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6.4 General Rules for Calculating Incapacity Payments Applicable to Former Members

General Rules for Calculating Incapacity Payments Applicable to Former Members

What is a former member for the purposes of the MRCA?

Section 5 of the MRCA defines a former member as “a person who has ceased to be a member” and notes that “A cadet or a part-time Reservist who is unlikely to be able to perform his or her duties in the future as a result of an incapacity might be taken to be a former member (see section 10).”

The simplest/most common example of a former member is person who has discharged from all forms of ADF service. The person’s ADF service record will confirm this.

Under section 10 the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) may advise the Commission in writing if the Reservist or cadet is unlikely to be able to perform their duties in the future as a result of his or her incapacity. If a determination is made by the CDF under section 10 then the person is taken to have ceased to be a member for the purposes of the MRCA. This does not imply that person has been discharged from the ADF as the ADF still retain the ability to recall the member to active service.

A person for whom a section 10 determination has been made, should not be referred to as being discharged from the ADF.  Instead this person is ‘being taken to have ceased to be a member for the purposes of the MRCA’.

Implications of being a former member or having a determination under section 10

Being a former member or being taken to have ceased to be a member for the purposes of the MRCA has the following effect:

1. DVA becomes the person’s rehabilitation authority, rather than the Chief of the Defence Force.  This generally entails a broader range of rehabilitation services, including whole of person psychosocial rehabilitation, than is provided by Defence.

2. Incapacity payments are calculated and paid under Part 4 of Chapter 4 of the MRCA for former members, as distinct from Part 3 of Chapter 4 of the MRCA which relates to current members.  The implications of which are:

  • If the person has been in receipt of incapacity payments since prior to 1 July 2013, their Military Superannuation would not have been included in the calculation of incapacity payments while they were a serving member. Once they are a former member or being taken to have ceased to be a member for the purposes of the MRCA, the superannuation benefit will now be reduced from incapacity payment calculations.

  • The reduction provisions (section 131) apply after the person has been in receipt of incapacity payments for 45 weeks from the date of their discharge or the section 10 determination.

3. The person may also be considered for SRDP eligibility, and become eligible for any of the ancillary benefits associated with SRDP eligibility.