C50/1997 VEHICLE ASSISTANCE SCHEME (VAS) - NEW SCHEME PROVISIONS | Compensation and Support Reference Library, Departmental Instructions, 1997

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C50/1997 VEHICLE ASSISTANCE SCHEME (VAS) - NEW SCHEME PROVISIONS

Document

DATE OF ISSUE:  8 OCTOBER 1997

VEHICLE ASSISTANCE SCHEME (VAS) - NEW SCHEME PROVISIONS

Purpose

The purpose of this instruction is to notify State Offices of the introduction of the new VAS and to advise of new processing procedures.  A copy of the new Scheme is at Attachment A.  Bound copies have been distributed to all states.

Background

2.The Minister has endorsed the new VAS which is to become operational on 1 November 1997.

3.The new Scheme is the result of a review in which ex-service organisations, individual veterans and State Offices were consulted.

Medical Eligibility

4.The criteria for medical eligibility, as defined in s.105(5) of the VEA, remains unchanged.  Delegates should be aware of the legal opinion at Attachment B when considering applications involving interpretation of s.105(5)(d).  In essence, the opinion is that if a person can move their legs, can stand or walk (if only for a short distance) it is not similar in effect or severity to double amputations and thus does not confer eligibility to for VAS entry.  At this time there is no proposal to change this requirement.

Derive Benefit

5.The “derive benefit” provision now applies to replacement grants and the Running and Maintenance Allowance as well as the initial grant.

6.The criteria now applying to the physical capacity of a veteran to “derive benefit” for a replacement grant is less stringent than that which applies to an initial grant.  To satisfy the criteria for an initial grant a veteran would need to have the capacity to be readily transported in the vehicle. In contrast to satisfy the criteria  for a replacement grant it only requires that the vehicle be used to visit the veteran at a permanent or temporary place of residence.  This is to ensure that once a vehicle has been granted to a veteran, the eligibility to continue to receive benefits is not lost if the vehicle is still used for the benefit of the veteran.

7.In any event, a valid drivers licence needs to be held by the veteran, or the veteran's spouse, or the veteran's carer, before the physical capacity of the applicant to “derive benefit” can be considered.

Benchmark Value

8.The benchmark value of the initial grant is increased to include the additional safety features of dual air bags, anti-lock braking system, cruise control and electric windows.  You will note that the new benchmark figure prescribed in Schedule 1 is $31,923.  This is the recommended retail price for an automatic air conditioned Holden Acclaim wagon complete with dual air-bags, anti-lock braking system, cruise control and electric windows.  The amount in Schedule 1 will be amended when there are further price changes.

Replacement Grants

9.Due to legal requirements Schedule 2 cannot make reference to a document outside of the Scheme that changes regularly such as Glass's Guide.  However delegates are to note that the policy regarding the calculation of replacement grants is based on the values published monthly in that Guide.  This principle has been endorsed by ex-service organisations.  State Offices are to ensure that they have a subscription to the Passenger Vehicle Guide published by:

GLASS'S GUIDE PTY LIMITED

48 Latrobe Street

Melbourne  Vic. 3000

ph. (03)9663 3009

fax. (03) 9663 3049

Maximum Replacement Grant

10.The maximum replacement grant (MRG) is calculated as the difference between the Benchmark value (BV) and the recommended value (RV) for the vehicle being exchanged as published in the current Glass's Passenger Vehicle Guide ie,  MRG = BV - RV.  The value of a replacement grant cannot exceed the value of the maximum grant.

Actual Replacement Grant

11.The actual replacement grant ie, the grant actually paid, is the lesser of the maximum replacement grant and the value either:

  • cited by the motor dealer on the Dealer Statement included in the Application Form (D3001) as the exchange value in the event of a trade-in or,

  • calculated by subtracting the value the veteran received in a private sale from the benchmark value.  The veteran's statement to this effect is included in the Application Form.

Either of these statements must be completed and signed by the appropriate party before a replacement grant is approved.

Serving Members

12.Serving members, ie former Defence Force veterans who have rendered service peace time service between 7 December 1972 and 7 April 1994 and have dual eligibility for compensation coverage under the Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) and the VEA, are now eligible for the full range of VAS benefits.

13.If a veteran has received, or is receiving, like compensation from another source, a similar VAS benefit cannot be paid.

  • If a veteran is receiving a mobility allowance under the Social Security Act (or any other legislation ) the Running and Maintenance Allowance is not to be paid.
  • If a veteran has received a benefit which pays for modifications, he/she is not entitled to have modifications paid for under VAS.
  • If a veteran has received, or has an enforceable claim to receive, a vehicle from another source it would render the veteran ineligible for an initial grant

Note: The purpose of this is to avoid the complications of calculating offsets.

Running and Maintenance Allowance

14.The Running and Maintenance Allowance is to be increased to the same level as the top rate Recreation Transport Allowance (RTA) and is subject to the same CPI increases.  The Allowance is to be paid yearly in advance after the veteran has provided proof of registration, full comprehensive insurance and a valid driver's licence as detailed in para. 6.  The payment of the Allowance is to be equal to 26 times the fortnightly rate for top rate RTA.

Ownership

15.The Commission no longer retains ownership for the first two years of an initial vehicle.  Once a veteran has provided proof of registration and full comprehensive insurance, the vehicle is the possession of the veteran.

Breaches

16.Veterans who have lost eligibility for VAS benefits due to breaching provisions of the Gift Car Scheme are now eligible to re-apply for VAS benefits. Veterans who have lost eligibility for VAS benefits due to breaching provisions of that Scheme are not eligible to re-apply for VAS benefits for ten years from the time of the breach.

