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'The Substantial Cause' -
- If the veteran has been genuinely seeking work, it is also necessary to determine that the veteran's accepted conditions are the substantial reason preventing them from continuing to seek to obtain work in order for the Prevented Test to be satisfied under the ameliorating provisions.
- This requires identification of the effect of the veteran's accepted conditions as well any other factors which may apply, such as age, time out of the workforce, or loss of skills for the type of work that the veteran was previously undertaking.
- Many factors may be present which are of themselves significant enough to be considered 'substantial'. However, to meet 'the substantial cause' test, the veteran's accepted conditions must be the operative cause, more than any other single or collective reason(s), for the veteran being unable to rejoin the workforce.
- If the veteran meets these requirements, then the Prevented Test is deemed to be satisfied in this respect.
A veteran may cease a particular job because of incapacity from an accepted condition alone. The veteran may well believe, at that time, that he or she is able to do other work and satisfies a delegate that he or she has been genuine in attempts to get back into the workforce. At this point, other factors may also be affecting his or her capacity to obtain work, such as age and time out of the work force.
In circumstances where the genuinely seeking work requirement is satisfied, the veteran may be taken to have met 'the substantial cause' test if his or her accepted conditions continue to be the substantial reason, that is the operative factor, more than any other single or collective reason(s) for being unable to rejoin the workforce.
The veteran leaves the workforce due to a condition that a number of years later is accepted as service related. If the veteran had applied to have the condition accepted at the time he or she left the workforce, the veteran would have satisfied the alone test in s 24(1)(c) for Special Rate or s 23(1)(c) for Intermediate Rate provided no other conditions impacted on the person's capacity to work and there were no other factors which led to the person ceasing work.
If, now, the veteran is still under 65 and the accepted disability still continues to be 'the substantial cause' (see example 1) preventing him or her from engaging in remunerative work, the veteran may satisfy s 24(2)(b) for Special Rate or s 23(3)(b) for Intermediate Rate. However, the accepted condition must be the substantial cause and not just one of the reasons preventing the veteran from working, and, importantly, all other aspects of 24(1)(c) or 23(1)(c) must be met.
The veteran leaves his or her last job for a reason other than an accepted condition. The veteran genuinely and realistically seeks employment. If the effects of an accepted condition then intervene to prevent the veteran from obtaining employment and there are no other factors that make a real or operative contribution to the veteran's ability to obtain remunerative employment, the veteran would satisfy p24(1)(c) through p24(2)(b) for Special Rate, or in the case of Intermediate Rate, p23(1)(c) through p23(3)(b).
If the other factors were evident, but the accepted condition continues to be 'the substantial cause' (see example 1) preventing the veteran from engaging in remunerative work, the veteran would satisfy p24(2)(b) for Special Rate or p23(3)(b) for Intermediate Rate.
In this example, matters such as time out of the workforce, age, changes in skill requirements, the incapacity from other conditions and similar factors may not be as important as they are for someone who did not seek further employment, provided that the other factor(s) is not the 'operative cause' as explained in the guidelines.