BONUS FOR 326,000 VETERANS' AFFAIRS PENSIONERS
Tuesday, 14 October 2008

released on behalf of Minister for Veterans' Affairs - Media Release VA098

More than 326,000 veterans’ affairs pensioners will receive the Rudd Government’s bonus payment of $1400 for singles and $2100 for couples, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Alan Griffin, announced today. This action is an immediate down payment on long term pension reform.

Approximately $407 million in total will be paid in the fortnight beginning 8 December to all Department of Veterans’ Affairs:

- Service Pensioners;

- Income Support Supplement recipients;

- Commonwealth Seniors Health Card Holders; and

- Gold Card holders, including war widows, over service pension age who receive the Seniors Concession Allowance or Utilities allowance.

Around 4000 people receiving a benefit from the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme will also receive a one off payment of $1000.

People who are receiving Carer Allowance from Centrelink will also receive $1000 for each eligible person they care for.

Payments will be tax exempt and will not be included for income-testing purposes.

“These measures are designed to support veterans and their families on low incomes who are suffering in the current economic climate, while strengthening and stimulating Australia’s economy,” said Mr Griffin. “It was clear to the Government that aged veteran pensioners and others in the veteran community who depend on income support needed financial relief."

"This Government values the contribution veterans have made to Australia, and appreciate that they also need financial support and security". “The $10.4 billion package of measures announced today by the Prime Minister will ensure a healthy economy and future stability for those veterans, as well as the wider community.”

The Government is also closely monitoring the global financial crisis and its impact on the general community. In the last week financial markets experienced a significant fall in share values, resulting in substantial reductions in the value of pensioners’ financial assets.

“I have asked my Department to quickly update its system with the current value of any financial investments, including shares and managed investments, that veteran pensioners might hold, to ensure they are receiving the maximum pension they are entitled to,” Mr Griffin said.

Editor’s note: the attached table lists the pensioners who will receive the bonus payment.

Payment inquiries: DVA 133 254

Media inquiries: Laura Ryan 0437 863 109



Bonus payable to the veteran community:

Eligibility:

- those over pension age and are receiving the utilities allowance or seniors concession allowance.

- those under pension age who are receiving a means tested pension.

Income support/CSHC

Compensation

Treatment card

Over pension age?

Bonus payable?

Service pension

Any

Any

N/A

Yes

Income support supplement

War widow’s pension

Gold

N/A

Yes

SSA pension - age, carer, DSP, wife

Any

Any

N/A

Yes

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

Any

Any

Yes

Yes

Nil

Disability pension

Gold

Yes

Yes

Nil

War widow’s pension

Gold

Yes

Yes

Nil

Nil

Gold

Yes

Yes


Notes

1. The bonus is paid only once per person, regardless of how many ways the person qualifies for the bonus.
2. Veteran pension age applies for all bonuses paid under the VEA.

Pension age:

The pension age for a war widower or male veteran who has qualifying service is 60.
The pension age for a male non-veteran is 65.
Currently, the pension age for a war widow or female veteran who has qualifying service is 58.5.
The pension age for a female non-veteran is 63.5.
Reaching pension age is an eligibility requirement for veteran age service pensioners and CSHC holders.