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The Veterans' Review Board has established a Dormant Register as part of its administrative screening process that it started in February 1990 to improve its handling of applications.

2.The Dormant Register is intended to save VRB resources on applications which are not being actively pursued by the applicants.  The Registrar of the VRB can lapse applications and transfer them to the Dormant Register.  The Board will take no further action on these cases.  For a case to be removed from the Dormant Register an applicant would need to lodge a written request to the Registrar setting out reasons for possible re-instatement and evidence that the application is ready for immediate hearing.  The Principal Registrar will decide whether an application is to be removed from the Register.

3.The VRB will advise the Department if an application has been placed on the Dormant Register and if an application has been removed from the Register.  A letter is sent by the Registrar to the applicant when a case is put on the Register (copy attached).  The Registrar will also advise an applicant of the outcome of a request for re-instatement of an application.

4.The operation of the Dormant Register has implications for the recording of VRB cases on the Claims Management System.  The following procedures are to be adopted when a case is placed on the Dormant Register.

Case Placed on Register

(1)VRB advises Branch Office and applicant.

(2)Branch Office staff to set attribute (030) "DORMANT REGISTER" on VRB Case on CMS and note the inside file cover (M or C) with a label "VRB Dormant Register Case".

(3)VRB case to be withdrawn from CMS.

(4)File to be put away.

Case Reinstated (i.e. removed from Register)

(1)VRB advises Branch Office and applicant.

(2)Branch Office registers a new CMS case for the VRB application with case and claim receipt date as the date of the Principal Registrar's decision to remove the case from the Register (which will be notified to the Branch Office).

(3)"Dormant Register" label is removed from inside file cover.

(4)Application to proceed, but no new section 137 report to be prepared.  Case to go into VRB Decision stage.

5.It is expected that there will be few cases put on the Register and, of these, only a small percentage will be reinstated.

6.It is possible that an applicant lodges a claim for the same disability/death which is the subject of the application which was transferred to the Dormant Register.  Branch Office staff need to be careful to ensure that these claims are identified before investigation is started.  Team Leaders/Vetting Officers need to check for this prospect by reference to the label on the file cover or the attribute on CMS.  If a primary level claim has already been registered and classified, it should be withdrawn on CMS.  The applicant should be advised that the new claim is invalid and to contact the VRB concerning the application on the Dormant Register.

7.VRB assessment cases on the Dormant Register have not been finally determined for the purposes of sub-section 15(5) of the Veterans' Entitlements Act.  Accordingly, an application lodged for an increase in pension would not be a valid application if the applicant still has an assessment case on the Dormant Register.  In these circumstances, once again, the applicant should be informed that the application for increase is invalid and to contact the VRB.

8.Similarly, any new application to the VRB received by the Department in respect of a matter covered by a VRB application placed on the Register is invalid and the applicant should be referred to the VRB Registrar.

9.Staff should also be aware that legislation will be introduced to Parliament as announced in the Budget to allow the VRB to "strike out" an application after two years where the applicant is not taking steps to pursue the application to finality.  Instructions on this will be issued at an appropriate time.