Application Form (D3001)

17.A new application form has been issued to take into consideration the changes to the Scheme.  Note that page 6 of the form has a Dealer Statement which has to be completed by the dealer with whom the veteran is exchanging vehicles.  In the event of a private sale, the statement on page 4 is to be completed by the veteran.  Either of these statements are be completed prior to a replacement grant being calculated. Also note the requirement to supply a copy of a valid driving licence held by the veteran, or the veterans' spouse, or the veterans carer.

Review

18.Veterans have the right to apply to the Commission for a review of a decision within three months of receiving that decision.  The review is to be conducted by an officer other than the original decision maker.

Delegations

19.All Commission delegations for the former Scheme have now been revoked.  New delegations as nominated by your State have been approved by the Commission.  A list of delegates and their powers under the Scheme is found at Attachment C.

PETER REECE

DIVISION HEAD

COMPENSATION SUPPORT DIVISION

Vehicle Assistance Scheme

Repatriation Commission

Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986

Vehicle Assistance Scheme

CONTENTS

PART 1 — REVOCATION OF FORMER SCHEME AND  PREPARATION OF NEW SCHEME.....1

1.1 Revocation of the former Vehicle Assistance Scheme..................................1

1.2 Preparation of the new Vehicle Assistance Scheme...................................1

1.3 Commencement.............................................................1

PART 2 — INTRODUCTION.....................................................2

2.1 Purpose of the Vehicle Assistance Scheme.........................................2

2.2 Interpretation...............................................................2

2.2.1  Definitions...................................................2

“the Act”......................................................................2

“Commission”..................................................................2

“Department”..................................................................2

“derive benefit from assistance”.....................................................2

“eligible veteran”................................................................2

“former Scheme”...............................................................3

“initial motor vehicle”.............................................................3

“previous motor vehicle”..........................................................3

“replacement motor vehicle”.......................................................3

“running and maintenance allowance”................................................3

“Scheme”.....................................................................4

“war-caused”..................................................................4

2.2.2  Notes.......................................................4

2.2.3  References to provisions.........................................4

2.3 General operation of the Scheme................................................4

2.3.1  Scope of the Scheme...........................................4

2.4 Application for approval to participate in the Scheme..................................4

2.4.1  Who may participate in the Scheme.................................4

2.4.2  When an application is taken to be made.............................5

2.4.3  Documents to accompany application...............................5

2.4.4  Commission must consider all relevant matters........................5

2.4.5  Commission may require an undertaking.............................5

2.4.6  Compliance with the Scheme.....................................5

2.5 Failure to comply with provisions of the Scheme......................................5

2.5.1  Disqualification from receiving assistance under the Scheme..............5

PART 3 — ELIGIBILITY........................................................6

3.1 Eligibility..................................................................6

3.2 Capacity to derive benefit from assistance..........................................6

3.2.1  Criteria to “derive benefit” if veteran can drive..........................6

3.2.2  Criteria to “derive benefit” for initial grant if veteran cannot drive............6

3.2.3  Criteria to “derive benefit” for a replacement motor vehicle if veteran cannot drive              7

PART 4 — CONDITIONS APPLICABLE TO THE PROVISION OF AN INITIAL MOTOR VEHICLE..8

4.1 Provision of an initial motor vehicle...............................................8

4.1.1  Grant of financial assistance......................................8

4.1.2  Initial motor vehicle to meet certain requirements.......................8

4.1.3  Amount of grant...............................................8

4.1.4  Motor vehicle from another scheme.................................8

4.2 General conditions...........................................................9

4.2.1  Requirements when granted an initial motor vehicle.....................9

4.2.2  Ownership of motor vehicle.......................................9

4.2.3  Ineligibility for further assistance...................................9

4.2.4  Eligibility following theft or destruction of the motor vehicle................9

4.2.5  Expenses relating to the sale of motor vehicle.........................9

PART 5 — RUNNING AND MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCE.............................10

5.1 General conditions..........................................................10

5.1.1  Grant of running and maintenance allowance.........................10

5.1.2  Purpose of the allowance.......................................10

5.1.3  Documents to be provided each year...............................10

5.1.4  Documents to be provided upon request............................10

5.1.5  Rate of allowance.............................................11

5.1.6  Not eligible for allowance if in receipt of other mobility benefits............11

PART 6 — GRANTS.........................................................12

6.1 General conditions..........................................................12

6.1.1  Grants that may be provided.....................................12

6.1.2  Amount of grant..............................................12

6.1.3  Documents to be provided......................................12

6.2 Driving devices and modifications grant...........................................12

6.2.1  Purpose of the grant...........................................12

6.2.2  Requirements to be satisfied before grant made.......................13

6.2.3  Direct payment to motor vehicle dealer.............................13

6.2.4  Grant not to be approved if benefit received under other law or contract......13

6.3 Replacement motor vehicle grant................................................13

6.3.1  Purpose of the grant...........................................13

6.3.2  Grant may be made two years after initial motor vehicle grant.............13

6.3.3  Trade-in or sale of previous motor vehicle...........................14

6.3.4  Replacement motor vehicle grant if previous motor vehicle stolen or destroyed14

6.3.5  Not eligible for grant if received another motor vehicle..................14

PART 7 — REVIEW OF DECISIONS.............................................15

7.1 Review by the Commission....................................................15

7.1.1  Who may seek a review........................................15

7.1.2  Making a request for review.....................................15

7.1.3  Review by the Commission of its own motion.........................15

7.1.4  Delegate must not review own decision.............................15

PART 8 — DETERMINATION OF CLAIMS AND DELEGATION OF POWERS...............16

8.1 Determination of claims and applications for review..................................16

8.2 Delegation of powers........................................................16

8.2.1  Delegation..................................................16

8.2.2  Power exercised by delegate.....................................16

8.2.3  Commission may exercise power itself..............................16

PART 9 — TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS.........................................17

