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B34/1991 ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR POST WAR COMMEMORATION OF ELIGIBLE WAR VETERANS
DATE OF ISSUE: 15 July 1991
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR POST WAR COMMEMORATION OF ELIGIBLE WAR VETERANS
The purpose of this instruction is to advise of:
.changes to the eligibility criteria awarding automatic eligibility to recipients of the Extreme Disability Allowance (EDA); and
.general automatic eligibility criteria
for official commemoration by the Office of the Australian War Graves Office.
The EDA amendments received Royal Assent on 9 January 1991, to grant war widow status to the widows of recipients of the EDA. Recipients of EDA are automatically eligible for official commemoration along with TPI's, Multiple Amputees, holders of the Victoria Cross and those in receipt of maximum compensation under Section 27 of the VEA.
The authority for the commemoration of Australian veterans was and remains the War Cabinet Decision of 10 March 1922 which established Australian Government Policy on treatment and care of war graves of World War I veterans. This policy was extended to veterans of World War II by Cabinet Agendum 27/1942. The eligibility for commemoration was that the veteran be in receipt of a financial benefit under Section 39A of the Australian Soldiers Repatriation Act, T & PI, or be a veteran whose death the Repatriation Commission had certified as directly attributable to war service. On 28 October 1960 the then Minister for the Interior, the Hon Gordon Freeth administering Australian War Graves matters extended eligibility to all Australian Victoria Cross winners.
On 4 September 1989 automatic eligibility was extended to those veterans in receipt of maximum compensation as Multiple Amputees under Section 27 of the VEA.
Legislation was then passed on 9 January 1991 to grant war widow status to the widows of recipients of EDA, this eligibility is to be backdated to 22 December 1988, the date on which the EDA was introduced. The Minister by direction dated 31 January 1991 has extended automatic official commemoration to EDA recipients, also backdated to 22 December 1988.
Veterans eligible for official commemoration would now be:
.those on T & PI pension at the time of death or who are granted T & PI status subsequent to their death;
.those multiple amputees on Section 27.1 maximum pension rate;
.those in receipt of the Extreme Disability Allowance; and
.those whose death has been accepted as war related (deaths due to war service).
Therefore, when determining eligibility for war grave commemoration at least one of the above criteria must be met. To be eligible for official commemoration the death must be war related (ie death caused by injuries incurred during war service).
Serving members who served in either Vietnam, Malaya, the Gulf or with a Peace Keeping Force etc, may be eligible for commemoration on death if the death is war related, ie the death must have been due to an injury or disease arising from operational service.
Members of the Defence Forces who have no operational service ie members who's only eligible service is non operational service post 6 December 1972, will not qualify for commemoration. The rule to remember is that the death of a veteran must be a result of operational war service, or meet the eligibility criteria as listed on page 2.
It should be noted that deaths of serving members are commemorated by the Department of Defence. Therefore serving member claims, for war grave commemoration, should not be forwarded to OAWG in any instance.
If you require further assistance or information you should contact Penny Trainor, the Administrative Officer of the Office of Australian War Graves on 06 2896509.
NATIONAL PROGRAM DIRECTOR