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Section 88 (for serving members) and Section 119 (for former members) of the MRCA provide that liability to pay incapacity payments in respect of an aggravated injury or disease only exists for as long as the effects of the aggravation exists.
It would generally be expected that conditions for which liability is accepted under Section 30 of the MRCA would be temporary in nature.
Any cases that are accepted under section 30 should only have incapacity payments paid for a limited time, that is, for the period the sign or symptom is aggravated. For example, where a Reservist is attending a field exercise and due to environmental factors suffers severe hay-fever is sent home from the exercise. The person would be entitled to loss of pay and allowances for the duration of the exercise, but not after the symptoms of that episode have resolved. When the condition resolves to its usual symptomology (even if active), compensation is no longer payable.
The same policy should be applied to SRCA cases.
A rifleman (PTE) is undertaking a field exercise with his unit and suffers an allergic reaction to an ingredient in the ration pack provided to members of the exercise. The member is removed from the exercise and the reaction resolves within 2 weeks. DVA has accepted liability for the aggravation of signs and symptoms of the allergy and Defence confirms that the member would have remained in receipt of field allowance for an additional 13 days if not for medical removal. Subsequently, Defence determine that due to the discovery of the underlying allergy, the member is unable to remain in service and proceed to medically discharge them.
Delegates will need to understand the distinction between the effects of a temporary aggravation and the effects of the underlying condition, which is non compensable. In this scenario, the member would be compensated for the loss of field allowance for the 13 days – directly related to the compensable temporary aggravation of signs and symptoms, but not for the medical discharge resulting from the underlying condition.