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2.6 Special Rate Disability Pension (SRDP)
Special Rate Disability Pension (SRDP) under MRCA is an ongoing payment that can be made to a former member in lieu of incapacity payments. Rehabilitation has an important part to play in assessing eligibility for SRDP.
A former member is eligible to make a choice to receive a SRDP if the delegate is satisfied the following criteria in subsection 199(1) of the MRCA are met:
a) as a result of one or more service conditions the former member:
- is receiving incapacity payments; or
- would be receiving incapacity payments if the amount of their compensation - calculated under section 126 of the MRCA - was greater than nil; or
- has converted their incapacity payments to a lump sum under section 138 of the MRCA;
b) the former member has suffered an impairment that is likely to continue indefinitely;
c) the former member's impairment constitutes at least 50 points; and
d) the former member is unable to undertake remunerative work for more than 10 hours per week, and rehabilitation is unlikely to increase the client's capacity to undertake remunerative work.
The first three criteria will typically be evident and the criteria that will require the most investigation will be whether the member is unable to undertake remunerative work for more than 10 hours per week. This criteria can only be determined as a result of a rehabilitation assessment undertaken in accordance with section 44 of MRCA.
As per the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission decision in May 2016, determining a person cannot work for more than 10 hours per week with a less than 50 percent probability of any improvement as a result of rehabilitation over a five year period must be supported by evidence from the person's treating doctor and a rehabilitation service provider as part of a rehabilitation assessment. If there is already contemporary evidence regarding a person’s work capacity and rehabilitation (from a rehabilitation service provider) further evidence may not be required as part of the assessment. Information regarding eligibility for SRDP can be found in section 13.2.1 of the MRCA policy manual.
If it is found that a client is SRDP eligible, consideration should be given to other rehabilitation assistance that may be provided through a rehabilitation program which focuses on quality of life, improved functioning and wellbeing outcomes for the client.