Welcome to DFWA

Welcome to the
Defence Force Welfare Association (DFWA)


We exist simply to foster the best interests and wellbeing of all members of the Australian Defence Force and their families in any matter likely to affect them during or after their period of service.

Read more about us at ABOUT / BACKGROUND

We are also a member of the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations (ADSO), which comprises many of Australia's major military ex service organisations (ESO). The Alliance represents a significant number of members of Australia's Defence Family on national advocacy and representative matters to the Australian Parliament and all political parties. Its aim is to promote and protect the conditions and well-being of the Defence Family that embraces over three million people.


as a CURRENT NEWS item becomes stale, it is transferred either to "ARCHIVED CURRENT NEWS" or into one of the CURRENT ISSUES (see list at left of page)  

6 June 2019 - ABC News: 'An act of bastardry': Veterans fight ATO over tax on medical discharge benefits.  Three former Australian soldiers take the Australian Tax Office to court over tax taken out of their medical discharge benefits. See the 7 May post below and see the ABC 7.30 Report here.

20 May 2019 - INQUIRIES INTO THE DFRDB.  The Commonwealth Ombudsman has announced an “own motion’ or internal investigation limited to the accuracy of information provided to DFRDB scheme members by scheme administrators, particularly in relation to commutation.  This follows the Minister for Veterans' Affairs announcing on 25 March an Inquiry into the DFRDB.  The Ombudsman has called for submissions from scheme members in relation to commutation – remember this is the limit of its investigation.  Read more on these two matters, including how to complete the Ombundsman's questionairre, at Current Issues/DFRDB.  DFWA encourages as many members completing the form as possible.

7 May 2019 - FACELESS BUREAUCRATS CHANGE THE LAW TO BEAT WOUNDED VETERANS IN COURT.  Veterans medically discharged, including all those with mental health wounds and at risk of self-harm, can receive an Invalidity Benefit from their superannuation scheme.  The Australian Tax Office (ATO) taxes these variable payments as ordinary income rather than at the lower rates that can be applied to superannuation fund disability benefits.  Since 2015, Veterans have been trying to get the ATO to justify their position and advise what law they are using to treat their invalidity payments this way.  In 2018, Veterans had the Administrative Appeals Tribunal consider this matter.  On 7 December changes to the law, backdated to 2007, were made to fix the shoddy ATO argument….. in other words, the rules and the goalposts were changed at half-time by the faceless bureaucrats.  

There will be limited time after the election for the Senate or the House of Representatives to pass a Disallowance Motion negating the retrospective changes affecting the case being heard.  Read more on this matter, including what you can do, on the DFWA website under Current Issues or contact the DFWA spokesperson, John Lowis, on 02 5104 3106 or info@badretrolaws.org

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