Former prisoners of war have been granted special recognition for the hardships they endured in the service of their country in the form of a financial supplement, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, announced this week.
Those remaining veterans who suffered and survived the horrors of imprisonment during the Second World War and Korean War will now receive $500 every fortnight, tax-free, exempt from income-testing and indexed annually in line with the Consumer Price Index.
The new Prisoner of War Recognition Supplement will be paid to all of Australia’s surviving former prisoners of war, both veterans and civilians alike, who were held captive during the Second World War by military forces in Europe or the Pacific, as well as those held captive during the Korean War.
“The $500 fortnightly Supplement is a special recognition of the unimaginable horrors and hardships endured by Australia’s former prisoners of war,” Minister Snowdon said.
“Australia’s former prisoners of war showed amazing courage, resilience and tenacity reminiscent of the Anzac spirit. They are true heroes and we will continue to honour them now and into the future.”
More than 35,000 Australians were imprisoned by the Japanese and in Europe during the Second World War and in the Korean War, and many civilian men, women and children were also affected.
The supplement will be paid in addition to existing Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) and other Commonwealth benefits. The first full payments will commence on 6 October.
Former prisoners of war who already receive regular payments from DVA will automatically receive the payment.
For more information on the Prisoner of War Recognition Supplement visit click here or call DVA on 133 254 (metro) or 1800 555 254 (regional) for more information.