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4.5.3 How are Statements of Principles Made and Used?

How are SoPs made?

The Repatriation Medical Authority [glossary:(:]RMA) decides the SoPs after extensive investigations of the medical literature and research available worldwide. They are then gazetted in the Australian Government Gazette and tabled in both Houses of Federal Parliament. They become effective from the date they are signed by the Chairman of the RMA and remain law unless either House of the Australian Parliament disallows them. Veterans and ex-service organisations can ask the RMA to make a new SoP if one does not already exist or to review a SoP if they believe that there is additional information available. This additional material needs to be sound medical-scientific evidence rather than a personal medical report or passages from a textbook.    

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How are SoPs used?




SoPs provide a list of factors causally related to a particular medical condition. SoPs alone determine what factors can be said to cause a medical condition that is the subject of a claim for disability compensation payment. A veteran or dependant can look at the list of factors and see if any might be applicable to their particular circumstances. Decision-makers must decide whether any of the factors in the SoP for the condition being investigated apply to the person making the claim. If one of the factors applies then the decision-maker must see if it is also connected to the service of the serviceman or servicewoman.    

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Investigation and Review of Statements of Principles

Section 4.5.4


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Causal Connection of Injury or Disease with Service

Chapter 4.4


Disability Pension Eligibility

Chapter 4.1


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The RMA is a panel of five medical and scientific experts appointed by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs after consultation with the ex-service and veteran community.

The role of the RMA is:



The RMA is a panel of five medical and scientific experts appointed by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs after consultation with the ex-service and veteran community.

The role of the RMA is:



Statement of Principles means:

  • a Statement of Principles determined by the RMA under section 196B of the VEA; or
  • a determination made by the Repatriation Commission under section 180A of the VEA; or
  • a Statement of Principles concerning a particular kind of injury or disease made available to the VRB by the Repatriation Commission under paragraph 138(2)(a) of the VEA.



According to subsection 5AB(2), information about a particular kind of injury, disease, or death is taken to be sound medical evidence if the information:

  • is consistent with material relating to medical science that has been published in a medical or scientific publication and has been, in the opinion of the RMA, subjected to a peer review process, or
  • in accordance with generally accepted medical practice, would serve as the basis for the diagnosis and management of medical condition.

Information about how that kind of injury, disease or death may be caused must meet the applicable criteria for assessing causation currently applied in the field of epidemiology.



Disability compensation payment (known before 2022 as disability pension), for the purposes of service pension, income support supplement and veteran payment, means:

  • a pension paid by way of compenstion for incapacity from war caused conditions, or peacetime, peacekeeping or hazardous service caused conditions (other than a war widow's or orphan's pension); or
  • temporary incapacity allowance; or
  • any other payment in respect of incapacity or death resulting from war or war-like operations in which the Crown has been engaged (usually paid by another Commonwealth country).

Please note that the Disability Compensation Payment is legally a pension by way of compensation under the VEA so that concessional benefits under state, territory and local government legislation to pensioners/pensions under the VEA are not denied.