9.1 Transitional provisions.......................................................17

9.1.1  Eligible veterans under the former Scheme..........................17

9.1.2  Transfer of the Commonwealth's interest in a motor vehicle..............17

9.1.3  Obligations under the former Scheme..............................17

Schedule One..............................................................18

Financial Assistance for an Initial Motor Vehicle........................................18

Maximum value of an initial motor vehicle................................18

Placing the order and authorisation of payment............................18

Retail price greater than maximum value.................................18

Where more than the maximum value can be authorised.....................18

Payment by Commonwealth only a contribution............................18

Schedule Two..............................................................20

Running and Maintenance Allowance...............................................20

Rate of the allowance...............................................20

Schedule Three.............................................................21

Replacement Motor Vehicle Grant..................................................21

Maximum replacement motor vehicle grant...............................21

Placing the order for the replacement motor vehicle.........................21

Where price of replacement motor vehicle exceeds maximum grant.............21

Where more than the maximum grant can be authorised.....................21

Payment by Commonwealth only a contribution............................22

Vehicle Assistance Scheme

Repatriation Commission

Section 105
Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986

PART 1 — REVOCATION OF FORMER SCHEME AND  PREPARATION OF NEW SCHEME

1.1Revocation of the former Vehicle Assistance Scheme

1.1.1The Repatriation Commission, under subsection 105 (2) of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (the Act), revokes the former Scheme.

Note 1:              Part 9 of the Scheme contains transitional provisions for veterans who participated in the former Scheme. Those provisions affect the application of section 50 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, which relates to accrued rights and liabilities under revoked instruments.

Note 2:              The “former Scheme” is defined in paragraph 2.2.1.

1.2Preparation of the new Vehicle Assistance Scheme

1.2.1This Scheme is prepared by the Repatriation Commission under subsection 105 (1) of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.

Dated:September 1997

NEIL JOHNSTON

PRESIDENT

KEITH LYON

DEPUTY PRESIDENT

PAUL STEVENS

COMMISSIONER

1.3Commencement

1.3.1This instrument commences on 1 November 1997.

PART 2 — INTRODUCTION

2.1Purpose of the Vehicle Assistance Scheme

2.1.1The purpose of the Vehicle Assistance Scheme is to assist eligible veterans with the provision of a suitable motor vehicle and to assist with the running, maintenance, and replacement of a motor vehicle that has been provided under this Scheme.

2.2Interpretation

2.2.1  Definitions

2.2.1For the purposes of this instrument, unless the contrary intention appears:

“the Act”

“the Act” means the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 as amended from time to time;

“Commission”

“Commission” means the Repatriation Commission continued in existence by section 179 of the Act;

“Department”

“Department” means the Commonwealth Department of Veterans' Affairs;

“derive benefit from assistance”

“derive benefit from assistance” has the meaning given by paragraph 3.2.1, 3.2.2 or 3.2.3 of the Scheme;

“eligible veteran”

“eligible veteran” means a veteran who is eligible to participate in the Scheme because of incapacity from war-caused injury or disease as specified in sub-sections 105 (5) and 105 (7) of the Act;

Note 1:              Subsections 105 (5) and 105 (7) provide:

105 (5)A veteran is, subject to subsection (7), eligible to participate in the Vehicle Assistance Scheme if the veteran is incapacitated from war-caused injury or war-caused disease by reason of:

   (a)amputation of both legs above the knee;

   (b)amputation of one leg above the knee and, in addition:

       (i)amputation of the other leg at or above the ankle and amputation of one arm at or above the wrist; or

      (ii)  amputation of both arms at or above the wrists;

   (c)complete paraplegia resulting in the total loss of voluntary power in both legs to the extent that there is insufficient power for purposeful use for stance or locomotion; or

   (d)a condition that, in the opinion of the Commission, is similar in effect or severity to a condition described in paragraph (a) or (b).

105 (7) For the purposes of subsection (5):

   (a)a leg that has been rendered permanently and wholly useless above the knee shall be treated as if it had been amputated above the knee;

   (b)a veteran shall not be taken to be incapacitated by reason of the disability described in paragraph (5) (c) unless the disability is such that surgical or other therapeutic measures are not reasonably capable of restoring power for purposeful use for stance or locomotion; and

   (c)a reference to the Vehicle Assistance Scheme shall, unless the contrary intention appears, be read as a reference to:

(i)the Vehicle Assistance Scheme prepared under subsection (1) and approved by the Minister, but not being such a Scheme that has been revoked; or

(ii) if that Scheme has been varied under subsection (2) by an instrument approved by the Minister—that Scheme as so varied.

Note 2:              Section 96 of the Act provides that for the purposes of this Scheme “veteran” is to be read as including a reference to a member of the Forces or a member of a Peacekeeping Force as defined in section 68 of the Act.

“former Scheme”

“former Scheme” means the Vehicle Assistance Scheme prepared by the Commission under subsection 105 (1) of the Act on 22 May 1986 and approved by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs under subsection 105 (3) of the Act on 22 May 1986, as varied by an instrument in writing of the Commission under subsection 105 (2) of the Act, dated 3 October 1986, and approved by the Minister under subsection 105 (3) of the Act on 9 October 1986;

“initial motor vehicle”

“initial motor vehicle” means a motor vehicle for the purchase of which the Commission has granted financial assistance to a veteran under paragraph 4.1.1 of the Scheme;

“previous motor vehicle”

“previous motor vehicle” means the last motor vehicle for the purchase of which the Commission has granted financial assistance to a veteran under this Scheme;

“replacement motor vehicle”

“replacement motor vehicle” means a motor vehicle for the purchase of which the Commission has granted financial assistance to a veteran under paragraph 6.1.1 of the Scheme;

“running and maintenance allowance”

“running and maintenance allowance” means an allowance paid annually under paragraph 5.1.1 of the Scheme to an eligible veteran to assist with the cost of running and maintaining a motor vehicle provided under the Scheme;

“Scheme”

“Scheme” means this Vehicle Assistance Scheme, determined by the Commission and approved by the Minister in accordance with section 105 of the Act;

“war-caused”

“war-caused” includes “defence-caused” as provided for in section 96 of the Act.

