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6.2 Incapacity for Service or Work

An incapacity for service refers to a person's inability to undertake their military duties, whereas an incapacity for work refers to a person's inability to undertake civilian work.

Section 5 defines incapacity for service or work as:

incapacity for service, in relation to a person who has sustained an injury or contracted a disease, means an incapacity of the person to engage in the defence service that he or she was engaged in before the onset of the incapacity, at the same level at which he or she was previously engaged.

incapacity for work, in relation to a person who has sustained an injury or contracted a disease, means:

  • an incapacity of the person to engage in the work that he or she was engaged in before the onset of the incapacity, at the same level at which he or she was previously engaged; or
  • if the person was not previously engaged in work, an incapacity of the person to engage in any work that it is reasonably likely that he or she would otherwise be engaged in.

Note:For example, a person might be unable to engage in work at the same level at which he or she was engaged before the incapacity because the person is unable to perform all of his or her previous duties or is unable to work his or her normal weekly hours.

A period of incapacity may include any period when:

  • the person is not working ('engage in any work') because of the injury, or
  • after ceasing to be incapacitated, the person remains on an approved rehabilitation program, or
  • the person is restricted in work hours, ability to undertake shifts or undertake certain elements of the job ('work at the same level'), or
  • the person is away from work attending medical treatment, etc., and
  • the person has incurred a loss of earnings.

Incapacity to engage in work at the same level is when a person, because of their accepted condition/s is:

  • on a graduated return to work or unable to work pre-injury hours;
  • unable to undertake specific duties;
  • unable to work shifts or overtime; or
  • redeployed to a lower paying position.