Home' Vetaffairs : Winter 2015 Contents 3 — Vetaffairs Winter 2015
Changes to concession cards
Pensioner Concession Cards (PCC), NSW
War Widow and Widower Transport Con-
cession Cards (TC1) and Victorian War
Widow and Widower Free Travel Vouch-
ers (VTV) issued by DVA will now be valid
for two years.
For those cardholders who receive a
new PCC in October of this year, your card
will be valid until 31 December 2017. TC1s
and VTVs will be issued in November and
will also be valid until 31 December 2017.
This change will align DVA-issued con-
cession cards’ validity to the same period
as cards issued by the Department of
You can still request a replacement
card from DVA if your card is lost or dam-
aged within the two year period.
Commonwealth Seniors Health Cards
(CSHC) will continue to be valid for one
year, issued in November. This is due
to the indexation of income limits for
CSHC eligibility on 20 September each
year. The indexed income limits will be
provided on the information sheet that
accompanies the card.
Holders of a TC1 will also notice a
change in the appearance of the card with
a watermark security feature included.
The new design will more closely align
with the PCC and CSHC, which means
‘Conditions of Use’ on the back of the
TC1 will be moved to the information
sheet that accompanies the card.
DVA concession cards will now include
a Unique Identification Number (UIN)
in addition to your DVA File Number.
This will assist concession providers to
quickly and correctly determine your eli-
gibility for concessions.
There will be no changes to how you
prove your eligibility to concession pro-
viders. Concession providers will tell you
what proof they need.
Your DVA fridge magnet calendar
will be included with your next issue of
Vetaffairs, rather than with the issue of
For more information on DVA conces-
sion cards call 133 254 or from regional
Australia free call 1800 555 254.
The 2015 Budget for veterans contin-
ues to deliver on the Government’s
commitment to recognise the unique
nature of service and is part of the
Government’s plan to build a strong,
safe and prosperous future for all
We noted the strong views of the
veteran and ex-service community
about the changes to indexation pro-
posed last year. The Government has
listened and is acting on that feedback.
We will continue to index service pen-
sions, war widows pensions, income
support supplement, veteran disability
pensions (including the Special Rate or
Totally and Permanently Incapacitated
[TPI] pension), wholly dependent part-
ner payment and special rate disability
pension against the greater of three
Despite an overall reduction in DVA
clients, we are seeing increased num-
bers of claims from veterans of recent
wars who have multiple conditions,
including at least one mental health
condition. The DVA Budget for mental
health will remain uncapped and be
driven by demand from clients.
Swift resolution of claims is a vital
part of early intervention. Progress
has been made and we recognise that
we need to continue to focus on mak-
ing further reductions to claim times
as earlier intervention leads to better
long-term health outcomes for our vet-
The 2015 Budget includes an addi-
tional $10 million, which will allow
DVA to recruit extra claim coordina-
tors to ensure that we can continue
to meet the needs of our clients in a
Validation of service and sacrifice is
important to the mental health and
wellbeing of contemporary veterans
and currently serving men and women.
It was extremely pleasing to see
the high turnout at dawn services in
Australia and overseas as Australians
from all walks of life came together
to honour and remember the origi-
nal ANZACs and the brave men and
women who have continued their leg-
acy of service over the last 100 years.
We owe all of these fine men and
women a great debt of gratitude, par-
ticularly the 102,000 who have paid the
In August 2016, Australians will
commemorate the 50th anniversary
of the Battle of Long Tan, one of the
most significant of the Vietnam War,
recognising not only the courage and
achievement of those involved, but
also the role of Australia’s servicemen
In 2016, the Australian Government
will introduce or support a range of
commemorative activities and ini-
tiatives to recognise this battle and
Australia’s involvement in the conflict.
A national commemorative service
is being planned in collaboration with
the Vietnam Veteran community, to
be conducted in August 2016 at the
Australian Vietnam Forces National
Memorial on Anzac Parade in Canberra,
a memorial dedicated to Australians
who served, suffered and died in the
Travel allowances increase
From 1 July 2015, travel allowances for trans-
port, meals and accommodation under
DVA’s Repatriation Transport Scheme will
increase in line with CPI.
The increases apply to travel by private
vehicle as well as accommodation and meal
allowances in respect of travel for treatment
purposes or disability and income support
claims for all eligible veterans, war widows
and widowers (entitled persons).
Gold Card holders and White Card hold-
ers eligible under the Veterans’ Entitlements
Act 1986 (VEA) are entitled to assistance
towards travelling expenses when attend-
ing approved treatment.
For queries about travel allowances
contact Veterans’ Transport Services on
1300 550 454 (for metropolitan areas) or 1800
550 454 (for country areas).
Further information is available on DVA’s
factsheet HSV02 which is available at:
News from the Minister
Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the
Centenary of ANZAC
Special Minister of State
Type of allowance
1 July 2015
Commercial accommodation noncapital
Commercial accommodation capital city
Attendant and veteran sharing
commercial accommodation – shared #
Subsidised accommodation – single#
Private accommodation – single#
Meal Allowance* – more than 50km but
less than or equal to 200km from your
home to the treatment location.
Meal Allowance* – more than 200km
from your home to the treatment
# All accommodation allowances include a daily meal allowance.
A meal allowance is not paid on a day where an accommodation allowance is paid.
From 1 July 2015 the Income Free Areas and Assets Value Limits used to calculate rates of
income support pensions have risen.
The amount of income (per fortnight) that you may receive before your pension is reduced
under the income test.
Single rate (fortnightly) Couples rate – combined
Service or Age Pension
Income Support Supplement
(war widow(er)’s pension is included in
* different limits apply if assessed under
The maximum value of assets you can have before your pension is affected.
Service or Age Pension
Couples rate – combined
Income Support Supplement
* different limits apply if assessed under transitional rules
The deeming thresholds have also increased. This means that the value of financial assets
deemed to be earning the lower rate of 1.75 per cent has risen. The higher deeming rate of
3.25 per cent is applied to the balance of financial assets over these thresholds. The Singles
rate is now $48,600 and the Couples rate (combined) is now $80,600.
Some payments under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) also
increased, including the following.
New rate (weekly)
Maximum Permanent Impairment amount
Maximum rate of Household Services
Maximum rate of Attendant Care Services
Dependent eligible young person
A full list of the new rates is available from the DVA website in the CLIK tool under the
Tools and Calculators heading. For further information contact DVA on 133 254 or from
regional Australia free call 1800 555 254 or visit www.dva.gov.au
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