"Veterans and War Widows to Receive Pension Increase"

Veterans and war widows would be better off following the latest increases in veterans' pensions and allowances announced today by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, De-Anne Kelly.

Mrs Kelly said pension rates would rise in line with cost of living adjustments from 20 September, with the benefits to flow through to pension payments from the Department of Veterans' Affairs payday on Thursday 29 September 2005.

"Veteran disability payments will increase by up to $17.40, with the Totally & Permanently Incapacitated (T&PI) rate rising to $816.20 per fortnight, an additional $452.40 over a year," Mrs Kelly said.

"Single service pensioners will receive up to an extra $327.60 a year, with the maximum fortnightly pension increased to $488.90, while couples will have their pensions increased to $408.20 each, an additional $273 each for the year."

"War widows will also benefit from the increase, with their fortnightly pension rising to $513.90, while the ceiling rate of the war widow's income support supplement will rise to $145.50."

The Minister said the increase in pension rates could lead to adjustments in individual payments of the Defence Force Income Support Allowance, paid to eligible veterans and their partners receiving income support benefits through Centrelink. These payments would be paid from the payday on 29 September.