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B35/1991 COMMONWEALTH EMPLOYEES' REHABILITATION & COMPENSATION ACT 1988 CLEARANCES FOR DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE
DATE OF ISSUE: 15 July 1991
COMMONWEALTH EMPLOYEES' REHABILITATION & COMPENSATION ACT 1988 CLEARANCES FOR DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE
Section 26 of the Commonwealth Employees' Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (CERCA) provides that compensation payments be paid to the employee within 30 days of the assessment. Failure to meet this requirement means that interest is also payable on the compensation amount (sub-section 26(2) refers).
2.In order to meet these legislative requirements and to avoid the possibility of lump sums of compensation being released without clearance by this department, resulting in the likelihood of overpayments, the following procedures should be followed. These procedures have been agreed with the Department of Defence.
3.When a determination has been made awarding a lump sum to a Defence Force member or ex-member, Defence will immediately advise the Branch Office of DVA by FAX. Defence will seek a certificate in accordance with sub-section 115(2) of the CERCA requesting advice whether Disability Pension is being paid, or a claim has been submitted, for the condition for which compensation has been determined. Defence will nominate the last date when advice can be received in order to make payment within the statutory 30 days. This will usually be 14 days.
4.The Branch Office will advise Defence by telephone as soon as possible, but preferably within three days of receipt, if there is no record of payment of disability pension in relation to the compensable condition. This advice will be confirmed by a pro-forma letter. At the same time Defence will also be advised whether or not a claim has been received.
5.If disability pension is being paid for the compensable condition every effort must be made to ensure Defence is advised, before the nominated date, of the amount to be recovered from the lump sum under section 74.
6.If it is not practicable to meet this date for advising Defence e.g. the veteran has a number of accepted disabilities and it is necessary to obtain a DMO's opinion and an assessment by a DO, Defence should be advised as soon as possible of the expected time required before an advice can be provided. In setting this time Branch Offices should be aware of the Commonwealth's liability under the CERCA to pay interest if the compensation amount is not paid within 30 days.
7.Branch Offices should liaise with the local Defence Regional Offices and nominate contact officers for dealing with these cases. Defence will also nominate a contact officer in each Regional Office.
NATIONAL PROGRAM DIRECTOR