For Information: Passage of Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment – Exempting Disability Payments from Income Testing and Other Measures

3 Dec 2021

Defence Force Income Support Allowance (DFISA) and Rent Assistance

This Bill enacts the 2020-21 Budget measure to exempt disability payments from the income test under the Social Security Act 1991 from 1 January 2022.

Centrelink payments such as the Age Pension will increase as a result of this, removing the need for DFISA . DFISA will no longer be paid from 1 January 2022.

Veterans and their partners do not need to do anything, the payments will be made automatically.  

The Disability Income Rent Test will be removed so that disability income does not reduce Rent Assistance. This means from 1 January 2022, some veterans will receive more Rent Assistance, or receive Rent Assistance for the first time.

We encourage any Service Pension, Income Support or Veteran Payment recipients who also receive Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) Disability Pension, Military, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) Permanent Impairment or Special Rate Disability Pension (SRDP) and who pay private rent above the following thresholds, to update their rental accommodation details if they have not already done so, in order to receive Rent Assistance.  An SMS was sent last month to those who may be eligible.

Per fortnight @ 20 September 2021 ratesThresholdMaximum Rent Assistance
Couple combined$206.40$134.60
Illness separated (each)$127.60$142.80

They can update their details via MyService or by phoning DVA on 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372). 

If you are eligible, your Rent Assistance payments will be made automatically – apart from updating your rental information, you do not have to do anything.

Rehabilitation Pilot

The Bill also contained amendments to establish a two-year pilot for non-liability rehabilitation.  The pilot is a voluntary program designed to help veterans who have not made a claim for compensation, with access to psychosocial and vocational rehabilitation support.  We will write separately to provide you with more information about the Pilot soon.

Once the Bill receives Royal Assent, these measures will take effect on 1 January 2022. 

Disability Pension name change

The Disability Pension is being renamed the Disability Compensation Payment to better reflect the nature of the payment.  This is a change in name only, and will not change the way the payment is made or how it is treated by other organisations.  The change will take time, so you may see both old and new names for a while.

Wishing you all the best during the Christmas season.

Kind Regards


Liz Cosson AM CSC
Department of Veterans Affairs