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2.1.12 Collection of information from claimant
The MRCC has the power to require a claimant holding information relevant to the claim to furnish information requested by the MRCC. Normally this information is required within 28 days but the claimant can ask the MRCC to extend the period. If a claimant refuses or fails to provide the information without a reasonable excuse, the MRCC can apply penalties.
The authority to demand this information is contained in Section 330 of MRCA. When a letter is issued demanding information, this section of MRCA must be quoted. Failure to quote will leave the delegate unable to sanction the claimant should they not provide the requested information.
In the event that the information is not provided the delegate has the right under Section 330 to refuse to deal with the claim until the requested information is received. Alternatively, the delegate can determine the claim using the existing information and , should the claim be denied, the claimant can subsequently appeal the decision.
This also raises the further issue of when a delegate should proceed to make a decision when information sought is not forthcoming. A decision should only be made if the claim has been thoroughly investigated from all angles and the determination should state that information was sought but not forthcoming.
An example of a letter requesting information under Section 330 follows:
Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Scheme
Toll Free1300 131 945
Mr R Crowe
7 Melrose Drive
CANBERRA ACT 2904
Dear Mr Crowe,
I refer to my letter dated 12 January 2006 (copy enclosed), that requested the supply of information to enable the investigation and completion of your claim for liability and compensation for your lumbar spondylosis. To this date, this office has received no documentation. I have phoned you on several occasions and requested the information be forwarded.
In accordance with section 330 of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004, I request that you supply the information within 28 days of the date of this letter. If after the 28 days, I have not received the required information, I may refuse to deal with your claim for compensation.
Power to request the provision of information
(1) This section applies if the Commission is satisfied that a person who has made a claim:
(a) has information or a document (including information or a document relating to costs incurred by the person, such as a receipt) that is relevant to the claim; or
(b) may obtain any such information or a copy of such a document without unreasonable expense or inconvenience.
(2) The Commission may, by notice in writing given to the person, request the person to give:
(a) specified information or a specified document; or
(b) information or a document in a specified class of information or documents;
to the Commission within 28 days after the date of the notice or within such further period (if any) as the Commission, on the request of the person, allows.
(3) If the person refuses or fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with a notice under subsection (2), the Commission may refuse to deal with the claim until the person gives the Commission the information, or a copy of the document, specified in the notice.
If there is anything you would like to discuss, please phone 62896612. Country and interstate residents can ring the toll free number, select the prompt for National Office and ask for extension 6612.
Enclosure: Correspondence dated 12 January 2006