Defence Widows / Widowers

DFWA WIDOWS GROUPS

The National Vice-President, Defence Widows is Annette Sadler

Two Branches conduct active widows groups.  Go to the CONTACTS page for ACT and WA Branch information.

  • Annette Sadler Convenes the ACT Branch Defence Widows Group.
  • Shirly Mooney Convenes the WA Branch Defence Widows Group.

If you wish to raise any widows matters in any other branch, you may do so at any time by contacting the Branch concerned.

WAR WIDOWS PENSIONS AND THE NEW ASSETS TEST  (January 2017)

You may have read reports in the media about some widows claiming to have lost their War Widows pension because of recent changes to the assets test. Those reports are inaccurate.

The facts are that the War Widows pension is not means tested and is not affected by changes to the assets test which came into effect on 1 January.  It is therefore not possible for a widow to lose their War Widows pension because of the recent changes.  (Please also note that the changes to asset testing is a Government initiative, not DVA).

However DFWA understand that some War Widows may have been affected by the changes, specifically those widows in receipt of a supplementary pension, which may have been affected as a result of the changes to the assets test.

-    By way of explanation, some widows were offered and elected to receive a lump sum compensation payment instead of an ongoing War Widows pension (this being dependent upon which Parliamentary Act was involved at the time of application).  Such widows then do not receive a War Widows pension, although are still classified as War Widow (and have a DVA Gold Card).  This is because the War Widows pension is classified as compensation and one cannot be compensated twice (because of having received a lump sum).  However - and this is where the confusion lies – they may still qualify for a supplementary pension.  Some widows mistakenly view that supplementary pension as being their "War Widows pension" - it is not, and unlike the full War Widows pension, is subject to asset testing.  Thus, the recent changes to asset testing mean that some widows may had had their supplementary pension affected (but retain their Gold Card).

All widows should be reassured that any widow who is affected by the recent changes to asset testing will have received a letter from DVA some time ago explaining their personal circumstances.

Should you have any questions on this matter or your pension and entitlement payments, contact your DFWA Branch and ask to speak to one of our Pension Advocates.  Of course, please also contact the DVA and/or Centrelink, depending on your personal circumstances, noting that our advice is just that - advice, albeit given in good faith and to the best of our knowledge and understanding

 

HERE, THERE AND AWAY

HERE,THERE & AWAY:  Voices of the families of those who Served, book published 2012.   This is a recently published book by the then Defence Widows Support Group (DWSG) that represents a unique collection of heart-warming and entertaining stories from the families of ex-servicemen of the three branches of the Australian Defence Force.  For more information about this book and how to purchase it, go to PUBLICATIONS.