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12.5.5 Overview of Reviews and Appeals for Veterans' Compensation Matters

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Application for review

A person who is dissatisfied with a decision made by a delegate of the Commission in relation to certain claims for a pension or reassessment of a rate of pension may apply for a review of that decision. This is referred to as a "right of review".

Requests for review by the Repatriation Commission

The VEA provides review procedures for veterans, eligible Defence personnel and widows who wish to appeal against decisions concerning:

For matters regarding disability pension, war widow's/widower's pension, or attendant allowance, section 31 VEA allows the Commission to intervene at its discretion to vary initial decisions where there are grounds for doing so. A claimant/applicant dissatisfied with a decision on disability pension, widow's pension or attendance allowance may also seek a review under section 31. This review may be requested at the same time as making an application for review by the Veterans' Review Board [glossary:(:]VRB[glossary:):] (see below). The first level of review for supplementary benefits is to a delegate of the Repatriation Commission. Subsequent review is by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.    

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Review of Decisions by the Commission

Section 12.5.2

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Application for Review to the Veterans' Review Board (VRB)

In addition to a section 31 review applicants may seek review by the VRB which is an independent statutory body specifically established to review decisions of this kind.    

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Review by the Veterans' Review Board (VRB)

Section 12.5.7

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Application for Review to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)

If a review by the VRB on veterans' compensation issues, does not resolve the matter the applicant has an option of an application for review to the Federal AAT. Applications for review may also be made to the AAT following review by the Commission for:

  • clothing allowance,
  • funeral benefits,
  • decoration allowance,
  • Victoria Cross allowance,
  • recreation transport allowance,
  • temporary incapacity allowance, or
  • loss of earnings allowance.    
Appeal to the Federal Court

Beyond the AAT, appeals can be made through the Federal Court system on issues of law. Either the applicant or the Commission may appeal to the Federal and High Courts if it considers that a decision made by the AAT is not in accordance with the VEA. The AAT can also refer matters on errors of law to the Federal Court (although this rarely occurs).    

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Federal Court

Section 12.5.9

The Commonwealth Ombudsman

Section 12.5.10

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Freedom of Information

Under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 a person may seek access to information in documentary form in the possession of DVA, including those relating to a decision which adversely affects their interests (or has the potential to do so).    

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Freedom of Information

Section 12.5.11

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A Delegate of the Commission  is a decision-maker who has been delegated authority to exercise the Commission's powers for the administration of pensions under theVEA.

 

 

According to Section 179 of the VEA, the Commission is a body corporate under the name of Repatriation Commission.

 

 

Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.

For the purposes of Part VI of the VEA, a reference to a veteran is taken to be a reference to:

  • a veteran as defined in subsection 5C(1) of the VEA;
  • a member of the Forces as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA; or
  • a member of a Peacekeeping Force as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA.

For the purposes of Part VII of the VEA, according to subsection 5C(1), veteran means a person (including a deceased person):

  • who is taken to have rendered eligible war service, or
  • in respect of whom a pension is, or pensions are, payable under subsection 13(6) and
  • in Part III and Part VIIC of the VEA includes a person who is:

 

 

A widow is a woman who was:

  • the partner of a person immediately before the person died; or
  • legally married to a man and living with him immediately before he died; or
  • legally married to a man and living separetely and apart from him on a permanent basis, immediately before he died.

Disability pension, for the purposes of service pension and income support supplement, means:

  • a pension paid for incapacity from war caused conditions, or peacetime, peacekeeping or hazardous service caused conditions (other than a war widow's or orphan's pension); or
  • temporary incapacity allowance; or
  • any other payment in respect of incapacity or death resulting from war or war-like operations in which the Crown has been engaged [usually paid by another Commonwealth country].

A form of pension that is paid to the partner of a veteran where the veteran has died as a result of war service or eligible Defence ServiceWar widow's/widower's pension is also paid to the partner of a veteran whose death was not war caused if the veteran was a ex-prisoner of war or if the veteran was receiving Extreme Disablement Adjustment Rate, Special Rate (T&PI) or a rate increased in respect of certain war-caused injury or disease.

 

Disability pension, for the purposes of service pension and income support supplement, means:

  • a pension paid for incapacity from war caused conditions, or peacetime, peacekeeping or hazardous service caused conditions (other than a war widow's or orphan's pension); or
  • temporary incapacity allowance; or
  • any other payment in respect of incapacity or death resulting from war or war-like operations in which the Crown has been engaged [usually paid by another Commonwealth country].

A form of pension that is paid to the partner of a veteran where the veteran has died as a result of war service or eligible Defence ServiceWar widow's/widower's pension is also paid to the partner of a veteran whose death was not war caused if the veteran was a ex-prisoner of war or if the veteran was receiving Extreme Disablement Adjustment Rate, Special Rate (T&PI) or a rate increased in respect of certain war-caused injury or disease.

 

The purpose of attendant allowance is to assist an eligible Veterans, Members of the Forces, or a Member of a Peacekeeping Force with the cost of an attendant to help with such things as feeding, bathing, dressing and other activities of daily living. The allowance is paid to the veteran and not the attendant.

To be eligible for attendant allowance the person must be in receipt of a Disability Pension for Incapacity for a war-caused or defence-caused injury or Disease that severely affects a persons' ability to care for themselves. Attendant allowance is payable at a higher or a lower rate depending on the type of Injury or disease accepted under the Veterans' Entitlements Act.

The Veterans' Review Board is an independent statutory authority that has the power to review decisions made by the Repatriation Commision for the disability pension, war widow's/widower's pension, orphan's pension and attendant allowance.

 

 

The Veterans' Review Board is an independent statutory authority that has the power to review decisions made by the Repatriation Commision for the disability pension, war widow's/widower's pension, orphan's pension and attendant allowance.

 

 

The Veterans' Review Board is an independent statutory authority that has the power to review decisions made by the Repatriation Commision for the disability pension, war widow's/widower's pension, orphan's pension and attendant allowance.

 

 

Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

 

 

Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.

The Department of Veterans' Affairs.