If you’re a New Zealand veteran with a service-related illness or injury, you may qualify for this support payment. You don’t need to be living in New Zealand.
- Applying or transferring
- Getting paid
- Having treatment & rehabilitation
- Ongoing entitlement
- Getting reassessed
- Finding out more
Qualifying from War Disablement Pension
If on War Disablement Pension, you can transfer your accepted illnesses and injuries to Disablement Pension.
Qualifying in other situations
Otherwise, to qualify for Disablement Pension you must have:
- qualifying service for Disablement Pension; and
- an illness or injury linked to that service.
Qualifying service for Disablement Pension is service in any of these situations:
- before 1 April 1974
- with Civilian Surgical Team in Qui Nhon (Viet Nam), before 31 March 1975
- with 41 Squadron in Viet Nam, before 21 April 1975.
You may qualify for Permanent Impairment Compensation instead, if you have:
- Qualifying Operational Service [PDF, 229 KB] later than this; and
- permanent impairment from illness or injury linked to that service.
To apply for Disablement Pension, you can:
- apply for Disablement Pension (new entitlement) [PDF, 633 KB] if you don’t already have Disablement Pension
- apply for Disablement Pension (new condition) [PDF, 475 KB] if you already have Disablement Pension, but want new illnesses or injuries included.
Transferring (from War Disablement Pension) [PDF, 88 KB] to Disablement Pension:
- won’t normally reduce your existing support; but
- may, in specific situations, affect entitlement for your family.
If your existing support, or your family’s entitlement, could be reduced by you transferring, we’ll discuss with you first.
To transfer to Disablement Pension, you can:
- apply to transfer (new condition) [PDF, 475 KB] if seeking to include new illnesses or injuries (must be linked to qualifying service for Disablement Pension)
- apply to transfer (no new condition) [PDF, 302 KB] if not seeking to include new illnesses or injuries.
Payment based on whole-person impairment
Payment rate for Disablement Pension is normally based on overall whole-person impairment. Pension-payments are awarded if this is assessed as at least 5%.
We calculate your overall whole-person impairment rating by:
- awarding an impairment rating for each accepted illness or injury; then
- combining these.
When a new illness or injury is added, your:
- overall whole-person impairment is recalculated—may change or stay the same
- payment rate may (or may not) change—depends on how your overall whole-person impairment rating has been affected.
Payment in special treatment situation
Disablement Pension may be paid at maximum rate if, to have treatment, you need for at least 1 day a week to:
- live away from home; or
- take leave from work.
The increase is paid while the situation lasts (but doesn’t affect your assessed whole-person impairment level).
Payment in terminal illness or injury situation
You can apply for terminal entitlement [PDF, 382 KB] if your accepted illness or injury becomes terminal (impairment level need not have changed).
Terminal entitlement is paid as either Disablement Pension at maximum rate, or Terminal Lump Sum. The lump-sum option gives you:
- one-off payment, worth 12-months’ Disablement Pension at maximum rate; then
- Disablement Pension again, at maximum rate, if you survive the 12-month period.
For your accepted injuries and illnesses, you may access funding for:
You must take part in rehabilitation if we find you:
- are able to; and
- have rehabilitation needs.
Start of entitlement
Your Disablement Pension is paid from day we got your fully-completed application.
Status of accepted illness or injury
Your illness or injury may be accepted as either:
- permanent (stable or unlikely to improve).
End of entitlement
Entitlement ends if you:
- fail to have reassessment by set date (for temporary illness or injury only)
- recover from your illness or injury (as confirmed by medical opinion)
- go to prison
- pass away (entitlement ends 28 days after your death).
We may also suspend or cancel entitlement if you don’t meet your rehabilitation responsibilities. We must give you notice before doing so.
Reassessment of temporary illness or injury
Your temporary illness or injury must be reassessed by a set date. (This is usually within 12 months of grant-date or last reassessment).
Reassessment of permanent illness or injury
You can apply for reassessment [PDF, 475 KB] of your permanent illness or injury if:
- at least 2 years have passed since grant-date; or
- you’ve evidence it’s changed significantly.
Where we’ve evidence of significant change, we may reassess even without an application from you.
Outcome of reassessment
Outcomes of reassessment may include:
- change in overall whole-person impairment rating (may affect payments)
- change in status of illness or injury, from temporary to permanent (or the other way)
- date for further reassessment
- end of entitlement, if you’ve recovered.
Factsheet (Disablement Pension) [PDF, 121 KB]: summary for printing
- Medical Travel: if you need to travel for assessment, treatment or rehabilitation
- Weekly Income Compensation: if your illness or injury stops you working full-time
- Veterans' Independence Programme: if you need support to stay independent in your home
- Reviews: if you disagree with a decision to do with whether you qualify
- Veterans' Support Act (external link) (NZ Legislation website): sections 27–29, 38–40 & 47–57; and Schedule 1, clause 6