Changes to Eligibility for Partner Service Pension

From 1 July 2009, eligibility for partner service pension (PSP) for a separated spouse will be paid for a maximum of 12 months from the date of separation unless you have been assessed as a member of an illness separated couple or special domestic circumstances apply. In those cases, PSP will continue to be paid.

Separated partners will have a full 12 month period from the date of their separation from the veteran to make alternative financial arrangements, unless they divorce or enter into a de facto relationship.

Those born on or before 31 December 1945 will remain eligible for the partner service pension.

As is the current situation, couples who are considered to be illness separated will continue to receive partner service pension

Partners in special domestic circumstances will be exempt from cancellation of partner service pension.

Special domestic circumstances are where the couple have separated and the veteran has a psychological or mental health condition recognised by the Department and there was an unsafe domestic environment for the partner and/or children prior to separation.

In order to establish whether special domestic circumstances apply, the partner (only) will be asked to complete a questionnaire.

Where there is supporting information, this should be included and may include documents such as police reports or advice from medical practitioners.

Please note that if partners divorce or the recipient of the PSP enters into a de facto relationship with another person they will lose eligibility and payments will be cancelled. This is the current situation and has not been affected by this legislative change.

The Department of Veterans' Affairs has written to all affected partners, advising of the new changes to partner service pension.

Provided by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
for the Partners of Veterans Association of Australia Inc.