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9.2.7 Delegates rights to examine VEA files on client


RCG Delegates may also seek those ADF medical documents contemporary with injury and also pre-existing post discharge medical assessments from DVA's files relating to the employee's claims under the VEA.

  • Delegates may establish from the DVA database 'VIEW' whether the employee has a claim under the VEA also. Where this is the case, the relevant ADF medical documents and also medical reports commissioned by VEA Delegates may resolve medical issues – including diagnosis – relevant to the SRCA claim.
  • RCG Delegates have the right of reasonable access to VEA files, and are not prohibited from such a search by the terms of the Privacy Act because:
  • The Authority signed by the employee on the claim form D2020 is sufficient to allow this level of access.
  • Furthermore, access is permissible via Exceptions to Privacy Principle 10:
  1. RCG is part of the same agency that collected the information.
  2. The use is the same i.e. determining compensation entitlements of veterans.
  3. Disclosure by VEA Delegates is reasonably necessary to protect revenue.

Nevertheless, having obtained access to a VEA file dealing with the same injury, Delegates should use some caution in determining liability under a worker's compensation Act using medical data gathered for the purposes of separate legislation. The Acts have different acceptance criteria and the focus of attention on medical issues is quite different in some cases.

  • Copies (or originals) of the ADF medical documents on VEA files present few problems of interpretation for RCG Delegates.
  • However, medical reports commissioned by VEA Delegates or by representatives of ex-service organisations for the purposes of determining liability under the VEA can be misleading to RCG Delegates. RCG Delegates should be guarded regarding conclusions or opinions expressed by medical professionals about the relationship of the injury/disease to service, which is judged by different criteria under the VEA. RCG Delegates should instead be looking to glean:
  • a medical diagnosis
  • the medical detail of the reports i.e. medical observations capable of corroborating/ contradicting or clarifying other medical sources
  • dates, circumstances and other narrative details revealed to the VEA medical examiner but not volunteered as evidence to the RCG Delegate e.g. assertions that the injury/disease was the result of Vietnam service (thus not compensable under the SRCA) which contradicts the tale told to the RCG Delegate.