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Media releases

The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel

MEDIA RELEASE

17 September 2019

More support to former partners of veterans

All recipients of the Partner Service Pension through the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) may now maintain access for at least 12 months after separating from their veteran partner, regardless of their marital status, under legislative changes passed through Parliament today.

Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester said the Government continues to put veterans and their families first and is providing $6.2 million to support changes to the Partner Service Pension, which previously only allowed access to current partners, and married partners after they had separated from a veteran.

"The Government has listened to the views of the ex-service community, in particular those raised through the Female Veterans and Veterans' Families policy forum, to remove the inequity between married and de-facto partners for the Partner Service Pension," Mr Chester said.

"Where the veteran has a mental health condition recognised by DVA and there was an unsafe or abusive domestic environment to the partner or their family prior to separation, former partners will remain eligible to receive the Partner Service Pension until they enter into a new relationship.

"This measure is part of the Government's Fourth National Action Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children and will assist partners who leave an abusive relationship by providing them with financial support.

"Families play a critical role supporting current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and it is vital we look after them too, which includes ensuring all former partners of veterans continue to have access to the assistance they need."

Former partners include de-facto partners of a veteran, someone who was in a registered relationship with a veteran and someone married to, or divorced from, a veteran. For more information about the Partner Service Pension, visit the DVA website.

Free and confidential help is available through Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling, for current and former ADF personnel and their families. Help is available 24/7 by calling 1800 011 046.

ENDS

Media contacts:

Rachel Tharratt: 02 6277 7820
DVA Media: 02 6289 6466

Office of the Hon Darren Chester, Canberra ACT

Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 1800 011 046 or +61 8 8241 4546) or visit www.OpenArms.gov.au