C31/2007 Unsigned Disability Pension Claims | Compensation and Support Reference Library, Departmental Instructions, 2007

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C31/2007 Unsigned Disability Pension Claims

Document

DATE OF ISSUE:  20 November 2007

Unsigned Disability Pension Claims

Replaced by DI No.

C03/2009

Replaces DI No.

C10/2007

Purpose

The purpose of this Instruction is to clarify what action should be taken if a veteran sends in an unsigned Disability Pension claim form, and how that claim should be treated. Please note that this DI replaces DI C10/2007.

Introduction

The form Claim for Disability Pension and/or Application for Increase in Disability Pension (form D2582) requires the claimant or the claimant's personal legal representative to sign the form.  The signature indicates that the information on the form is true and complete, and authorises DVA to obtain medical information about the claimant needed to process determine the claim.

It is understandable that sometimes veterans or widows may forget to provide a signature or may not see the last page of the form where the signature is requested.  However, if DVA receives a form without a signature, it is not authorised to collect the information required to process the claim.

Therefore, in order for claims in this category to be progressed, DVA officers must take action to obtain a signature from the claimant.

Procedure

If a DVA officer receives a Claim for Disability Pension and/or Application for Increase in Disability Pension (D2582), which does not include a signature from the claimant or the claimant's personal legal representative, the officer must complete the following steps:

  1. Register the claim and place a photocopy on file.
  2. Send the original claim form back to the claimant, with a covering letter requesting that the form be signed and returned to DVA as soon as possible.
  3. Begin any investigations that the officer is able to undertake using the existing material on the veteran's file and the information provided in the claim form.

NOTE:  Do not seek any information from external agencies or medical professionals until a signed claim form is received.

Date of Lodgement

The date of lodgement for claim forms received without a signature is the date the form is originally received by DVA, and not the date the signed form is received.

Informal Claims

A form received without a signature is not an informal claim.  An informal claim is a claim received in the form of a written document other than an approved form and is treated differently.  See Departmental Instruction C39/97 for information on informal claims.

What if the person has died?

If the person has died without signing their claim form, information for the purposes of determining their claim may still be obtained using the powers of the Secretary set out in section 128 of the VEA.

What if the person has already provided the information required?

The signature on the claim form provides the claimant's authority to obtain any information about them that is required for processing the claim.  If the person provides with their form detailed information addressing their claim, it may appear that their signature is not required.

However, it is important to always obtain the person's signature, whether or not it appears that it is required, because circumstances can arise during the processing of the claim that are not evident when it is received.  An example of this is if the person has received compensation through another source, details of which are required for offsetting purposes.

What if the claim form has been faxed or scanned?

The delegate may accept as authentic a signature on a claim that has been filled in on the correct form and faxed or scanned and emailed.  If the signature is not provided, the Delegate must process it in the same way as forms that have been sent in hard copy without a signature.

Contact

Any enquiries about this Instruction or clarification on this issue should be directed to Veterans' Compensation Policy Section at the ACT location.

(SIGNED)

Sean Farrelly

National Manager

Compensation Policy Group