A guide to the Disablement, Surviving Spouse or Partner and Veteran's pensions
These entitlements are only available to New Zealand veterans.
- This is a compensatory award for people who have a disability attributable to their service. It is administered by Veteran's Affairs.
- To qualify, you must have have suffered disablement as a consequence of a service-related injury or illness.
For more information, visit the:
Surviving Spouse or Partner Pension
This is a compensatory award for the partners of people who have died from disabilities attributable to service. It is administered by Veterans' Affairs.
The Veteran's Pension is income for veterans who have qualifying operational service or served in a war or an emergency and who have reached the qualifying age for New Zealand Superannuation.
To qualify for a Veteran's Pension, you must have served in the New Zealand Armed Forces in a declared war or emergency and you must also be a legal New Zealand resident and normally live here.
The Veteran's Pension is taxed and is based on your individual situation.
- Payments are made direct to your bank account (this may be a joint account). If you have other income, you may be taxed at a different rate. Please talk with Inland Revenue about this by calling 0800 227 774 (please have your IRD number handy).
- If you have a service-related disablement of 52% or more, a lump sum payment will be paid to either your surviving partner or any dependent children at the time of your death.
- If you have a partner who is getting the Veteran's Pension in his or her own right, you will be paid a lump sum payment upon your partner's death.
- Unlike New Zealand Superannuation, the Veteran's Pension will not reduce if you need long-term hospital care. You will also automatically get the Community Services Card.
- If you have a partner and choose to include your partner in your payments, you will both get paid but any other income either of you receive could affect how much you get as a couple. We can help you work out the best option.
Your documents will need to be photocopied and certified (certification can be done by a Justice of the Peace, solicitor or Work and Income staff member). Please see the checklist at the end of this brochure for what to bring.
Send your application and documents to:
The Veteran’s Pension Centre
PO Box 5515
If you are 65 years of age or older and you do not include your partner, you and your partner's income will not affect the rate of the Veteran's Pension paid. If you include a partner who is under 65 years of age, all income you and your partner receive will affect the rate of the Veteran's Pension paid as follows:
- You can jointly earn up to $5,200 per year with no effect on the rate of Veteran's Pension.
- Income over $5,200 per year will reduce the Veteran's Pension by 70 cents for every dollar earned.
- Any extra assistance you receive will also be affected if you get other income. Deductions vary so please ask us about this.
Declared wars and emergencies
If you believe that you have qualifying service please contact Veterans' Affairs to clarify your eligibility for a pension or other assistance. Call Veterans' Affairs free on 0800 4 VETERAN (0800 483 8372).
Overseas war pensions
You may be able to claim from another country if you live in New Zealand but have a disability that is attributable to your service in the United Kingdom, Australian or Canadian armed forces. We can help you with your claim, or to apply for a review of a pension you may already receive.
To find out more about war pensions from these countries, please contact Veteran's Affairs free on 0800 4 VETERAN (0800 483 8372).
- If you do not qualify for the Disablement Pension from Veterans’ Affairs and your disability was caused after 1 April 1974, you may be able to get help from ACC. Your local ACC office can tell you more about this.
- Any payments you receive from accident insurance, such as ACC, may affect your pension. Please ask us about this.
Tell us about changes
- Your Veteran’s Pension will stop when you die but your partner and family may qualify for other payments, such as the Surviving Spouse or Partner Pension or the War Funeral Grant.
- It is very important your family notifies us when you die so that payments stop. This will help prevent overpayment, which means your family will not have a debt to pay back.
Other financial help
- If you receive the Veteran’s Pension, you are automatically entitled to the Community Services Card. Please ask us about this.
- Depending on your income and circumstances, we may be able to offer extra financial help. Check our Benefits and payments.
What to bring
It’s really important you include everything we need to see with your application. If you are applying for the Veterans Pension and you want your partner included, they need to fill in your application. If you are unsure about any item, please call is on 0800 650 656.
We need to see proof of... You need to bring along... Tick so you don't forget an item Your lawful residence in New Zealand Your New Zealand birth certificate or current New Zealand passport, or other country passport with residence class visa or residence permit, or New Zealand Citizenship Certificate
Your identity Two or more documents supporting your identity. These could include your marriage certificate, bank statements, driver's licence etc.
Note: one of these (or your proof of residence) must be at least 2 years old.
Any name changes you have had Marriage certificate, Civil Union certificate or deed poll papers Your and your partner's bank account number(s) Bank statements with your account number(s) Your and your partner's IRD numbers A form or letter from Inland Revenue Your partner's identity and New Zealand residency 2 documents - one must be their birth certificate or passport Any social security benefit or pension you or your partner get from overseas A letter, statement or payslip showing your payments The medical condition that stops you working (if you are under qualifying age for the Veteran's Pension) An application form with the medical part filled in by your doctor Proof of your combined income for the past 52 weeks Items such as pay slips, bank statements, a letter from your employer(s) Any assets you or your partner own which could earn income Items such as bank statements, share certificates, property valuations Costs and expenses for other allowances Please talk with us about what to bring
By income we mean any income you or your partner get from any source, such as work, regular insurance payments like ACC, investments, business, private pensions, rent or boarders.
By assets we mean anything you or your partner own which you can earn income from such as savings, shares, stocks, loans to others or property you don’t live in.
Contact us if you:
- would like assistance
- aren't sure if you can get assistance
- are struggling to support yourself or your family
- would like more information.