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Disability Pension - General Rate

Legislative Authority

Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986
Section 9 (liability provisions)
Section 13 (eligibility of veterans and mariners)
Section 18 (duties of Commission in relation to pensions)
Section 19 (determination of claims and applications)
Section 22 (general rate and EDA)
Section 29 (Guide to Assessment of Rates of Veterans' Pensions - GARP)
Sections 30A to 30P and 74 (limitations due to payment of other compensation)
Section 70 (eligibility of Defence & Peacekeeping Forces)
Section 120A (reasonable hypothesis by reference to the Statements of Principles)
Section 120B (reasonable satisfaction by reference to the Statements of Principles)

 

Stated Current Purpose/Intent

To compensate a veteran, member of the Forces, member of a Peacekeeping Force or Australian mariner for incapacity resulting from eligible service.

 

Current Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible a person must have:

  • an injury or disease, or both, determined as war-caused or defence-caused; and
  • all such injuries or diseases assessed and a pension rate determined according to the GARP.

 

Notes

  1. There is no "inability to work" test for the general rate.
  2. An extreme disablement adjustment (EDA) may be paid to persons aged over 65.
  3. An intermediate or special rate disability pension is not payable concurrently with a general rate pension.
  4. Claims for acceptance of an injury, disease or death as being war-caused are determined in accordance with the Statements of Principles (SOPs) issued by the Repatriation Medical Authority (RMA). These SOPs are binding on all determining authorities. However, determinations by the RMA are appealable and/or subject to review by the Specialist Medical Review Council.
  5. Determinations on the assessment of disability pension are made in accordance with the current edition of GARP.
  6. Peacetime Service Members of the Forces are eligible for compensation benefits under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA), in relation to their peacetime service from 7 December 1972 until 6 April 1994, provided they had served continuously for three years before 6 April 1994. The three year rule does not apply to members who died or who were discharged on invalidity grounds. All members, including those not eligible under the VEA, are also eligible under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) in relation to any period of peacetime service up until 6 April 1994. For peacetime service since the enactment of the Military Compensation Act 1994 (MCA) on 7 April 1994 all members are covered under the Military Compensation Scheme (MCS). Benefits under the MCS are based on those in the SRCA. Only those members who enlisted before 22 May 1986 and served continuously up to and after 7 April 1994 are eligible under both the VEA and SRCA for their peacetime service after 7 April 1994. If a member has eligibility under both the VEA and the SRCA any compensation received through the SRCA is offset against disability pension. DI B18/94 refers.
  7. Peacekeeping and Hazardous Service – Members with such service are also covered under both the VEA and the SRCA. The three year qualifying period does not apply to such service. Similar offsetting provisions apply where both compensation and disability pensions are payable. Peacekeeping service is not restricted to members of the Forces (eg members of the Australian police forces who have rendered peacekeeping service in Cyprus and Cambodia). The MCS does not apply to members of a Peacekeeping Force who are not members of the Forces, but those persons will be covered under the SRCA.
  8. Operational Service – Members with operational service before 7 April 1994 are only covered under the VEA. The MCA also provides coverage for operational service on or after 7 April 1994 under both the SRCA and VEA. Where a member is eligible for benefits under both the VEA and the SRCA, offsetting provisions apply.

 

Date of Introduction

1921

 

Original Purpose/Intent

The original intention has not changed.

 

Significant Changes in Criteria or Purpose since Introduction

1986

In May GARP I introduced as part of VEA.

1988

In December GARP II superseded GARP I.

1992

In July GARP III superseded GARP II.

1994

From 7 April 1994 the MCS came into effect.

In July GARP IV superseded GARP III.

From 1 June 1994 all new claims were subject to SOPs issued by the RMA or determinations issued by the Commission.

From 1 July 1994 the SWPA Act and Regulations were repealed and Australian mariners became eligible under the VEA on the same basis as veterans.

1998

From 1 January 1998, disability pensioners became eligible for payment of lump sum advance of pension (See the section on Lump Sum Advance of Pension)

In April 1998 GARP V superseded GARP IV.

2008

From 20 March 2008 changes to the rate and indexation of disability pensions occurred. This measure included three distinct components:

1. Increase the above general rate component of EDA by $15;

2. Increase the General Rate component of all disability pensions by 5%;

3. Change the indexation arrangements for the general rate component of all pensions to MTAWE/CPI in same manner as the service pension.

2010

Introduction of British Nuclear Test Defence Service.

2012

Clean energy advance payable for the period 1 July 2012 to 19 March 2013 for eligible recipients.

2013

Clean energy supplement commenced 20 March 2013 for eligible recipients.

2014

Clean energy supplement replaced by energy supplement commenced 20 September 2014.