Change to DVA Payments Temporary Absence – Portability Rules

DVA has provided the following advice:

 

“In the 2012-13 Budget the Government announced that the portability rules applicable to some Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) and Department of Human Services benefits are to be changed.

 

The portability rules are the policies which govern the effect on a person’s benefits of being temporarily absent from Australia for longer than the “portability period”.  The portability period refers to the period of time that a person receiving certain payments and benefits can be temporarily absent from Australia without losing or having that benefit reduced.  Different portability periods apply to different benefits.

 

Subject to the passage of legislation, from 1 January 2013 all DVA benefits that are currently subject to a 13 week portability period will be subject to a portability period of 6 weeks.  This means that the only DVA benefits that will be affected by the changes announced in the 2012-13 Budget are those which are currently subject to a portability period of 13 weeks.  These benefits are:

  • pension supplement (payable with service pension and may be paid with the income support supplement, depending on the war widow(er)’s income and assets);
  • seniors supplement;
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card; and
  • Clean Energy Advance and Clean Energy Supplement.

There will be no change to the rules governing a benefit if that benefit is currently either:

  • subject to a different portability period (for example, rent assistance is subject to a portability period of 26 weeks); or
  • not subject to any portability period (for example, maximum basic rate of service pension, disability pension – including above General Rate – and the war widow(er)’s pension are not affected by a person’s absence from Australia, either temporary or otherwise).”