Disablement Pension

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.


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 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:

Applying or transferring


To apply for Disablement Pension, you can:


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:

Getting paid

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.

Having treatment & rehabilitation

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.

Ongoing entitlement

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:

  • temporary
  • 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.

Getting reassessed

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.

Finding out more

One-page summary 

Factsheet (Disablement Pension) [PDF, 121 KB]: summary for printing

Related information

Relevant legislation