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2.1.9 Electronic Lodgement of Claims
Subsection 319(2) of MRCA specifies the manner in which claims made under MRCA are to be submitted, and in a form specified by the MRCC. A claim for liability must be made in writing in the approved form; claims for compensation can be made either in writing of verbally to the Department.
Section 323 of the MRCA makes provision for the MRCC to approve the electronic lodgement of certain claims and other documents.
This is done by way of an instrument under the Act, the current instrument is the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation (Electronic Lodgement Approval) Instrument 2018 and can be found in the Legislation library in CLIK. This instrument provides for the following claim types to be received electronically;
Claims for liability and compensation under section 319(1) and in a form approved under section 319(2)(c)
Request of reconsideration under section 349, and
Application to the Veterans’ Review Board under section 352
The manner of electronically lodging claims as detailed in the instrument includes;
Transmission by fax – the instrument provides a list of fax numbers.
Transmission via the internet (i.e. MyAccount), and
Transmission via email – the instrument provides a list of email addresses
Any supporting material that is required by the MRCA to be lodged in respect of a claim or other document referred to in Schedule 1 of the instrument, may be lodged in the same manner as approved by this instrument for the claim or other document to which it relates. If proof of identity (POI) documents are requested to be lodged in respect of a claim under MRCA, they may be lodged in the same manner as approved by this instrument for the kind of claim to which they relate. This allows clients to scan certified copies of POI and other documents and provide them as electronic attachments as they do currently thorough MyAccount. The delegate will continue to be required to be satisfied with the authenticity and validity of any e-mail claim they receive, supporting documents and including the POI requirements.
The use of email for lodgement of claims is to be categorised as a second tier pathway with clients continuing to be encouraged to register and claim through the Departments preferred method of online claiming via MyAccount or MyService and online claiming which populates directly into R&C ISH. Documents that are received by email will need to be manually stored electronically and loaded into R&C ISH.
Departmental email Policy can be found in the intranet and outlines procedures and regulations including security, privacy and rules for the use of e-mail for sensitive client information such as claims. The acceptance of MRCA claims via email, along with any outgoing email to clients is to comply with this policy.
The Commission acknowledges a number of risks associated with the acceptance of claims via email and as such the following is to be noted in mitigating these risks.
A claim may be sent to an unmonitored or redundant staff email address without subsequent follow up;
Mitigation: prescribing a specific group e-mail address in the instrument.
Electronic communications such as e-mail increase the chance that private information may be sent to the wrong people, breaching privacy;
Mitigation: through guidance in the existing DVA email policy which addresses this risk.
Files attached to the e-mail may be corrupted or in a format that is not compatible with DVA systems, this could increase administrative load for staff;
Mitigation: through compliance with the existing DVA email policy
This method may undermine the administratively more efficient MyAccount online claims pathway;
Mitigation: continue to encourage clients to use MyAccount over that of email methods of claims lodgement;