New Zealand Veteran Entitlements
New Zealand's repatriation system is
predicated on the War Pensions Act 1954 which provides for
the formal recognition of the service given to New Zealand
by ex-service men and women and the need to reaffirm the
special status of veterans. As such war pensions and
allowances are viewed as entitlements, rather than as
The War Disablement Pension
A War Disablement Pension is not
compensation for an injury, it is a compensatory payment
designed to counterbalance the impact of a disability that
is attributable to, or aggravated by service, on a veteran’s
quality of life.
War Disablement Pensions are not an
automatic entitlement. Veterans with eligible service in a
recognised war or emergency can apply for a War Disablement
Pension for any current disability that they believe is
attributable to or aggravated by their service. The
disability may occur during service, or it may develop at a
later date as a result of that service.
A War Disablement Pension is granted for
that disability if the disability is deemed attributable to,
or aggravated by, that service.
Eligible service in a recognised war or
emergency is defined by the Minister of Veterans' Affairs
under the provisions of the War Pensions Act 1954. This is
done by the issuing of a declaration specifying the period
of service recognised for War Disablement Pension purposes.
The beneficial evidential requirements
for the award of a War Disablement Pension under the War
Pensions Act 1954 are referred to as the ‘reverse onus of
proof’. This ensures that the decision making process
favours the veteran.
Service personnel with routine service,
service in the armed forces in a non-war or emergency
situation, with service prior to 1 April 1974, when accident
compensation cover was introduced, are also covered by the
War Pensions Act 1954 for death or disability that is
attributable to their service. Members of the Mercantile
Marine are entitled to make application for a War
Disablement Pension for service during World War ll.
War Disablement Pensions are granted
under the War Pensions Act 1954 and the War Pensions
Regulations 1956 and subsequent amendments.
War Disablement Pension Application Form - First Application
[pdf - 98kb]
War Disablement Pension Reassessment Form for Current
Disabilities and Additional Disabilities [pdf - 88kb]
Smoking Questionnaires can be filled in
to assist in providing evidence of a service related smoking
habit for veterans who were supplied with cigarettes by the
New Zealand Government during their service in a war or
emergency. This relates to veterans who have war or
emergency service up until and including Vietnam.
Smoking Questionnaire - Veteran (pdf 43.2kb)
Smoking Questionnaire - Witness (pdf 43.0kb)
Decision Making Process for War
Each claim for a War Disablement Pension
is individually determined with consideration placed upon
the nature and extent of the disability. The War Disablement
Pension is a lifetime entitlement. The amount paid is based
upon the level of disability, and is neither taxed nor asset
tested. The maximum rate for the War Disablement Pension is
100%, however, this may be extended up to 160% in
circumstances where a veteran's quality of life is severely
limited by their disabilities. The War Disablement Pension
does not affect any other social assistance or income a
veteran may receive. This includes ACC, a veteran could be
receiving a War Disablement Pension for service related
conditions and ACC for other conditions that are not caused
by their service. The War Disablement Pensions is annually
adjusted in line with upward movement in the Consumer Price
Decision Making Process for War Disablement Pensions Diagram
Presumptive Lists Information
Presumptive Lists Information Sheet [.doc - 115kb]
Presumptive Lists Information Sheet [pdf - 66kb]
Other Allowances and Concessions
Other allowances and concessions are
available to veterans under the War Pensions Acts 1954.
These include: funeral grants, attendant care allowances,
clothing allowances, travel allowances and concessions,
gallantry award payments, Victoria Cross annuity, war
bursaries and subsidised car loans. It is also of note that
there is nothing to preclude a veteran from accessing social
security benefits outside of the War Pensions Act 1954,
should the veteran meet the respective qualifying criteria.
The Veteran's Pension
The Veteran's Pension is an income
support payment and generally mirrors New Zealand
Superannuation, with added benefits for the veteran.
Veterans over retirement age qualify for a Veteran's Pension
if they have served in a recognised war or emergency and
receive a War Disablement Pension of at least 70%
disability. Veterans under the retirement age, who have
served in a specified war or emergency and who are unable to
work due to mental or physical infirmity (whether related to
their service or not), may also qualify for a Veteran's
Pension. This benefit is taxed but not asset tested. It
confers entitlement to both the veteran and partner to a
Community Services Card (for subsidised health care) and a
lump sum payment if either partner dies. Recent legislative
change now enables those who receive a Veteran's Pension,
but are under retirement age, to undertake paid employment
without losing their entire pension. Payments are not
reduced should a veteran require long term hospital care.
The Veteran's Pension is paid at the same rate as New
Zealand Superannuation and is annually adjusted in line with
upward movement in the Consumer Price Index.
Veteran's Pension Information Sheet
Surviving Spouse Pension
A Surviving Spouses Pension is also
available to the partners of veterans who have died while on
specified service or, if they were in receipt of a War
Disablement Pension of at least 70% when at the time of
death, or their death is attributable to their service.
These payments are not taxed and paid for the surviving
partners lifetime unless they remarry or enter into a civil
union or de facto relationship. All pensions are annually
adjusted in line with the Consumer Price Index.
Surviving Spouse Application Form (pdf 77kb)
Payment to former POWs of Japanese
The Government has available a one off
ex-gratia payment of $30,000 payable to New Zealanders, both
civilian and military, who were held prisoner by the
Japanese during World War II. If an ex-prisoner of war has
died, the surviving spouse may receive payment.
Medical Assistance for Veterans and
Fully funded health care is available to
veterans who are on a War Disablement Pension for
disabilities that are attributable to, or aggravated by,
service. This covers GP visits; specialist visits;
prescription costs; private hospital care if the need is
urgent and there is a waiting list in public hospitals;
treatment from a variety of providers including acupuncture
and osteopathy; and it extends to appliances or equipment
needed to overcome disability and enhance quality of life.
Other forms of treatment may be accepted but are considered
on a case by case basis. As previously stated the Veteran's
Pension automatically grants entitlement to a Community
Services Card for a veteran and partner. This card provides
for lower doctors' fees and prescription costs for
conditions not related to service.
Most recently the
Government announced new plans to provide special assistance
to veteran's children who suffer from Spina Bifida or Cleft
lip or palate. Government also recognised the need to fund
specialist advice, such as genetic counseling, should
veteran's children choose to seek it.
Decision Making Process for War Disablement Pensions
War Pensions Act 1954 requires that a Secretary for War
Pensions be appointed. The Secretary is responsible for the
administration of the War Pension Act 1954. The Secretary is
appointed by the Chief of Defence Force and is a member of
the civil staff of the New Zealand Defence Force.