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War Pensions and Sickness Benefits

Veteran's Pension is an income support payment, paid at the same rate as New Zealand Superannuation. The Veteran's Pension is taxed but not asset tested.

Unlike Superannuation, Veteran's Pension payments are not reduced should a veteran require long term hospital care.

Eligibility

A veteran, who has reached the qualifying age for New Zealand Superannuation, may qualify for a Veteran's Pension if the veteran has served in a recognised war or emergency and is in receipt of a War Disablement Pension of at least 70 percent.

A veteran, who has not reached the qualifying age for New Zealand Superannuation, may qualify for a Veteran's Pension if the veteran has served in a recognised war or emergency, and is unable to work for a substantial period due to either a physical or psychological disability.

Community Services Card

Veteran's Pension confers an automatic entitlement to a Community Services Card for both the veteran and the Veteran's partner.

Funeral Grant

Veteran's Pension gives entitlement to a lump sum payment on the death of the veteran and a lesser amount on the death of the partner. This payment can be made only if there is a surviving partner, or a dependent child. The lump sum payment is in lieu of a Social Security Funeral Grant.

Undertaking Work for Veterans who have not reached the qualifying age for New Zealand Superannuation.

Veterans who have not reached the qualifying age for New Zealand Superannuation, and who are in receipt of a Veteran's Pension have the opportunity to recommence work without losing their entitlement to Veteran's Pension.

Veterans who undertake voluntary work are able to do so without it affecting their rate of Veteran's Pension.

Veterans who undertake paid work can do so but their employment income will reduce the amount of Veteran's Pension paid. There is no limit to the number of hours a veteran can work.

How Income Will Affect the Veteran's Pension Payments

If a veteran chooses not to include the Veteran's partner, the veteran will receive the half-married rate of Veteran's Pension and the partner's income will not be counted. If the veteran is working, only the Veteran's employment income will affect the rate of Veteran's Pension paid.

A veteran may choose to include the Veteran's partner, in which case all income they both receive will affect the rate of Veteran's Pension paid.

Veterans will be able to earn income of up to $80 per week with no affect on the rate of Veteran's Pension. Income between $80 and $180 will reduce the Veteran's Pension by $0.30 for every dollar earned, and income over $180 will reduce the Veteran's Pension by $0.70 for every dollar earned over $180.

Examples of the Impact of Abatement

Example One - Partner is not included in the Veteran's Pension

so only employment income for the veteran is assessed

Example based on a veteran securing part time employment and working 12 hours per week at a rate of $12 per hour. Gross wage is $144 per week.

Calculation for income under $180.00
Veteran's gross wage  $144.00
 
Less exemption  $ 80.00
 
Excess income  $ 64.00
Deduction (x $0.30)  $ 19.20

Therefore the gross Veteran's Pension rate would be reduced by $19.20 per week.

Example Two - Partner included so all income assessed

Example based on a veteran securing part time employment and working 20 hours per week at a rate of $12 per hour. Gross wage of $240 per week. The couple also have income from interest, government superannuation fund and the partner working.

Calculation for income over $180.00
Veteran's gross wage  $240.00
Other income  $ 90.00
Total income  $330.00
Less exemption  $ 80.00
Excess income  $250.00
 
First deduction (income of $80-$180)  $ 30.00 ($100 x $0.30)
Second deduction (income over $180.00)  $105.00 ($150 x $0.70)

Therefore the gross Veteran's Pension rate would be reduced by $135.00 per week.

Example Three - Partner not included (only Veteran's wages assessed)

Example based on a veteran securing full time employment and working 37.5 Hours per week at a rate of $12 per hour. Gross wage of $450 per week.

Calculation for income over $180.00
Veteran's gross wage  $450.00
Less exemption  $ 80.00
Excess income  $370.00
First deduction (income of $80-$180)  $ 30.00 ($100 x $0.30)
Second deduction (income over $180.00)  $189.00 ($270 x $0.70)

Therefore the gross Veteran's Pension rate would be reduced by $219.00 per week. At this rate of deduction a person on a half married rate of Veteran's Pension would be receiving a nil rate per week.

Important

Any changes to your income will affect your rate of Veteran's Pension. In order to avoid any under or overpayments, please advise War Pension Services of any changes in your income as soon as it occurs so that we can limit the inconvenience to you.

For more information contact:
Postal Address: War Pension Services
P O Box 9448
Hamilton
New Zealand
Telephone: 0800 553 003
Fax: 0508 402 402