Request a review for income support decisions

Last updated: 
5 March 2021

If you disagree with a decision we have made about certain income support payments or benefits, you have the right to request a review.

A request for a review means that a person who did not make the original decision will look at your claim.

Income support decisions

If you disagree with any of the following decisions, you can request a review using this pathway.

Qualifying service

You can request a review if it was determined that you do not have qualifying service.

Service pension, including Age Service Pension, Invalidity Service Pension or Partner Service Pension

You can request a review of our decision if we:

  • denied your claim for a service pension
  • cancelled or suspended your service pension
  • terminated the suspension of your service pension
  • either increased or decreased the rate of your service pension
  • refused your request to increase the rate of your service pension
  • declined your claim to an advance payment of service pension.

Income support supplement (ISS)

You can request a review of our decision if we:

  • denied your claim for an ISS
  • cancelled or suspended your ISS
  • terminated the suspension of your ISS
  • either increased or decreased the rate of your ISS
  • refused your request to increase the rate of your ISS
  • declined your claim to an advance payment of ISS.

Veteran Payment, including the payment to the partner of a veteran

You can request a review of our decision if we:

  • determined that you are not eligible for a Veteran Payment
  • cancelled or suspended your Veteran Payment
  • terminated the suspension of your Veteran Payment
  • either increased or decreased the rate of your Veteran Payment
  • refused your request to increase the rate of your Veteran Payment.

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC)

You can request a review of our decision if we:

  • refused your request for a CSHC
  • terminated your entitlement to a CSHC.

Financial hardship provisions

You can request a review in relation to a request made under the financial hardship provisions.

Funeral benefits under sections 99 or 100

You can request a review of our decision if:

  • we declined your claim to a funeral benefit for a veteran or a veteran's dependant
  • you disagree with the amount of funeral benefit for a veteran or a veteran's dependant.

Pension Bonus Scheme (PBS)

You can appeal our decision if:

  • you are not happy with the amount of pension bonus we pay you
  • we rejected your pension bonus claim.

Other decisions

Information about appealing an age pension decision is available at the end of this page.

If you disagree with one of our other decisions, you can find information on the following pages:

Steps to requesting a review

If you disagree with the decision we have made, we encourage you to contact us and speak with the person who made the decision. That person can help you to understand why they made the decision.

You can also reach out to an advocate or an ex-service organisation (ESO). Advocates and ESOs may be able to explain the decision, and may be able to assist you with your next steps.

If you think we made the wrong decision, you can apply for a review.

A DVA staff member known as a Review Officer will look at your claim and either affirm (agree with) or set aside (disagree with) the decision. The Review Officer may also ask you for more information.

If you disagree with the Review Officer’s decision, you can apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

You cannot ask the Veterans' Review Board to review an Income Support decision.

Apply for a review

Your application for a review must be made in writing, and must contain the reason or reasons why you are requesting the review.

You can send your application to us by:

  • post, to Department of Veterans' Affairs, Income Support Reviews/Appeals, GPO Box 9998, BRISBANE, QLD, 4001
  • email at GeneralEnquiries [at] dva.gov.au
  • the General Enquiries form

You must apply within 3 months of receiving the letter about the decision. If your request for review is made outside the 3 month period, we may treat it as a new application rather than as an application for review.

Expenses

There are 2 circumstances where we may reimburse you for expenses you incur during the review process. If these situations apply to you, speak to your Review Officer.

Situation one:

If your Review Officer (as a delegate of the Repatriation Commission) summons you to give evidence or produce documents, we may reimburse your travel expenses. We may also reimburse travel expenses for an attendant.

Situation two:

We may reimburse the cost of providing documents (such as reports from doctors or hospitals) if either:

  • the Review Officer grants your claim for qualifying service, service pension, ISS or Veteran Payment
  • a decision to cancel or suspend a service pension, ISS or Veteran Payment is set aside.

Withdrawing a request for review

If you decide to withdraw your request for review, you must do so in writing.

You must also submit the withdrawal request before the Review Officer makes their decision.

If you change your mind, you can still request a review of the original decision, as long as your request is received within the original 3 month period.

Apply to the AAT

If you disagree with the decision a Review Officer has made, you can appeal to the AAT.

Your appeal to the AAT must:

  • be in writing (either a letter or you can use a form available from AAT offices)
  • include a clear statement that you are appealing (for example, "I wish to appeal the decision made by X on Y date")
  • be lodged within 3 months of receipt of the Review Officer’s decision
  • set out your reasons for your appeal (for example, "I am appealing because...")
  • be accompanied by a copy of the decision you are appealing.

Our page on the AAT has more information about the application process.

Age pension decisions

If you are not happy with a decision concerning your age pension that we pay, you can request that an Authorised Review Officer (ARO) to take a fresh look at your case.

These officers are examiners who were not involved in the original decision. They look at disputed decisions and may do any of the following:

  • set aside (disagree with) the original decision
  • vary (change) the original decision
  • affirm (agree with and not change) the original decision.

If you're not happy with the results of the AROs review, you can appeal to the AAT.

Age pension decisions at the AAT

The review of an age pension decision at the AAT is called a 'first review'.

You can apply for a first review any time after the ARO makes their decision.

However, it is best to appeal to the AAT within 13 weeks of being notified of the ARO’s decision. This is because back-pay may not be payable if a successful application for review is lodged more than 13 weeks after the ARO's decision.

Additional support

It can be disappointing and stressful to receive a decision that you don't agree with. If you want or need someone to talk to, you can contact Open Arms- Veterans & Families Counselling Service.

Open Arms is a free service available to serving members, former serving members, and their families. You can call them 24/7 on 1800 011 046.