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6.5 Recreation Transport Allowance
Last amended: 6 September 2011
"All allowances are constantly under review. The information contained in the Consolidated Library of Information and Knowledge (CLIK) does not replace legislation and any relevant decisions that have been determined by the courts.
No person should rely on the contents of CLIK without first obtaining advice from a qualified professional person."
What is recreation transport allowance?
Recreation transport allowance may be paid to a veteran, Member of the Forces, or Member of a Peacekeeping Force suffering from severe war or defence-caused disabilities (such as amputations and blindness) that affect mobility, to promote their access to recreational activities.
Eligibility criteria and rates of recreation transport allowance
Recreation transport allowance is paid to a veteran who is suffering incapacity from certain specified war-caused or defence-caused injuries or diseases of a specific nature. As noted in Re Reginald Glendenning Clifford and Repatriation Commission  AATA 134, the incapacity must be permanent and the veteran must be attending or wish to attend places for recreational purposes.
Re Reginald Glendenning Clifford and Repatriation Commission  AATA 134
Recreation transport allowance may be paid at either a higher rate or lower rate.
Eligibility for the higher rate of recreation transport allowance
The higher rate may be granted to a veteran who, as a result of war or defence-caused disability:
- has both legs amputated above the knees,
- has negligible powers of locomotion so as to be capable of moving only a short distance with the aid of crutches or sticks, or
- in the opinion of the Commission is handicapped with regard to locomotion to a similar degree as either of the above.
Eligibility for the lower rate of recreation transport allowance
The lower rate may be granted to a veteran who, as a result of war or defence-caused disability:
- has both arms amputated at or above the wrists,
- has both legs amputated below the knees,
- has one leg amputated above the knee and the other below the knee,
- has one leg amputated above or below the knee and one arm amputated below the elbow,
- is blinded in both eyes, or
- in the opinion of the Commission is incapacitated to an extent that is similar in effect or severity to the above.
Meaning of 'amputation'
For the purposes of recreation transport allowance:
- a leg that has been rendered permanently and wholly useless above the knee or below the knee is deemed to be amputated above or below the knee, respectively and
- an arm that has been rendered permanently and wholly useless at or above the wrist or below the elbow is deemed to be amputated at or above the wrist or below the elbow, respectively.
When is recreation transport allowance not payable?
Recreation transport allowance is not payable to people who are:
- being cared for at public expense in a hospital or other institution, or
- involved in the Vehicle Assistance Scheme as follows:
- were first provided with a vehicle under the Scheme in the last 2 years;
- received a replacement motor vehicle grant under the Scheme in the last 2 years;
- owe the Commission some or all of the cost of providing a motor vehicle under the Scheme; or
- are eligible to be paid an allowance as a contributor to the running and maintenance of a vehicle that they have been provided under the Scheme.
Assessment of recreation transport allowance payments
Payment of recreation transport allowance under the VEA is excluded income for income support purposes.
Recreation Transport Allowance
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.
A member of the forces is a person who served in the defence force for a continuous period that commenced after 7 December 1972 and has the type of service required in sections 69, 69A and 69B of the VEA.
“Member of a Peacekeeping Force means a person who is serving, or has served, with a Peacekeeping Force outside Australia as an Australian member, or as a member of the Australian contingent, of that Peacekeeping Force."
A person may be regarded as permanently blind in both eyes where:
- there is a total loss of sight; or
- visual acuity after correction with suitable lenses is less than 6/60 in both eyes on the Snellen Scale; or
- where, in the written opinion of an ophthalmologist, the visual field deficits and/or combination of deficits results in a visual impairment which is the equivalent of a corrected visual acuity measure of less than 6/60 in both eyes.
The Commission Guideline CM5829: Determining 'permanently blind', 'no useful sight' and 'blinded in both eyes' may be instructive in making a blinded/blindness determination.
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).