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13.4 Reconsideration and review mechanisms for rehabilitation
Where a client disagrees with a decision regarding their rehabilitation, they have the right to ask for a reconsideration or review of that decision.
Most MRCA rehabilitation determinations are known as original determinations and can be reviewed. However, decisions to suspend compensation in accordance with section 50, 52 or 212 of MRCA are not original determinations, as per subsection 345(2) of the MRCA. For decisions under section 50 and 52, a client cannot seek formal reconsideration or review of these determinations. For decisions under section 212, a client has the right to seek a review by the Commission, as per section 10.12.13 of this library.
However, under the DRCA the Federal Court has held that a client does have the right to seek a reconsideration or review of a decision to suspend their compensation entitlement in accordance with subsections 36(4) or 37(7) of DRCA.
For all other determinations made regarding rehabilitation under the DRCA, MRCA or VVRS, the client should be informed in writing of the terms and reasons for the determination and the client's right to have the decision reviewed or reconsidered. For specific information about reviews under the VVRS, please refer to section 13.5 of this library.
Review pathways for MRCA determinations
Prior to 1 January 2017, MRCA clients had a choice of two review pathways:
- the Veteran's Review Board (VRB) and then the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT); or
- a reconsiderations delegate not involved in the original decision and then the AAT.
From 1 January 2017, a single appeal pathway (to the VRB and then the AAT) was introduced for MRCA clients who wished to appeal an original determination. Applications for a review by the VRB, must be lodged within 12 months of receiving the original determination notification.
This excludes the review pathway outlined for the MVCS, as per section 10.12.13 of this library.
Review pathways for DRCA determinations
DRCA clients have a single appeal pathway to a reconsiderations delegate not involved in the original decision and then the AAT.
Requests for a review by a reconsiderations delegate must be made in writing and lodged no later than 30 days after a client has received the advice of the determination.
The delegate who made the determination must not review their own decision.
Once the review is completed, the client must be notified in writing of the decision, the reasons for the decision and their right to have the new decision reviewed by the AAT.
Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)
If a client disagrees with the outcome of the review of an original determination, they have the option to appeal to the AAT.
MRCA clients have the right to apply in writing to the AAT, within 3 months of receipt of the new decision, to have the new decision reviewed. The AAT has the discretion to accept appeals up to 12 months after the receipt of the decision.
DRCA clients seeking a review through the AAT have 60 days, following receipt of the reconsideration decision, to lodge an application for a review.