2.2.2  Notes

2.2.2In this Scheme if a Note follows a paragraph or subparagraph, the Note is taken to be part of that paragraph or subparagraph, as the case may be.

2.2.3  References to provisions

2.2.3In this Scheme, any reference to a Part, paragraph, subparagraph or schedule shall, unless a contrary intention appears, be taken to be a reference to that Part, paragraph, subparagraph or schedule of the Scheme.

2.3General operation of the Scheme

2.3.1  Scope of the Scheme

2.3.1This Scheme permits the Commission, in specified circumstances, to grant an eligible veteran:

(a)financial assistance to purchase an initial motor vehicle; or

(b)financial assistance to purchase a replacement motor vehicle; and

(c)in respect of an initial or replacement motor vehicle:

(i)a running and maintenance allowance; and

(ii)one or more driving devices and modifications grants.

2.4Application for approval to participate in the Scheme

2.4.1  Who may participate in the Scheme

2.4.1A veteran who satisfies the eligibility criteria in paragraph 3.1.1 may apply to participate in the Scheme by making an application in writing and in accordance with a form approved by the Commission for that purpose.

2.4.2  When an application is taken to be made

2.4.2For the purpose of this Scheme, an application will only be taken to have been made when it is received at an office of the Department in Australia.

2.4.3  Documents to accompany application

2.4.3The application must be accompanied by such certificates and other documentation as are required to be furnished by this Scheme.

2.4.4  Commission must consider all relevant matters

2.4.4When the application is submitted to the Commission, the Commission must consider all matters that are relevant to the application and must then determine the application.

2.4.5  Commission may require an undertaking

2.4.5The Commission may require a veteran who is provided with any assistance under the Scheme to give a written undertaking to comply with the conditions set out in the Scheme.

2.4.6  Compliance with the Scheme

2.4.6The conditions set out in the Scheme must be complied with notwithstanding that a written undertaking has not been given in accordance with paragraph 2.4.5.

2.5Failure to comply with provisions of the Scheme

2.5.1  Disqualification from receiving assistance under the Scheme

2.5.1Where a veteran has failed, without reasonable excuse, to comply with a provision of the Scheme, the veteran shall be disqualified from receiving any assistance under the Scheme for a period of ten years from the time of the failure to comply.

3.1.1A veteran is eligible for assistance under this Scheme only if the Commission is satisfied that the veteran is:

(a)an eligible veteran; and

(b)the veteran can derive benefit from assistance under the Scheme.

Note:              Whether a veteran can “derive benefit” is determined under paragraph 3.2.1, 3.2.2 or 3.2.3 of the Scheme.

3.2Capacity to derive benefit from assistance

3.2.1  Criteria to “derive benefit” if veteran can drive

3.2.1For the purposes of determining an application for financial assistance towards an initial motor vehicle or a replacement motor vehicle, if an eligible veteran can personally drive the motor vehicle, the Commission will be satisfied that the veteran can derive benefit from assistance under the Scheme only if the veteran:

(a)will benefit directly from using the motor vehicle; and

(b)holds a valid driver's licence; and

(b)will be able to drive the motor vehicle in reasonable comfort and safety; and

(c)will drive the motor vehicle regularly.

3.2.2  Criteria to “derive benefit” for initial grant if veteran cannot drive

3.2.2For the purposes of determining an application for financial assistance towards an initial motor vehicle, if an eligible veteran cannot personally drive the motor vehicle, the Commission will be satisfied that the veteran can derive benefit from assistance under the Scheme only if:

(a)the veteran has a partner or carer who:

(i)holds a valid driver's licence; and

(ii)is willing and able to drive the motor vehicle; and

(b)the veteran is capable of being readily transported in the motor vehicle; and

(c)the veteran will be transported in the motor vehicle regularly by the person referred to in subparagraph (a).

3.2.3  Criteria to “derive benefit” for a replacement motor vehicle if veteran cannot drive

3.2.3For the purposes of determining an application for financial assistance towards a replacement motor vehicle, if an eligible veteran cannot personally drive the motor vehicle the Commission will be satisfied that the veteran can derive benefit from assistance under the Scheme only if:

(a)the veteran has a partner or carer who:

(i)holds a valid driver's licence; and

(ii)is willing and able to drive the motor vehicle; and

either:

(b)the veteran will be regularly transported in the motor vehicle and in reasonable omfort and safety; or

(c)the partner or carer will regularly drive the motor vehicle to visit the eligible veteran at the veteran's permanent or temporary place of residence (not being the residence of the partner or carer).

4.1.1  Grant of financial assistance

4.1.1Subject to paragraphs 4.1.2 to 4.1.4 and the conditions set out in Schedule One, the Commission may grant financial assistance to an eligible veteran to purchase an initial motor vehicle of the veteran's own choice.

4.1.2  Initial motor vehicle to meet certain requirements

4.1.2An initial motor vehicle:

(a)must be a new motor vehicle; and

(b)must be registered under the relevant law of the State or Territory in which the veteran resides in the name of the veteran to whom financial assistance is granted; and

(c)must not be provided to a veteran who has previously been provided with financial assistance to purchase an initial motor vehicle under the Scheme.

Note:              Paragraph 9.1.1 of the Scheme deems a veteran who has been provided with an initial motor vehicle under the former Scheme to have been provided with that motor vehicle under this Scheme.

