Australian Defence Force Assistance Trust

If you know someone in the Defence community who is struggling to meet financial commitments as a result of incapacity, death or disability, we may be able to help.

The Australian Defence Force Assistance Trust is a charity helping current and former members of the Australian Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as their families following the death or severe injury of their loved one as a result of service with the ADF, particularly in recent conflicts.

From everyday living expenses to retraining to enter the workforce or specialised medical help, we have flexibility in the assistance we can provide.

Assistance Available

Veterans, Defence members, and their families sometimes struggle to deal with financial burdens which can arise when circumstances change and affect earning capacity, or once existing entitlements no longer provide adequate support.

Some examples of the help available include financial assistance for:

a. Essential living expenses

b. Education or retraining for ADF members, veterans, or their dependents

c. Medical treatment

d. Special needs support

e. Psychological health treatment, including for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

f. Carers' assistance

Reduced Deeming Rates Put Money Back In Veterans’ Pockets

Nearly 60,000 members of the veteran and defence communities will benefit from a decrease to deeming rates, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, announced today.

“The Government will decrease deeming rates from today Monday 4 November, to better reflect returns available to pensioners from financial investments,” Senator Ronaldson said.

The new deeming rate will lower from 2.5 per cent to 2 per cent for total financial investments up to $46,600 for single pensioners or $77,400 for a couple. The upper deeming rate will also decrease, from 4.0 per cent to 3.5 per cent for balances over these amounts.

The first full pension payment calculated using the new deeming rates will be on payday 28 November 2013. The payment on 14 November 2013 will be calculated partly using the previous deeming rates and partly using the new deeming rates.

“The reduced deeming rates will benefit service pensioners and income support supplement recipients who receive less than the maximum rate of pension due to their income. The average increase is around $8.00 per fortnight,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“In addition to this new measure, the Coalition Government has committed to scrap the Carbon Tax and reduce wasteful spending, whilst retaining existing Carbon Tax compensation measures,” Senator Ronaldson said.

Deeming rates are used by the Government to assess pensioners’ financial assets determining their level of service pension or income support supplement. They are applied to the total value of a person’s financial assests, including bank accounts and shares.

For more information on deeming, see the factsheet on the DVA Media Centre or call 133 254 or 1800 555 254 from regional Australia.

Media inquiries: Minister Ronaldson: Brad Rowswell 6277 7820 or 0417 917 796

Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046.