DVA Compensation Pension Income Support Supplement
The Commonwealth pays DVA Compensation Pensions and the Income Support Supplement, ISS, to veterans who suffered health problems as a result of active service facing the enemy. The surviving spouses of veterans who died from war related causes are eligible for the DVA War Widow, or Widower, Pension. If the DVA Compensation Pension recipient has little other income or assets then the Income Support Supplement could be payable in addition to the DVA Disability Pension or the DVA War Widow Pension.
DVA Disability Compensation Pension and DVA War Widow Compensation Pension
Veterans who were injured and/or experience health problems related to their active service facing the enemy could be paid a DVA Disability Pension. The DVA Disability Pension is a compensation payment.
The amount of the DVA Disability Pension depends on the extent of the disability suffered. DVA assess the level of disability and the extent to which it could have been caused by active service whilst facing the enemy.
The surviving spouse of a veteran whose death could be attributed to health problems arising from active service could be granted a DVA War Widow Pension. The DVA War Widow Pension is payable at a flat rate which is higher than the full rate of Age Pension.
The DVA Disability Pension and the DVA War Widow Pension are forms of compensation for the loss of health and life attributable to active service in a conflict zone. Therefore the DVA Disability Pension and the DVA War Widow Pension are not means tested.
DVA Disability Compensation Pension and the DVA War Widow Compensation Pension Income Support Supplement
An elderly recipient of the DVA War Widow Compensation Pension might consider applying for an Age Pension on the basis that at Centrelink her assessable assets and her assessable income including her DVA War Widow Pension, are below the cut-offs for an Age Pension.
Rather than have the DVA pay the War Widow Compensation Pension and Centrelink pay a part Age Pension to the same elderly lady, DVA could pay an additional means tested amount, the Income Support Supplement.
The DVA Pension Income Support Supplement, ISS, is payable to DVA Disability Compensation Pensioners and War Widow Compensation Pensioners who have assessable assets and income below the cut-off levels for a part Age Pension. For the purposes of the ISS assessment, assessable income includes the amount of the War Widow or Disability Pension actually payable.
The maximum rate of ISS including Supplements, payable is $256.00 per fortnight for a Single Pensioner at October 2014. The amount of ISS payable is reduced by the means tests so that no ISS is payable if the DVA Pensioner would have been excluded from the Age Pension.
As at October 2014, a DVA War Widow could receive the full rate of ISS if she had $460.40 per fortnight of other income together with a War Widow Pension of $868.00 per fortnight including Supplements, provided that the Asset Test did not disqualify her. Her ISS rate would reduce by 50 cents per fortnight for each additional one dollar per fortnight of assessable income.
The Assets Test would reduce her ISS rate by $1.50 per fortnight for each $1,000 of assessable assets in excess of $738,000, or $591,000 if she also owns her home.
DVA Service Pensions
Veterans with Qualifying Service are eligible for a DVA Service Pension. The Service Pension is payable at the same rates and subject to the same financial means testing as the Age Pension from Centrelink. The qualifying age for a Service Pension is five years earlier than for an Age Pension in recognition of the impact of working in a conflict zone has had on the veteran’s general health.
Financial Care Services offers Short Consultations to help you check your financial position against the means tests for an Service Pension or ISS in addition to a DVA Disability or War Widow Pension.
If you think that you might be eligible for a part Service Pension or ISS in addition to a DVA Pension you can call Christine on 03 9808 0338 to arrange a Short Consultation, 45 minutes in person or by telephone and/or email to discuss your potential Service Pension or ISS position. Please ask for a special ‘short consultation’ when you book your appointment.
Christine at Financial Care Services also engages with clients approaching retirement to plan their retirement finances. Call Christine on 03 9808 0338 to book an appointment to discuss your long term planning for when you no longer earn an income from work.
DVA Health Care Cards Concession Cards for DVA Pensioners
DVA Service Pensioners are issued with Pensioner Concession Cards.
Pensioner Concession Cards are issued to DVA Disability and War Widow Compensation Pensioners who are entitled to some Income Support Supplement payments. Thus DVA Disability Pensioners and War Widow Compensation Pensioners with limited other resources, are eligible for the concessions on utility bills and other ‘pensioner discounts’ available to Centrelink Pensioners.
DVA War Widow and Widower Compensation Pensioners are issued with DVA Gold Health Care Cards. More severely disabled veterans are also issued with the Gold Cards. The DVA Gold Card covers all medical and allied health treatments for the full range of conditions.
However, some DVA Disability Compensation Pensioners are issued with DVA White Health Care Cards which cover the costs of treatment of only the conditions specified for that DVA Disability Pensioner.
DVA Disability Pension and DVA War Widow Compensation Pensioners in residential aged care
The fees for permanent residence in Commonwealth regulated aged care includes a means tested fee for accommodation and care. The Means Tested Amount includes an Income Component of 50% of the care recipient’s income in excess of the maximum income of a recipient of the full rate of Age Pension.
The DVA Service Pension, DVA Disability Compensation Pension, DVA War Widow Compensation Pension and any Income Support Supplement, count as assessable income for the purposes of calculating the Income Component of the Means Tested Amount for the means tested residential aged care fees.
A DVA War Widow with limited assets would expect to have a total assessable income significantly more than the maximum income of a full rate of Age Pensioner. Thus a recipient of the DVA War Widow Pension would expect to contribute to the costs of her aged care accommodation and possibly part of her care costs also.
Financial Care Services is an independent aged care financial advisory service specialising in aged care entrants and DVA or Centrelink Pensions. Christine at Financial Care Services understands both the DVA Pensions and ISS systems and the Commonwealth aged care fee arrangements.
A consultation with Financial Care Services helps you understand your potential aged care costs and the DVA implications of rearranging your assets or selling the former home. Call Christine on 03 9808 0338 to make an appointment for a consultation.
Financial Care Services is licensed to offer investment strategy advice and to assist you to invest. Financial Care Services charges fees based on the work involved in advising you and arranging your investments. Financial Care Services does not base fees on the value of your assets nor do we accept any commissions or payments from other service providers.
If you would like further confidential, independent and professional advice about DVA, Centrelink, lifestyle or financial issues please contact Christine Hopper 03 9808 0338.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is of a general nature only and does not constitute “financial advice”. You should obtain your own personal financial advice before investing any money or moving in to any retirement village, lifestyle community or aged care facility. Financial Care Services is licensed to provide financial advice to individual clients based on their personal situations. © 2014 Financial Care Services Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.