age Pension or any other
social security pension or benefit (except child-related
payments) from Centrelink.
Income and assets may make the individual ineligible for a
Service Pension, and you must meet the income and assets test.
Partner Service Pension may be paid to partners who are:
- legally married to and living with a veteran;
- legally married to but separated from a veteran;
- living in a marriage-like relationship with a veteran
and the veteran is receiving or is eligible to receive
the Service Pension.
Partners are eligible if they:
- are at least 50 years of age; or
- have dependent children; or
- the veteran receives the T & PI disability pension.
Partner Service Pension is also payable to widows and widowers
of veterans who were receiving or were eligible to receive
Service Pension at the time of the veteran's death.
There are a number of allowances payable to eligible
- Pharmaceutical Allowance - payable to all service
pensioners to assist with the cost of prescriptions;
- Rent Assistance - payable to service pensioners who pay
private rent for their accommodation, subject to
minimum rent limits;
- Remote Area Allowance - payable to service pensioners
who live in designated remote areas of Australia;
- Telephone Allowance - payable to service pensioners who
are telephone subscribers;
- Child-related Payments - paid by Centrelink to service
pensioners with dependent children.
After you apply for Service Pension, DVA will determine your
qualifying service and then work out how much Service Pension you
will receive, depending upon your income and assets.
When a decision is made, you will be notified in
writing. This will include the date of grant and the amount
of Service Pension you will receive. Your Pensioner
Concession Card will be issued at the same time.
DVA will also advise if you are eligible for a Gold Card for
medical treatment. If you are eligible, the Gold Card will
be posted separately 4 to 6 weeks later.
If your claim for Service Pension is not approved, or you are
not happy with the rate of the Service pension, you have the
right to ask that DVA review the decision. You must do this
within three months of receiving the letter notifying you of the
decision. The decision will be reviewed by a Reviewing
Officer. Your request for a review must set out in writing
your reasons for seeking the review.
If you are unhappy with any aspect of the Review
Officer's decision, you may apply in writing to the
Administrative Review Tribunal (previously the Administrative
Appeals Tribunal) for a review of that decision. Your
application should set out in writing the reasons for your
appeal, and should be lodged within three months of receipt of
the Review Officer's decision.
When applying for a Service Pension you must supply your Tax
File Number as well as other relevant proof of identify documents
such as birth certificates and marriage certificates.
We strongly recommend that if you are going to make a Service
Pension claim, you should consult an ex-service organisation,
(that you have confidence in), who have pension officers that
have competed the Training Information Program,
For further information on applying for the Service Pension,
contact your nearest DVA office or visit their web site at www.dva.gov.au and look up fact
The Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia can assist any
veteran of any conflict, their widow/er's and
children by providing advice and assistance in regard to all
pensions matters. Simply contact your nearest sub-branch.