4.1.3  Amount of grant

4.1.3The financial assistance payable in respect of an initial motor vehicle is an amount calculated in accordance with the procedure set out in Schedule One and is granted subject to the conditions of this Scheme, including the conditions set out in that Schedule.

4.1.4  Motor vehicle from another scheme

4.1.4A veteran is not to be granted financial assistance to purchase an initial motor vehicle under this Scheme if the veteran has received, or has an enforceable claim to receive, a motor vehicle under any other scheme of compensation or in settlement of a claim for damages.

4.2General conditions

4.2.1  Requirements when granted an initial motor vehicle

4.2.1A veteran who has obtained an initial motor vehicle under the Scheme must:

(a)register the motor vehicle; and

(b)comprehensively insure the motor vehicle to its full market value.

Note:              The requirements for registration are set out in subparagraph 4.1.2(b)

4.2.2  Ownership of motor vehicle

4.2.2Upon compliance with paragraph 4.2.1, the Commonwealth is taken to be divested of any and every interest in the initial motor vehicle.

4.2.3  Ineligibility for further assistance

4.2.3The Commission may determine that a veteran is ineligible for further assistance under the Scheme if:

(a)the eligible veteran ceases to derive benefit from assistance that has been granted under the Scheme unless the Commission is satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances justifying the provision of continued assistance under the Scheme to the veteran; or

Note:              To determine if a veteran has ceased to derive benefit from assistance under the Scheme refer to paragraphs 3.2.1, 3.2.2 and 3.2.3.

(b)the veteran sells or otherwise disposes of an initial motor vehicle and no replacement motor vehicle grant is provided under Part 6; or

(c)the motor vehicle is stolen or destroyed and the veteran was at fault, in whole or in part, in causing or permitting the vehicle to be stolen or destroyed.

4.2.4  Eligibility following theft or destruction of the motor vehicle

4.2.4If a motor vehicle provided to a veteran has been stolen or destroyed through no fault of the veteran, the veteran is eligible to apply for a replacement motor vehicle grant under the Scheme.

4.2.5  Expenses relating to the sale of motor vehicle

4.2.5If a veteran sells a motor vehicle acquired under the Scheme, the Commonwealth shall not be liable for any expenses relating to that sale.

PART 5 — RUNNING AND MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCE

5.1General conditions

5.1.1  Grant of running and maintenance allowance

5.1.1The Commission may grant an annual running and maintenance allowance to an eligible veteran who has been provided with an initial or replacement motor vehicle under the Scheme.

Note:              For provisions relating to replacement motor vehicles see Part 6 of the Scheme.

5.1.2  Purpose of the allowance

5.1.2The purpose of the running and maintenance allowance is to assist eligible veterans with the cost of motor registration, motor vehicle insurance, and other incidental costs related to the running and maintenance of motor vehicles for which assistance has been granted under the Scheme.

5.1.3  Documents to be provided each year

5.1.3A veteran to whom a running and maintenance allowance has been granted must present to the Department, each year, a currently valid:

(a)motor vehicle registration certificate; and

(b)compulsory third party motor vehicle insurance certificate; and

(c)comprehensive motor vehicle insurance certificate specifying that the motor vehicle is insured for its full market value; and

(d)driver's licence in the name of the person who regularly drives the motor vehicle.

5.1.4  Documents to be provided upon request

5.1.4If a running and maintenance allowance has been granted to an eligible veteran under the Scheme, the veteran must, if requested,  provide to the Department the following:

(a)documentary evidence showing that the purposes and conditions of the allowance have been and will continue to be met; and

(b)documentary evidence of the actual expenditure incurred on items for which the allowance was made.

5.1.5  Rate of allowance

5.1.5The maximum rate of running and maintenance allowance is set out in Schedule Two.

5.1.6  Not eligible for allowance if in receipt of other mobility benefits

5.1.6A running and maintenance allowance is not to be granted or paid under this Part if the veteran is receiving:

(a)a Mobility Allowance paid in accordance with Part 2.21 of the Social Security Act 1991; or

(b)a payment or any other benefit for mobility related disabilities under any other law or contract.

PART 6 — GRANTS

6.1General conditions

6.1.1  Grants that may be provided

6.1.1Subject to this Part, the Commission may grant to an eligible veteran either or both:

(a)a driving devices and modifications grant; and

(b)a replacement motor vehicle grant.

6.1.2  Amount of grant

6.1.2The amount of the grant that may be made under paragraph 6.1.1 is an amount that the Commission considers is reasonable, in all the circumstances of the case, having regard to all relevant matters, which may include:

(a)the nature of the incapacity of the veteran from war-caused injury, or war-caused disease, or both; and

(b)the nature of the proposed driving devices or modifications; and

(c)whether there are alternative suitable driving devices or modifications that are reasonably available and cost effective; and

(d)whether there are alternative providers of suitable driving devices or modifications that are reasonably accessible and cost effective.

6.1.3  Documents to be provided

6.1.3If a grant has been made to an eligible veteran under the Scheme, the veteran must, if requested, provide to the Department the following:

(a)documentary evidence showing that the purposes and conditions of the grant have been and will continue to be met; and

(b)documentary evidence of the actual expenditure incurred on items for which the grant was made.

6.2Driving devices and modifications grant

6.2.1  Purpose of the grant

6.2.1The purpose of a driving devices and modifications grant is to enable the purchasing and fitting of necessary driving devices and other modifications to an initial or replacement motor vehicle provided to a veteran under the Scheme.

6.2.2  Requirements to be satisfied before grant made

6.2.2The Commission may grant an eligible veteran a driving devices and modifications grant only if the proposed driving devices and modifications are necessary to enable the veteran to drive safely, or be transported safely in the motor vehicle, in reasonable comfort.

