Australian Defence Force (ADF) – DVA SRDP vs Incapacity Payments

Veterans who are in receipt of Incapacity Payments from the DVA may receive an offer for the Special Rate Disability Pension (SRDP). 

Once this offer is made you will have 12 months from the offer to advise the DVA if you wish to accept the payment offer and it is vital that you seek advice to help with this.

You will generally be offered this option if you meet the following criteria:

  • You have an injury that is assessed at 50 or more impairment points which is likely to continue

  • You are in receipt of incapacity payments, or would be if it wasn’t reduced by Commonwealth Super offsets

  • And you are assessed as being unable to work more than 10 hours per week with no likely change in this situation.

When faced with this decision it is important for Veterans to seek financial advice form a qualified planner who is familiar with this process and the impacts the different decision will make.

What are Incapacity Payments?

Incapacity payments are compensation for economic loss due to the inability (or reduced ability) to work because of an injury or disease that has been accepted as service related under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) or the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA).

What is the Special Rate Disability Pension (SRDP)?

The Special Rate Disability Pension – SRDP provides an alternative form of periodic compensation (instead of incapacity payments) for people whose capacity for work has been severely restricted because of conditions due to military service on or after 1 July 2004. SRDP is not automatically granted. 

If you are assessed as being eligible for the SRDP, you will be offered the choice between commencing SRDP or continuing to receive incapacity payments.

Further Considerations

Incapacity Payments and the Special Rate Disability Pension (SRDP) are assessed differently by the DVA when it comes to assessing eligibility for invalidity service pension.

What is the Invalidity Service Pension?

Invalidity service pension is an income support payment that can be made to veterans and former members with qualifying service who are permanently incapacitated for work.

Qualifying service includes service that is determined to be warlike service by the Minister for Defence.

How can CTWealth help?

Given the complexities involved with the various DVA entitlements it is essential that you seek appropriate advice on the best choice for you and your family.

Here at CTWealth we have helped many ADF families through this decision process and are happy to help when required.

We offer a complimentary and obligation-free 10 minute phone discussion to explore likely advice needs prior to committing to an initial appointment.  Information discussed will be general advice only.

We are a listed adviser to the ADF Financial Services Consumer Centre linked here.