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4.14 Establishment of Trust Funds for 'Prescribed Children'

Last amended 
12 April 2017

The “Military Death Claim Compensation Special Account” was established on 23 June 2005 to administer compensation benefits paid under the SRCA and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) to beneficiaries “that are under a legal disability”.

Prior to July 2005 Comcare managed the “SRCA Trust Account” (STA). Management of the account transferred to DVA under arrangements created by the MRCA and in accordance with the determination detailed above.

The vast majority of the beneficiaries are children under the age of 18 years, who have been awarded compensation following the death of a parent under compensable circumstances. Money is held until the legal disability no longer applies, which is, unless there are exceptional circumstances, when the beneficiary turns 18.

The relevant authority is contained at section 110 of the SRCA.

Therefore, where children are not yet eligible (by reason of age) for a lump sum payment to be issued to them, the Programme Support Branch sets up an interest-bearing trust account for each child. This lump sum portion is kept in trust for them until they turn 18, which is the minimum legal age at which they may receive it.

The delegate should alert the Programme Support Branch of any such proposed decision and advise that a payment will be forthcoming shortly. Email advice will be sufficient and should be directed to the “SRCA Trust” mailbox (which can be found in the Outlook address book). This mailbox is monitored by the Programme Support Branch Business Support section.

Note that s17(10) of SRCA requires that a single determination be made to include all of the S17 claims. The child's payments may not therefore be determined separately to, or earlier than, payments to be made in respect of other claimants.  See also the following parts of this handbook:

  • 2.4 Need for ACCURACY in Death Claims – S56 prohibits 2nd determinations,
  • 4.1.2 The delegates investigation re 'dependants', and
  • 4.1.3 Dependants = claimants?

Following the determination, the delegate of the MRCC will pay the child's money (via Defcare/DOLARS) directly to the Military Death Claim Compensation Special Account by electronic funds transfer (BSB 092-009, Acct Number 009-11751-2).

The delegate should then write to the Programme Support Branch, via the SRCA Trust mailbox, formally requesting that the money be placed in trust for the child. The delegate's letter should be made in the format provided for the purpose, in the Defcare Standard Letter Suite. This letter must identify:

  • the name of the deceased;
  • the applicable DEFCARE Record Number;
  • the beneficiary's name and birth date; and
  • the amount of money payable and to be held in trust along with the contact details of the guardian.

The letter must also enclose a copy of the:

  • Determination re: what monies are payable in respect of the death;
  • Client’s Death Certificate;
  • birth certificate of each of the children whose money is to be placed in trust; and
  • advice regarding payment of money to the trust fund.

The determination, formal letter to the Programme Support Branch and payment of all parties (including the child's portion to the Special Account) should all be accomplished on the same day.

Upon receipt of the formal letter and all attachments, the Programme Support Branch will raise a Beneficiary File and store all correspondence relating to the trust monies. The Programme Support Branch will also ensure that the beneficiary is noted on the Special Account Beneficiary List and will write to the beneficiary to advise that monies have been received and to provide details on how to access funds if required.