6.2.3  Direct payment to motor vehicle dealer

6.2.3The Commonwealth shall pay the supplying motor vehicle dealer directly for the provision and fitting of any necessary driving devices and modifications that the Commission has approved.

6.2.4  Grant not to be approved if benefit received under other law or contract

6.2.4The Commission shall not approve the payment of necessary driving devices and modifications on any motor vehicle provided under the Scheme if the veteran has received a benefit under any other law or contract which provides for the fitting of such devices or modifications.

6.3Replacement motor vehicle grant

6.3.1  Purpose of the grant

6.3.1The purpose of a replacement motor vehicle grant is to make some financial contribution towards the cost of a motor vehicle purchased to replace either an initial motor vehicle or a replacement motor vehicle for which assistance has been granted to a veteran under the Scheme.

6.3.2  Grant may be made two years after initial motor vehicle grant

6.3.2Subject to paragraph 4.2.4, a replacement motor vehicle grant may only be made after the two years immediately following the provision of an initial motor vehicle or a replacement motor vehicle grant under the Scheme and must be registered in the name of the veteran to whom financial assistance has been granted.

Note:              Paragraph 4.2.4 provides that if a motor vehicle provided to a veteran has been stolen or destroyed through no fault of the veteran, the veteran is eligible to apply for a replacement motor vehicle grant under the Scheme.

6.3.3  Trade-in or sale of previous motor vehicle

6.3.3Unless the previous motor vehicle was stolen or destroyed, a replacement motor vehicle grant may be granted to a veteran only if:

(a)a veteran trades-in or sells:

(i)an initial motor vehicle in respect of which financial assistance has been granted under the Scheme; or

(ii)a replacement motor vehicle; and

(b)documentary evidence of the trade-in valuation for the motor vehicle traded-in is provided to the Department; and

(c)the full trade-in value or sale price is offset against the cost of the replacement motor vehicle.

6.3.4  Replacement motor vehicle grant if previous motor vehicle stolen or destroyed

6.3.4If the previous motor vehicle was stolen or destroyed, a veteran may be provided with a replacement motor vehicle grant only if:

(a)documentary evidence of the amount of the insurer's write-off payment is provided to the Department; and

(b)the full amount of the insurer's write-off payment is used towards the cost of the replacement motor vehicle.

6.3.5  Not eligible for grant if received another motor vehicle

6.3.5A replacement motor vehicle grant is not to be made under this Part if the veteran has, since obtaining the initial motor vehicle, received:

(a)a payment for the purchase of a motor vehicle; or

(b)a motor vehicle;

under any other law or contract.

PART 7 — REVIEW OF DECISIONS

7.1Review by the Commission

7.1.1  Who may seek a review

7.1.1If a veteran is dissatisfied with any decision of the Commission in respect of a claim for assistance under the Scheme, the veteran may apply for review of that decision by the Commission.

7.1.2  Making a request for review

7.1.2An application for review of a decision under the Scheme must be made in writing and lodged at an office of the Department in Australia within three months after the veteran has been served with a copy of the written decision, but not otherwise.

7.1.3  Review by the Commission of its own motion

7.1.3If the Commission is of the opinion that sufficient reason exists for reviewing any decision under this Scheme, the Commission may, in its absolute discretion, do so.

7.1.4  Delegate must not review own decision

7.1.4If the Commission has delegated its powers under this Scheme to the person who made the decision under review, that person must not review the decision.

PART 8 — DETERMINATION OF CLAIMS AND DELEGATION OF POWERS

8.1Determination of claims and applications for review

8.1.1The Commission must determine all claims for assistance under the Scheme, including claims for grants and allowances, and must determine all applications for review of decisions made under this Scheme.

8.2Delegation of powers

8.2.1  Delegation

8.2.1The Commission may, generally or as otherwise provided by instrument in writing, delegate to an officer or employee of the Department, any of its powers under this Scheme, except this power to delegate.

8.2.2  Power exercised by delegate

8.2.2A power delegated by the Commission under paragraph 8.2.1, when exercised by the delegate, shall, for the purposes of this Scheme, be deemed to have been exercised by the Commission.

8.2.3  Commission may exercise power itself

8.2.3A delegation of a power under paragraph 8.2.1 does not prevent the exercise of a power by the Commission.

PART 9 — TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

9.1Transitional provisions

9.1.1  Eligible veterans under the former Scheme

9.1.1An eligible veteran who has obtained a motor vehicle, or has received a grant or allowance under the former Scheme is taken to have been provided with that motor vehicle, grant or allowance under this Scheme and is subject to the conditions and provisions of this Scheme.

9.1.2  Transfer of the Commonwealth's interest in a motor vehicle

9.1.2Upon the commencement of this Scheme, any interest that the Commonwealth had, immediately before the commencement of this Scheme, in a motor vehicle in the possession of a veteran who:

(a)obtained it under the former Scheme; and

(b)has not contravened any provision of the former Scheme; and

(c)at the commencement of this Scheme, remained able to derive benefit from assistance (as defined in paragraph 3.2.1, 3.2.2 or 3.2.3);

is taken to have passed from the Commonwealth to the eligible veteran, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the former Scheme.

9.1.3  Obligations under the former Scheme

9.1.3If an eligible veteran was under an obligation under the former Scheme, and a provision of this Scheme provides for an equivalent obligation to apply to an eligible veteran, the veteran is taken to be under that obligation under this Scheme.

Schedule One

Financial Assistance for an Initial Motor Vehicle

Maximum value of an initial motor vehicle

1.Subject to paragraph 4 of this Schedule, the maximum value of an initial motor vehicle that may be purchased under the Scheme is $31,923.

