Australian Government - Department of Defence - Department of Veteran's Affairs

Service milestones and subsidy tier levels

DHOAS is designed to reward you for your service with the ADF. You are eligible for benefits under one of three subsidy tiers. As you reach certain service milestones you move into a higher subsidy tier and become entitled to higher benefits. As the table below shows, for serving Permanent members the minimum years of service for the three subsidy tiers are 4, 8 and 12 years of effective service. For serving Reservists they are 8, 12 and 16 years of effective service.

For members of the Permanent Force, DVA will progress your subsidy tier increase after you reach your service milestone, based on service reports from Defence. It is not necessary to submit any document to DVA to trigger your increase.

For Reservists, DVA will review Reservists' effective service at the end of the financial year. If you've reached the service milestone to progress a tier, DVA will amend your subsidy tier from that time. No documentation needs to be submitted by members. If you complete your effective year of service (20 days of paid Reserve service) before the end of the financial year, and you're entitled to progress a tier level, you are requested to advise DVA using a Change of Circumstances form. This enables DVA to progress your tier increase at the time you advise DVA, instead of the end of the financial year.

Please note that if you separate from the ADF, conditions apply to your eligible tier based on years of service prior to separating.

Minimum Permanent Service Minimum Reserve Service  Subsidy Tier 
4 years 8 years 1
8 years 12 years 2
12 years  16 years  3

The service milestones are based on the total number of effective service years completed in the ADF. In this instance, you do not subtract your qualifying period for DHOAS.

For example:

  • If you joined in January 2005 and served continuously in the Permanent ADF from then to January 2013, as at that date you would have completed eight years of effective service and you would be eligible under tier 2.
  • If you joined the Reserves in July 1996 and you completed effective years of service up to July 2012, you have completed 16 years of effective service. You are eligible under tier 3.

Each subsidy tier has different levels of benefit, based on subsidised loan limits. These limits represent the maximum amount of your home loan that can attract a DHOAS subsidy. For more details see calculating subsidy tiers and entitlement.  

 

Tier levels and combined Permanent and Reserve service

Some members may have a combination of Permanent and Reserve service. In this case, when working out your service milestone and eligible tier level, you need to take into account the difference in the initial DHOAS qualifying periods for Reserves (eight years) and Permanent members (four years).

Thereafter, the service of both Permanent and Reserve members is recognised equally, year for year, in regards to working out tier levels.

Therefore, if you completed the four year qualifying period as a Permanent member, and then afterwards joined the Reserves, select the service milestones for Permanent members. Your total years of Permanent and Reserve service will determine your tier level.

If you completed the eight year qualifying period as a Reservist, and then afterwards joined the Permanent Force, select the service milestones for Reserves. Your total years of Reserve and Permanent service will determine your tier level.

If you had a combination of both Permanent and Reserve service during your qualifying period, you need to consider the special condition that applies. For further information, please see: Combined Permanent and Reserve service – Qualifying Period.

Table: Example of calculating subsidy tier level for combined service - completed qualifying period in Permanent Force
Qualifying period Subsequent service Total years of service 

Tier levels minimum Permanent service

Tier level based on your service

Permanent  = 4 years

Reserves = 4 years 

8 years 

4 years = Tier 1

8 years = Tier 2

12 years = Tier 3 
Tier 2
Table: Example of calculating subsidy tier level for combined service - completed qualifying period in Reserves
Qualifying period Subsequent service Total years of service 

Tier levels - minimum Reserve service

Tier level based on your service

Reserves = 8yrs

Permanent = 4yrs 

12 years 

8 years = Tier 1

12 years = Tier 2

16 years = Tier 3 
Tier 2

TOP