Hon Judi Moylan

Moylan announces greater benefits for Pearce veterans

Veterans in Pearce will shortly see the benefits of the Howard Government’s $289 million response to the Clarke Review of Veterans' Entitlements following the passage of legislation on 24 June, the Member for Pearce, Judi Moylan, said today. Ms Moylan said with the passage of the Clarke Review Bill, more than 45,000 veterans across Australia who were receiving the Above General Rate disability pension would now have that portion of their pension indexed in a similar way to the service pension. “Veterans receiving the Totally and Permanently Incapacitated pension, the Intermediate Rate and the Extreme Disablement Adjustment will receive a back-payment to 20 March 2004 expected to be on the pay day of 22 July 2004," Ms Moylan said. "For a Totally and Permanently Incapacitated pensioner this back-payment will be approximately $55." More than 19,000 veterans will benefit from the Government’s decision to effectively exempt the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) disability pension from the means test at Centrelink. Ms Moylan said another major initiative was the Defence Force Income Support Allowance (DFISA). Now that the legislation has been passed the DFISA will be paid effective from 20 September 2004, effectively exempting the disability pension from the means test applied to veterans’ income support at Centrelink. The first instalment of DFISA will be made from the DVA payday, 30 September, 2004. Other initiatives include: • increased rent assistance for more than 11,000 war widows/widowers receiving the income support supplement and renting private accommodation will be paid from 1 January 2005; • an ex gratia payment of $25,000 to former Australian prisoners of war held during the Korean War, or their surviving widows, who were alive as at 1 July 2003; • an increase in the maximum funeral benefit from $572 to $1000 to take effect from 1 July, 2004; and • an extension of operational service to personnel involved in minesweeping and bomb clearance operations after World War II, who already have been granted qualifying service. “With the passage of the Clarke Review Bill the Government has delivered on its commitment to the veteran community through addressing a diverse range of very complex issues that go to the heart of our repatriation system in Australia,” Ms Moylan said.

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