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9.8.2 What is GARP?

What is GARP?

GARP is the legislative instrument used by decision-makers to determine the amount of Disability Compensation Payment to pay a veteran in respect of incapacity from war-caused or defence-caused injuries and diseases. It looks at the medical impairment suffered as a result of war-caused disabilities and the effect on the veteran's lifestyle. Its provisions are binding on the Repatriation Commission, the Veterans' Review Board and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.     

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Content of GARP




GARP contains:

  • criteria against which the degree of incapacity of the veteran resulting from war-caused injury or disease, or both, shall be assessed, and
  • methods by which the degree of this incapacity, shall be expressed as a percentage.
Assessment of degree of incapacity

The two elements of the assessment of the degree of incapacity using GARP are:




Guide to the Assessment of Rates of Veterans' Pensions.

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.


For the purposes of Part VI of the VEA, a reference to a veteran is taken to be a reference to:

  • a veteran as defined in subsection 5C(1) of the VEA;
  • a member of the Forces as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA; or
  • a member of a Peacekeeping Force as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA.

For the purposes of Part VII of the VEA, according to subsection 5C(1), veteran means a person (including a deceased person):

  • who is taken to have rendered eligible war service, or
  • in respect of whom a pension is, or pensions are, payable under subsection 13(6) and
  • in Part III and Part VIIC of the VEA includes a person who is:



According to subsection 5D(2), incapacity from a war or defence-caused disease or injury is a reference to the effects of that injury or disease, and not a reference to the injury or disease itself.

According to subsection 5D(1), an injury means any physical or mental injury (including the recurrence of a physical or mental injury) but does not include:

  • a disease, or
  • the aggravation of a physical or mental injury.

According to subsection 5D(1), disease means:

  • any physical or mental ailment, disorder, defect or morbid condition (whether of sudden onset or gradual development), or
  • the recurrence of such an ailment, disorder, defect or morbid condition,

but does not include:

  • the aggravation of such an ailment, disorder, defect or morbid condition, or
  • a temporary departure from:

the normal physiological state, or

the accepted ranges of physiological or biochemical measures,

that results from normal physiological stress (for example, the effect of exercise on blood pressure) or the temporary effect of extraneous agents (for example, alcohol on blood cholesterol levels).

According to Section 179 of the VEA, the Commission is a body corporate under the name of Repatriation Commission.



The Veterans' Review Board is an independent statutory authority that has the power to review decisions made by the Repatriation Commision for the Disability Compensation Payment, war widow's/widower's pension, orphan's pension and attendant allowance.



The Administrative Appeals Tribunal is an independent body established by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975, which reviews certain administrative decisions of specified Departments and Government agencies. The Tribunal is headed by a judge of the Federal Court of Australia who may sit with other tribunal members who are either judges, lawyers or persons who may possess some experience relevant to the subject of the review.