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9.3 Disability Pension, War Widow's/Widower's Pension, Attendant Allowance and Supplementary Benefit Appeals
9.3.1 — In general, a similar chain of events occurs as with requests for review of SP and ISS decisions. A primary decision is made by a delegate of the Repatriation Commission to grant, vary, reduce or cancel disability pension, war widow's/widower's pension or attendant allowance. If dissatisfied with a delegate's decision, a veteran or widow may apply to the Veteran's Review Board (VRB) under section 135 VEA for a review of that decision.
9.3.2 — The Commission has discretion under section 31 VEA to review its original decision either prior to the expiry of the application period or, if an application is lodged, prior to the VRB determination of the application. This discretion is not always exercised, but if the Commission does vary its decision, the new decision becomes the decision that the VRB will review. The veteran or widow may then decide to proceed or withdraw the application for review.
9.3.3 — If dissatisfied with the VRB decision, the client has a right of appeal to the AAT and then to the Courts in the same manner as an SP client. Subsection 175(1) VEA contains the authority for review through the AAT:
175(1) Where a decision made by the Commission has been reviewed by the Board upon a request made under section 135 VEA and affirmed, varied or set aside, then subject to section 29 of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975, application may be made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review:
(a) of the decision of the Commission that was so affirmed;
(b) of the decision of the Commission as so varied; or
(c) of the decision made by the Board in substitution for the decision so set aside;
as the case may be.
9.3.4 — It should be noted that in most DP overpayments, the client is advised of the decision to reduce or cancel entitlement and rights of review against that decision, prior to the letter advising of the overpaid amount. This differs from SP and ISS overpayments, where the client is advised of the decision to vary pension, rights of review, and the overpaid amount, at the same time. When raising DP overpayments officers should be aware of this fact and ensure that the client has been provided with rights of review.
9.3.5 — Where a person is dissatisfied with a decision of the Repatriation Commission in relation to an application for certain Part VI supplementary benefits, the first level of review is to a delegate of the Repatriation Commission under section 115 VEA. Subsequent review is by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.