Tell us if your circumstances change

Last updated: 
9 January 2020

If you are receiving a means-tested pension, you are obliged to provide information about any changes that could affect either your eligibility for the pension or the rate at which it is paid.

Obligation to notify DVA

If you are informed that you are likely to receive an award, payment or settlement of a compensation claim, you are legally obliged to contact DVA to determine how this payment might affect your pension.

More detailed information about your obligations if you are receiving any kind of DVA payment can be found at:

If you currently receive other DVA benefits or payments and are granted compensation payment

You are obliged to notify DVA if you are already receiving a pension or other benefit and you are awarded compensation under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA) or Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA).

If you already receive a pension including a war widow's/widower's pension or any treatment entitlement, you must inform DVA within 21 days of receiving compensation approval.

If you receive Service Pension or Income Support Supplement, you must notify DVA within 14 days, (28 days if living overseas or receiving a Remote Area Allowance), to ensure the Service Pension is not overpaid.

If you do not inform DVA about a change in circumstance within the legal time periods, you will be asked to pay any overpayment back. 

You can read more information about When to notify us if you receive a compensation payment

If you currently receive any DVA payment and your circumstances change

You can tell us about events or changes to your circumstances that might affect your pension by:

You are legally obliged to contact DVA in writing or telephone to advise of any change in circumstances which may be relevant to compensation payments and any other DVA payments you are receiving. More information about the types of changes you need to report to DVA is included in the You and Your Pension Booklet. The sorts of changes you need to contact DVA about are:

Personal circumstances

You need to inform DVA if your personal circumstances change in a way that may change your eligibility to receive DVA payments, including if:

  • you marry or enter a de facto relationship
  • you are separated and enter a de facto relationship
  • you divorce or separate
  • you reconcile with your partner or commence living on the same property as a separated partner
  • you and your partner have to live apart because of illness or infirmity
  • the person for whom you are a trustee or carer dies
  • a child or student for whom you are receiving benefits leaves your care, stops being a student, starts receiving payments under an education scheme or stops being dependent on you.

Residential circumstances

You need to inform DVA if your residential circumstances change in a way that may change your eligibility to receive DVA payments, including if:

  • you change your address
  • you move to a retirement village, move within your retirement village, or into respite care, residential aged care or another care situation
  • you go overseas
  • you sell or rent your home or leave it for more than 12 month or transfer the title of your home to someone else
  • you are receiving rent assistance and you stop paying private rent, start paying government-subsidised rent, sublet from a government tenant or your rent reduces
  • you receive remote area allowance and you leave your home for more than 8 weeks
  • your intentions to use your home sale proceeds to buy or build a new home have now changed
  • your intentions to use the insurance proceeds (from your damaged/lost home) to acquire a new home or repair your old home have now changed
  • your home sale or home insurance proceeds were exempted assets and you have now acquired a new home or your rebuilt/repaired home is completed.

Pension eligibility

You need to inform DVA if your pension eligibility changes in a way that may change your eligibility to receive DVA payments, including if:

  • you are granted a social security pension or benefit, or pension from some other source
  • you are imprisoned
  • you receive an invalidity service pension or income support supplement on the grounds of permanent incapacity and
    • you commence full or part time work; or
    • you increase your hours of work; or
    • your incapacity from the disability(ies) alone no longer renders you permanently incapable of working.

Financial circumstances

Your individual financial circumstances such as the type of pension you receive, whether you are single or partnered, a home-owner or a non-home owner, and your mix of income, financial assets and non-financial assets all affect your rate of pension.

You need to inform DVA if circumstances change in a way that may change the rate or payability of your DVA payment. Details can be found in You and Your Pension.

Examples of changes that need to be notified to DVA include:

• you gain or dispose of any income and assets
• you deprive yourself of income or assets
• you gift any money or assets
• you start working for yourself or for someone else
• your current earnings increase
• you receive an amount of money or income from an estate
• you receive income from a partnership or sole trader enterprise
• you receive income from a farm or property
• you change your involvement with a company or trust
• you receive income from boarders or lodgers

Contacting DVA

You can find more details on how to contact through the contact DVA webpage.