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War Service Gratuity Concerns

12 January 2001

New Zealand veterans of World War Two and the Korean War who believe they may be eligible for a supplementary War Service Gratuity should contact the Office of Veterans' Affairs for an application form, the Minister of Veterans' Affairs Mark Burton said.

"This issue has attracted some attention on talkback radio over the holiday period," Mark Burton said. "It is important that veterans have accurate information.

"The entitlement criteria is complex and is specific to each veteran.

"A War Service Gratuity was paid to those who served during World War Two, at a rate of 2s 6d a day for service outside New Zealand, and 8d a day for service within New Zealand. For veterans returning from Korea, the rate was increased to 3s a day.

"Under the Finance Act (No. 2) 1953, a supplementary payment could be paid if the veteran was receiving a War Disablement Pension and had received a War Services Gratuity of less than ₤200. ($400).

"The amount is dependent on the degree of disablement. For example, if a War Service Gratuity of $150 was paid on discharge and a veteran is now receiving a 50% War Disablement Pension, the gratuity can be supplemented by a one-off payment of $50. (Taking the total gratuity to $200, 50% of the $400 maximum).

"If not already claimed, the Supplementary War Service Gratuity is still available today. However, until recently, no application had been received for more than a decade," Mark Burton said.

"While the sums involved are small, up to a maximum of $400, it is important that all of our veterans are able to access their full entitlement.

"Any veteran of World War Two or the Korean War who has not already received the supplementary payment and who believes they may be eligible, should register their interest with the Office of Veterans' Affairs, phone 0800 483 8372," Mark Burton said.


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