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B18/1991 TEMPORARY PAYMENT AT THE SPECIAL RATE (TTI), SECTION 25 OF THE VETERANS' ENTITLEMENTS ACT 1986.

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DATE OF ISSUE: 19 APRIL 1991

TEMPORARY PAYMENT AT THE SPECIAL RATE (TTI), SECTION 25 OF THE VETERANS' ENTITLEMENTS ACT 1986.

Introduction:

Temporary payment at the Special Rate (TTI) provides for payment of pension at the Special rate to a veteran who is temporarily incapacitated as a result of war-caused injury or disease.  The eligibility criteria for temporary payment at the Special rate is consistent with the criteria applied to the granting of pension at this rate for permanent incapacity.

Future Grants

Temporary payments at the Special Rate are made under section 25 of the VEA.

Under section 25 of the VEA, the Commission is required to determine the period (ie commencement and termination dates) during which the temporary incapacity is likely to continue.  In the determination the delegate should also state the rate of pension the veteran should receive at the expiration of the TTI period (the reversionary rate).

The reversionary rate will be payable at the expiry of the period unless the Commission has, during the relevant period, determined that a higher rate of the General Rate would have been payable but for the existing payment of the TTI rate.  In such circumstances the higher rate should be payable on the expiry of the relevant period.

Before the expiry of the TTI period

Before the expiry of the TTI period the veteran should be advised of the expiry date of the TTI grant and the reversionary rate.  This advice should also state that an application could be made for an increase in pension before the expiry of the TTI period if the circumstances so require.

Where there is an existing grant of TTI and no expiry date and/or no reversionary rate

has been expressed

In appropriate circumstances the Commission may rely on either:

(1)section 31(6)(a); or

(2)its inherent power to correct "incomplete" exercises of power;

to effectively review a grant of TTI where no expiry date or reversionary rate was specified.

The Commission may only rely on section 31(6)(a) of the VEA to review the rate of pension payable where:

(1)a matter which affects the payment of the pension comes to the notice of the Commission; and

(2)that matter was not before the Commission when the original decision was made.

It would be preferable to rely on section 31(6) as the resulting decision will clearly be subject to review by the VRB and Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) under sections 135 and 175 of the VEA respectively if the decision cancels or suspends a pension or varies the Commission's original decision (see section 31(11) of the VEA).  Reliance on an inherent power could raise difficulties in relation to rights of review which should be avoided if possible.

PETER HAWKER

NATIONAL PROGRAM DIRECTOR

BENEFITS