Veterans with disabilities to gain from new allowances
Posted on Thursday, 4 March 2004
Member for Pearce Judi Moylan represented the veterans community in a move to improve the Government response to the Clarke report.
Ms Moylan recently met with the Returned Services League WA President Bill Gaynor and Vice-President Ross O’Connor and supported their recommendations to the Government on the Clarke report.
She expressed strong views urging the Government to act on Clarke recommendations and the Government has responded positively. She said war widows and pensioners with disabilities would benefit greatly from the following changes:
• A portion of disability pension above the general rate will be indexed to MTAWE in a similar fashion to the service pension. The Government agreed to help those veterans who no longer work because of service disabilities and agreed they should have the economic loss component of their disability pension maintained in line with a wage index;
• a new allowance will be introduced in September for eligible veteran disability pensioners who receive Centrelink support to put them in line with Department of Veterans Affairs support. The new allowance will be called the Defence Force Income Support Allowance;
• more than 19,000 disability pensioners who receive their income support from Centrelink will benefit from changes and will receive on average $40 extra per week. Totally Permanently Incapacitated recipients on an aged pension with no other income, will be eligible to receive an extra $257.60 a fortnight;
• rent assistance will be paid to eligible war widows, those who are receiving benefits from Department of Veterans Affairs, in addition to the Income Support Supplement. She urged those still on Centrelink benefits to move to DVA to take advantage of the change; and
• there are changes to improve Gold Card accessibility.
Ms Moylan is very grateful to Mr Gaynor and Mr O’Connor for their input and for all the people who expressed their views to her.
“We have a great responsibility to our war veterans and I’m very happy with the responsiveness of the Government and would like to thank Bill Gaynor and Ross O’Connor of the Returned Services League in Western Australia for their support,” she said.