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As a veteran of the Australian Defence Force you may find you are eligible for compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA).  There are many different forms of compensation payable from DVA and it is important to seek appropriate financial advice to navigate this process.  Our team are here to assist you to ensure that you are able to achieve your goals and to claim the benefits.

Where a former ADF member is approved for a Special Rate Disability Pension (SRDP) they are provided a choice to claim this benefit or instead opt to continue to receive Incapacity Payments.  As this decision cannot be altered at a later stage it is important to seek advice and understand the benefits and downsides of each option and how they may impact your situation.  Specific considerations include taxation treatment of payments and influence on other benefits including family tax benefits and child support payments, future employment consideration, longevity of payments and offsetting. 

Special Rate Disability Pension

The Special Rate Disability Pension provides an indefinite and tax free payment to ADF members who are unable to work in their normal capacity due to service related illness or injury post 1 July 2004.  The rate of SRDP paid is set by DVA however it is important to understand that it can be offset by additional payments you may receive for impairment under MRCA, DRCA, Disability compensation under VEA and also payments from Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC).

Incapacity Payments

Incapacity payments are compensation for economic loss due to the inability (or reduced ability) to work due to an injury or disease which is attributable to service under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) or the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA).

The incapacity payment provides a taxable benefit based upon the loss of earnings from your previous regular earnings and your current actual (or potential) earnings.  The amount of incapacity payment received will be discounted by earnings or payments from other providers including CSC and Services Australia.  Payments will be subject to review and vary over time with potential to reduce further before ceasing entirely at age pension age.

Speaking to an experienced financial planner about your MRCA entitlements can assist you in choosing the appropriate path for you and your family.  Fiducian Canberra have over 20 years of experience supporting Veterans through a range of financial decision making processes and are in a position to ensure you meet your future goals.

Please note the information contained here is general in nature and should not be relied upon.  You should refer to the DVA Social Security Guide for the most up to date information about benefits and also seek comprehensive financial advice prior to making an election. 

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