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Applications for Review by the Veterans' Review Board (VRB)
Form of request for review
A request to the VRB for a review of a decision must be:
- either on a departmental form or in the form of a letter,
- state the grounds on which the request is made, i.e, state the decision or the part of the decision to be reviewed, and
- be made within:
- 12 months of the notification of the original decision for decisions relating to claims for pension or attendant allowance, or
- 3 months for decisions on rates of pension, refusal to grant pension on the grounds of insufficient incapacity, cancellations, suspension or dates of recommencement of pension.
Who can make an application for review to the VRB?
An application relating to a pension granted to, or claimed for a veteran or dependant of a deceased veteran may be made by:
- the veteran or dependant,
- another person on behalf of the veteran or dependant, and with their approval,
- a person approved by the Commission if the veteran or dependant is unable to approve someone to make the application on their behalf due to incapacity, or
- a parent, guardian, person approved by a parent or guardian, or person approved by Commission, in the case of a dependant who is under 18 years of age.
Power of the VRB to dismiss an application for review
A review hearing must take place within the standard review period of 2 years after the date on which the application was received at an office of DVA. An extension may be granted for 3 months in certain circumstances. The extended review period is 3 months from the day on which the applicant is given the extension notice. At the end of the applicable review period, the VRB provides the applicant with a written notice to the applicant requesting that they provide a written statement within 28 days stating:
- that they are ready to proceed at hearing within, or
- a reasonable explanation why they are not ready to proceed at hearing.
If the statement is not provided, or does not contain a reasonable explanation for not being ready, the VRB may dismiss the application.
Withdrawal of application
An applicant may withdraw their application to the VRB for review:
- at any time before the VRB has commenced the review, and
- after the review has commenced, with the consent of the Board.
Withdrawal of an application does not prevent the person from making another application within the allowed time for a review.
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 Commonwealth veteran, or
- an allied veteran, or
- an allied mariner.
The Department of Veterans' Affairs.