$407M FOR VETERANS IN ESS PAYMENTS
Thursday, 18 December 2008

Released on behalf of Minister for Veterans' Affairs - Media Release VA125

Today more than 325,000 members of the veteran community receive $407 million in payments from the Rudd Government. The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Alan Griffin said the payments were being made as part of the $10.4 billion Economic Security Strategy (ESS).

“The Rudd Government is committed to ensuring a brighter outlook for pensioners in 2009 by strengthening and stimulating our economy with payments worth more than $407 million to the veteran community,” Mr Griffin said.

“These payments build on existing support, provide financial assistance for veterans in the week before Christmas, and act as a down payment on comprehensive reform of the pension system.”

Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) beneficiaries receive the lump sum payment if they were eligible for particular payments or concession cards through DVA or Centrelink on 14 October 2008.

This includes service pensioners, those receiving income support supplement or age pension paid by DVA under social security law. These pensioners and those who hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card or are Veterans Gold Card holders eligible for Seniors Concession Allowance, will receive a one-off lump sum payment of $1,400 for singles and $1,050 each for eligible member of a couple.

There are other ways members of the veteran community can receive a payment under the Economic Security Strategy. For example, a veteran whose child receives a benefit under the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme will also receive an additional $1000 per child. Those caring for a veteran and receiving the Carer’s Allowance from Centrelink, will also receive $1000 for each eligible person they care for.

Payments are non taxable and will not be included for income testing purposes.

For more information about the ESS and payments to veterans, visit:

http://www.dva.gov.au/economic_security_strategy_payment.htm

For payment enquiries: 133 254.

Media inquiries: Laura Ryan 0437 863 109

The VVCS - Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 011 046.

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