Placing the order and authorisation of payment

2.If the Commission has determined that a veteran is eligible for assistance under this Scheme, the veteran may place the order for an initial motor vehicle of his or her own choice directly with the supplying motor vehicle dealer and, subject to paragraph 3 of this Schedule, the Commission shall authorise payment of an amount equivalent to the retail price of the motor vehicle direct to the supplying dealer.

Retail price greater than maximum value

3.Subject to paragraph 4 of this Schedule, if the retail price of the initial motor vehicle chosen by the veteran is more than the amount specified in paragraph 1 of this Schedule, the Commission shall only authorise payment to the supplying motor vehicle dealer of the amount specified in paragraph 1 of this Schedule.

Where more than the maximum value can be authorised

4.If the Commission is satisfied that the provision of a more expensive motor vehicle is necessary due to the nature of the veteran's incapacity from war-caused injury or war-caused disease, or both, the Commission may authorise payment of the whole or part of the difference in cost between the amount specified in paragraph 1 of this Schedule, and the actual purchase price of the initial motor vehicle.

Payment by Commonwealth only a contribution

5.Subject to paragraph 4 of this Schedule, any amount authorised by the Commission to be paid to the supplying motor vehicle dealer is only a contribution towards the purchase of the initial motor vehicle and the Commonwealth is not liable to pay the supplying dealer either in whole or in part the difference between that contribution and the price of the motor vehicle.

Schedule Two

Running and Maintenance Allowance

Rate of the allowance

1.The running and maintenance allowance is paid annually in advance, and is equal to 26 times the rate of Recreation Transport Allowance, set out in item 1 of the Table in subsection 104 (1) of the Act, that applies at the date of payment of the allowance.

Note :              Section 198D provides for indexation of the rate of Recreation Transport Allowance.

Schedule Three

Replacement Motor Vehicle Grant

Maximum replacement motor vehicle grant

1.The maximum replacement motor vehicle grant that may be paid to a veteran is an amount representing the difference between the trade-in value or sale price of the previous motor vehicle and the purchase price of the replacement motor vehicle, but, subject to paragraph 3, cannot be greater than $16,000.

Placing the order for the replacement motor vehicle

2.If the Commission has determined that a veteran is eligible for a replacement motor vehicle under this Scheme, the veteran may place the order for a replacement motor vehicle directly with the supplying motor vehicle dealer, but no grant can be made until after a statement from a motor dealer has been received at an office of the Department in Australia certifying the trade-in value or the sale price of the previous motor vehicle (if the previous motor vehicle was not stolen or destroyed).

Where price of replacement motor vehicle exceeds maximum grant

3.Subject to paragraph 4 of this Schedule, if the difference between:

(a)the trade-in value, the sale price, or the insurer's write-off payment, as the case may be; and

(b)the purchase price of the replacement motor vehicle;

exceeds the amount specified in paragraph 1 of this Schedule, the Commission shall only authorise payment to the supplying motor vehicle dealer of an amount equivalent to the amount set out in paragraph 1 of this Schedule.

Where more than the maximum grant can be authorised

4.If the Commission is satisfied that the provision of a more expensive motor vehicle is necessary because of the veteran's incapacity from the war-caused injury or war-caused disease, or both, the Commission may authorise payment of the whole or part of the difference in cost between the amount specified in paragraph 1 of this Schedule and the actual purchase price of the replacement motor vehicle.

Payment by Commonwealth only a contribution

5.Subject to paragraph 4 of this Schedule, any amount authorised by the Commission to be paid to the supplying motor vehicle dealer is only a contribution towards the purchase of the replacement motor vehicle and the Commonwealth is not liable to pay the supplying dealer either in whole or in part the difference between that contribution and the full price of the motor vehicle.

NATIONAL OFFICE

Branch Head Disability Compensation7.1

Senior Executive Band 1.3

Position Number  645

NEW SOUTH WALES

Director Benefits2.4.56.1.3

Senior Executive Band 1.24.16.2

Position Number  45.16.3

Assistant Director Compensation2.4.56.1.3

SOGB4.16.2

Position Number  80905.16.3

Manager Primary Claims and Support Unit2.4.56.1.3

SOGC4.16.2

Position Number  81875.16.3

Manager Reviews and Other Benefits2.4.56.1.3

SOGC4.16.2

Position Number  81935.16.3

Supervisor Other Benefits5.1

ASO56.1.3(b)

Position Number  84026.3

Team Manager7.1

ASO6

Position Numbers  8091  8092  8093  8094

  8095  8096

Senior Claims Advisor7.1

SOGC

Position Numbers  8195  8196  8197

Determining Officer (s31 Review)7.1

SOGC

Position Numbers  5000  5008

Deputy Commissioner7.1

Senior Executive Service

Position Number  1

VICTORIA

Deputy Commissioner7.1

Senior Executive Service Band 2.3

Position Number  1

Director (Benefits)7.1

SES 1.2

Position Number  6

Assistant Director2.4.56.2

SOGB4.16.3

Position Number  33796.1.3(a)

Senior Claims Assessor2.4.56.2

SOGC4.16.3

Position Number  50336.1.3(a)

Res/Gen Service Officer5.1

ASO46.1.3(b)

Position Number  831

Delegate (General Benefits)5.1

ASO36.1.3(b)

Position Number  859

QUEENSLAND

Training and Planning Officer2.4.56.1.3

ASO64.16.2

Position Number  22535.16.3

Review Team Manager2.4.56.2

SOGC4.16.3

Position Numbers  2641  28135.17.1

Assistant Director Compensation7.1

SOGB

Position Number  2252

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Manager (Primary Claims)2.4.56.2

ASO64.16.3

Position Number  20805.17.1

6.1.3

Claims Adviser2.4.56.1.3

ASO54.16.2

Position Number  20615.16.3

Claims Assessor2.4.56.1.3

ASO54.16.2

Position Numbers  153  1399  2062  20635.16.3

  2064  2070  2071

Report Writer5.1

ASO46.1.3(b)

