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64.2.1 Military compensation and the 1930 Act
Coverage of Defence Force personnel under the Commonwealth Employees' Compensation Act 1930 commenced from 3 January 1949, as a result of amendments introduced by the Commonwealth Employees' Compensation Act 1948 (No 61/1948).
Prior to 3 January 1949, any claims for employees' compensation for injury sustained in the course of a member's duties were considered under the various Defence Act determinations of the time.
In those cases where a person submits a claim for compensation benefits relating to an injury sustained during ADF service prior to 3 January 1949 (where there is no compensation coverage under other legislation), the person may wish to consider lodging a claim for an Act of Grace payment with the Department of Finance and Deregulation.
Further information about Act of Grace payments can be found at the Department of Finance and Deregulation website via the following link: http://www.finance.gov.au/financial-framework/discretionary-compensation/act-of-grace.html
The site also includes an application form that the person can use if they wish to lodge a request.
Contact details for the relevant section within the Department of Finance and Deregulation are as follows:
Special Claims and Land Policy Branch
Department of Finance and Deregulation
John Gorton Building
King Edward Terrace
PARKES ACT 2600
Telephone: 1800 227 572
Please note that requests for Act of Grace payments do not have to be lodged with DVA as the first point of consideration.In the claims that are considered by the Department, there is evidence which indicates that the average time that elapses between the date an 'injury' occurs and the date on which a claim for compensation is lodged is something around ten years. Claims are not uncommonly received which relate to injuries that are alleged to have occurred forty or fifty years previously and for diseases that are attributed to service in the ADF in the 1950s. Consequently, it is not at all uncommon that Delegates are required to consider claims under the Transitional Provisions of the SRC Act, having regard to the relevant provisions of the 1930 Act (and, in many cases, the 1971 Act).
The importance of understanding the different legislative requirements of the 1930 Act in particular must be stressed since it would not be appropriate, for example, to consider a claim for a disease which first manifested in say 1962 under the disease provisions of the SRC Act. Such a case should be considered in accordance with the disease provisions of the Act that was in force in 1962, that is, the 1930 Act. The disease provisions of that Act were quite different to those contained in either the 1971 Act or in the SRC Act.
The 1930 Act had specific requirements regarding service of notice of an accident (that is, notice of an injury, or of a disease or of the death of an employee) and lodging a claim for compensation.
The practical effect of the provisions of S16 is that notice of an accident (remember that this includes notice of an injury, or of a disease or of the death of an employee) had to be served on the then Commissioner for Employees' Compensation (Comcare Australia is the current equivalent of the Commissioner) as soon as practicable after an injury occurred, or after the date on which an employee became aware that he/she was suffering from a disease or after the date on which a claimant became aware of the death of the employee.
The Liability Handbook has detailed writings on how to deal with claims that have been lodged outside the legislative timeframes, possible prejudice against the Commonwealth and consideration of claims generally under the 1930 Act.