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Helping to ease the cost of education for veterans' families



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Monday, 21 January 2013 VA003

HELPING TO EASE THE COST OF EDUCATION FOR VETERANS’ FAMILIES

The families of eligible veterans and former serving members will receive extra financial support to help their kids start the school year with the first payment of the Schoolkids Bonus.

The payment is going out to 1.3 million families, including to veterans’ families with about 1,850 primary and high school students.

Families and school students who are in receipt of an education allowance under the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme (VCES) or the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme (MRCAETS) will benefit from these new payments.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Warren Snowdon said beginning a new school year can often be an expensive venture for families.

“The Schoolkids Bonus helps parents buy uniforms, shoes, school books and stationery, as well as covering other costs like school excursions, music lessons and sports registration fees,” Mr Snowdon said.

“It will help lighten the load for families with back-to-school costs at the time when they need it most.”

Each year eligible families will receive up to $410 for each child in primary school and up to $820 a year for each high school student. The Bonus is paid in two instalments, made automatically to eligible families in January and July each year.

Unlike the old Education Tax Refund, families no longer have to collect a pile of receipts or fill out extra paperwork at tax time to receive the Schoolkids Bonus.

Mr Snowdon said over the course of their kids’ schooling a family with two kids will receive $15,000 in Schoolkids Bonus payments.

“Tony Abbott has promised to cut the Schoolkids Bonus - that’s $15,000 he’s cutting from Defence and veterans’ families budgets,” Mr Snowdon said.

Families receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A, and school students receiving some income support payments, are also eligible. Those who share the care of their child with a former spouse or partner, may receive a proportion of the Schoolkids Bonus.

For more information, clarification or other assistance regarding education allowance payments visit www.dva.gov.au/schoolkidsbonus or call DVA on 133 254 or 1800 555 254 from regional Australia.

Media inquiries: Minister Snowdon: Lidija Ivanovski 0407 108 935 Marcus Butler 02 6277 7820 / 0417 917 796 Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203