Position Numbers  1412  1413

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Team Manager (Quality Performance Monitoring2.4.56.2

and Support)4.16.3

ASO66.1.3(a)

Position Number  1791

S31 Review Officer2.4.56.2

ASO64.16.3

Position Number  18026.1.3(a)

Manager (Compensation)7.1

SOGC

Position Number  1803

Director (Care and Support)7.1

SOGB

Position Number  2

Manager (Services)5.1

ASO66.1.3(b)

Position Number  1791

Pensions Officer5.1

ASO26.1.3(b)

Position Number  1807

Supervisor Misc Benefits5.1

ASO36.1.3(b)

Position Number  1805

TASMANIA

Manager (Compensation)2.4.56.1.3

ASO64.16.2

Position Number  6715.16.3

Director (Compensation)7.1

SOGC

Position Number  2

Minute

Department of Veterans' Affairs

NATIONAL OFFICE

File No.

Phone

Fax

MS-Mail

(06) 289 6516

(06) 289 6316

c-i-dir-pp

Legal Services Group

Projects and Planning

Eligibility under the Vehicle Assistance Scheme

1 November 1996

Jeff Kelly

Disability Compensation Branch

I refer to your request for advice in relation to the case of Mr ____ and his claim for assistance under the Vehicle Assistance Scheme.

2.As I understand the facts of this case, Mr ____ cannot walk more than 10 metres because of the effects of his chronic obstructive airways disease.

3.Section 105 provides that a veteran is eligible to participate in the scheme if he or she is incapacitated from war-caused injury or disease by reason of:

(a)amputation of both legs above the knee;

(b)amputation of one leg above the knee and, in addition:

(i)amputation of the other leg at or above the ankle and amputation of one arm at or above the wrist; or

(ii)amputation of both arms at or above the wrists;

(c)complete paraplegia resulting in the total loss of voluntary power in both legs to the extent that there is insufficient power for purposeful use for stance or locomotion; or

(d)a condition that, in the opinion of the Commission, is similar in effect or severity to a condition described in paragraph (a) or (b).

4.The AAT case of Re Clifford and the Repatriation Commission (1984) 14 ALD 721,which concerned recreation transport allowance, supports the interpretation of paragraph (d) that persons who are able to use their legs to walk or stand or move their legs at all cannot meet the criteria for eligibility.

5.The provision is to be applied by considering the incapacity of a person who has the relevant amputation without the assistance of any aids or appliances. Persons in the circumstances of paragraphs (a) and (b) certainly cannot walk or stand without and aid. They have only one leg (which cannot be moved if it is used to stand upon) and no arms to hold onto anything, or no legs at all which can be moved.

6.A person who can move his or her legs at all and who is capable of standing or walking, if only for a very short distance cannot be said to meet the criteria in paragraph (d).

7.The fact that this standard might appear to be unduly harsh and restrictive is a matter that the Tribunal has commented upon in the past (at least since 1988, and a number of times since), and has suggested that the legislation needs amending. This is clearly a policy issue and not a legal issue. Legally, the criteria preclude a person such as Mr ____ from being eligible. If this result is unsatisfactory in a policy sense, then a new policy  proposal could be put that the legislation should be amended.

Bruce Topperwien

Director (Projects and Planning)

Legal Services Group

Minute

Department of Veterans' Affairs

NATIONAL OFFICE

File No.

Phone

Fax

MS-Mail

(06) 289 6516

(06) 289 6316

c-i-dir-pp

Legal Services Group

Projects and Planning

Eligibility under the Vehicle Assistance Scheme

1 November 1996

Jeff Kelly

Disability Compensation Branch

I refer to your request for advice in relation to the case of Mr ____ and his claim for assistance under the Vehicle Assistance Scheme.

2.As I understand the facts of this case, Mr ____ cannot walk more than 10 metres because of the effects of his chronic obstructive airways disease.

3.Section 105 provides that a veteran is eligible to participate in the scheme if he or she is incapacitated from war-caused injury or disease by reason of:

(a)amputation of both legs above the knee;

(b)amputation of one leg above the knee and, in addition:

(i)amputation of the other leg at or above the ankle and amputation of one arm at

or above the wrist; or

(ii)amputation of both arms at or above the wrists;

(c)complete paraplegia resulting in the total loss of voluntary power in both legs to the

extent that there is insufficient power for purposeful use for stance or locomotion; or

(d)a condition that, in the opinion of the Commission, is similar in effect or severity to a

condition described in paragraph (a) or (b).

4.The AAT case of Re Clifford and the Repatriation Commission (1984) 14 ALD 721,which concerned recreation transport allowance, supports the interpretation of paragraph (d) that persons who are able to use their legs to walk or stand or move their legs at all cannot meet the criteria for eligibility.

5.The provision is to be applied by considering the incapacity of a person who has the relevant amputation without the assistance of any aids or appliances. Persons in the circumstances of paragraphs (a) and (b) certainly cannot walk or stand without and aid. They have only one leg (which cannot be moved if it is used to stand upon) and no arms to hold onto anything, or no legs at all which can be moved.

6.A person who can move his or her legs at all and who is capable of standing or walking, if only for a very short distance cannot be said to meet the criteria in paragraph (d).

7.The fact that this standard might appear to be unduly harsh and restrictive is a matter that the Tribunal has commented upon in the past (at least since 1988, and a number of times since), and has suggested that the legislation needs amending. This is clearly a policy issue and not a legal issue. Legally, the criteria preclude a person such as Mr ____ from being eligible. If this result is unsatisfactory in a policy sense, then a new policy  proposal could be put that the legislation should be amended.

Bruce Topperwien

Director (Projects and Planning)

Legal Services Group