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4.4.1 Overview of Causal Connection Injury or Disease with Service

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Causal relationship of injury or disease to service

For a claim in respect of a death, disease or injury to be accepted, the death, disease or injury needs to be causally related to the veteran's or member's VEA service. Service does not have to be the only cause however, provided that the person's service contributed to a material degree.    

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Relationship of Injury or Disease to Service

Section 4.4.2

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Service contributed to or aggravated a pre-existing condition

A pre-existing injury or disease may be accepted as defence-caused on the grounds that defence service or peacekeeping service materially contributed to, or aggravated the disease or injury. The injury or disease must be made worse permanently not just temporarily. It is likely that eligible service has aggravated the condition if:

  • the member sustains further injury during eligible service such that surgical intervention is required, and/or
  • the person is discharged medically unfit for further service.     
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    Service contributing to/aggravating condition

    Section 4.4.3

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Occurrences of injury, disease or death that may be covered under the VEA

The VEA provides for compensation for injury, disease or death if it is linked to the veteran or member's service. These provisions also cover, in certain situations, injury, disease or death that occurs due to:

Serious default, breach of discipline or wilful act

The Commonwealth is not liable in respect of the death, injury or disease where it:

  • resulted from the member's serious default or wilful act during or after eligible defence service, or
  • arose from a serious breach of discipline committed by the member, or while the member was committing a serious breach of discipline.     
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    Serious default, breach of discipline or wilful act

    Section 4.4.9

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According to subsection 5D(1), disease means:

  • any physical or mental ailment, disorder, defect or morbid condition (whether of sudden onset or gradual development), or
  • the recurrence of such an ailment, disorder, defect or morbid condition,

but does not include:

  • the aggravation of such an ailment, disorder, defect or morbid condition, or
  • a temporary departure from:

the normal physiological state, or

the accepted ranges of physiological or biochemical measures,

that results from normal physiological stress (for example, the effect of exercise on blood pressure) or the temporary effect of extraneous agents (for example, alcohol on blood cholesterol levels).

According to subsection 5D(1), an injury means any physical or mental injury (including the recurrence of a physical or mental injury) but does not include:

  • a disease, or
  • the aggravation of a physical or mental injury.

Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.

According to subsection 68(1) of the VEA, peacekeeping service means service with a Peacekeeping Force outside Australia and includes:

  • any period after a person's appointment to the Peacekeeping Force during which the person was travelling outside Australia for the purpose of joining the Peacekeeping Force, and
  •       any period (not exceeding 28 days) of authorised travel outside Australia after the person has ceased to serve with the Peacekeeping Force.

 

 

According to subsection 5D(1), an injury means any physical or mental injury (including the recurrence of a physical or mental injury) but does not include:

  • a disease, or
  • the aggravation of a physical or mental injury.

According to subsection 5D(1), disease means:

  • any physical or mental ailment, disorder, defect or morbid condition (whether of sudden onset or gradual development), or
  • the recurrence of such an ailment, disorder, defect or morbid condition,

but does not include:

  • the aggravation of such an ailment, disorder, defect or morbid condition, or
  • a temporary departure from:

the normal physiological state, or

the accepted ranges of physiological or biochemical measures,

that results from normal physiological stress (for example, the effect of exercise on blood pressure) or the temporary effect of extraneous agents (for example, alcohol on blood cholesterol levels).