This page explains what the Education Entry Payment is, who is eligible, and how to apply for payment.
The Education Entry Payment is a payment designed to assist eligible persons, receiving certain payments under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA), with the costs of enrolling in a course of study to develop their skills, obtain a qualification, or to improve their employment prospects.
Only one payment is made in each calendar year. The payment is available to both new and existing students. The annual rate of payment is $208.00 and is taxable.
To be eligible for an Education Entry Payment you are required to meet the conditions contained in both the VEA and the Social Security Act 1991. These conditions are as follows:
You must be receiving one of the following DVA pensions or payments:
- an invalidity service pension; or
- veteran payment;
- an income support supplement (ISS); or
- a partner service pension, if your partner is receiving an invalidity service pension.
In addition you must:
- be under pension age (see the section titled ‘What is pension age?’); and
- be enrolled or intend to enrol in either a full-time or part-time course of education which is an approved course under the Austudy scheme; and
- be qualified to receive the Pensioner Education Supplement (PES) paid by Centrelink; and
- have not already received an Education Entry Payment in the current calendar year.
*Note: - You do not need to be receiving Austudy, but your course must be approved for Austudy purposes.
*Note: - For Education Entry Payment to be paid, it is necessary for a person to be receiving, or be eligible to receive, PES from Centrelink. However, not all DVA clients who are eligible for PES will also be eligible for Education Entry Payment. This is because only people with specified entitlements under the VEA can be paid the Education Entry Payment.
If you are a veteran who receives invalidity service pension you may be entitled to an Education Entry Payment if you are under 60 years of age.
If you are a partner service pension, ISS recipient or veteran payment recipient, you may be entitled to an Education Entry Payment if you are under age pension age. The age pension age will increase by six months every two years until it reaches 67 on 1 July 2023, as per the following table:
|Male and Female Non-Veterans
|If your date of birth is:
||Then your pension age is:
|Before 1 July 1952
|1 July 1952 to 31 December 1953
||65 years and 6 months
|1 January 1954 to 30 June 1955
|1 July 1955 to 31 December 1956
||66 years and 6 months
|On or after 1 January 1957
The PES is a fortnightly Centrelink payment, which provides assistance with ongoing study costs in respect of approved courses of study.
Approved courses of study are wide-ranging and extend to secondary education, TAFE courses, preparatory courses for entry to tertiary education and Bachelor and higher degrees through universities and colleges. Centrelink will confirm whether a course of study is approved or not, when an application is made for PES.
The following DVA clients may be qualified to receive the PES:
- a veteran who is receiving an invalidity service pension,
- a person who is receiving veteran payment,
- a person receiving war widow’s/widower’s pension who has a dependent child,
- a person receiving disability pension who has a dependent child,
- a person receiving income support supplement,
- a person receiving partner service pension whose veteran partner is receiving invalidity service pension,
- a person receiving carer service pension (saved cases),
- a person who has a dependent child and is receiving a pension under part IV of the VEA,
- a former member who has a dependent child and is receiving, or is eligible for, permanent impairment payments or interim compensation payments under the MRCA,
- a former member who has a dependent child and is receiving special rate disability pension under the MRCA,
- a widow/widower of a former member who has a dependent child and is receiving, or has received, wholly dependent partner payments under the MRCA, or
- a widow/widower of a former member who is receiving, or has receiving wholly dependent partner payments under the MRCA, and income support supplement under the VEA.
Centrelink assesses each applicant’s circumstances individually and, in some cases, additional criteria may need to be met before a person can be paid PES.
For more information about PES please call Centrelink on 13 24 90.
*Note: - ABSTUDY PES is not a qualifying payment which attracts Education Entry Payment. If you are receiving ABSTUDY PES we recommend that you contact Centrelink to discuss your options.
Claims for Education Entry Payment must be made in writing and be made in the same calendar year that the Centrelink PES statement was, or would be, issued. You will be required to provide evidence of your eligibility to receive PES when you lodge your claim at your nearest DVA office. This can be in the form of:
- a PES statement; or
- confirmation from Centrelink of your eligibility for PES; or
- an offer of a place in an approved Austudy course; or
- acceptance of a place in an approved Austudy course; or
- a student identity card; or
- a higher education contribution statement; or
- receipt of payment of course fees.
The Veterans’ Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme is a voluntary scheme under the VEA that assists willing veterans, with or without a disability, to find suitable employment. Where assessed as necessary, suitable retraining may be provided which could include assistance with further study. For more information, please see Veterans’ Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme.
Former members of the Australian Defence Force may be eligible for assistance with educational retraining as part of a vocational rehabilitation program under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA) or the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA). For more information, please see Rehabilitation.