Departmental Instruction




To remind Claims Assessors of their responsibility to be satisfied that the claimant is eligible to claim compensation benefits before finalising a claim, particularly in respect of post-1972 peacetime defence service.


Since the introduction of the Military Compensation Scheme in April 1994, a number of claims for compensation benefits have been granted in respect of incidents which have occurred outside periods of eligible VEA service.  These grants have resulted from incorrect interpretation of the eligible service provisions of the Act.

Eligible service

The MCS came into operation on 7 April 1994 when the Military Compensation Act 1994 received Royal Assent.  From this date, compensation for an injury or illness is provided for most members only under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA).

There is no continuing entitlement under the VEA in respect of injuries or illnesses which occurred after that date, apart from some members who enlisted before 22 May 1986, or who have had or are on hazardous or peacekeeping service.

The table at attachment 1 (which was included in DI 18/96) provides a quick reference to eligibility under the VEA and the SRCA.

Time of incident leading to claim

As well as correctly identifying periods of eligible VEA service, Claims Assessors need to be meticulous in identifying the incident which led to the claim for compensation, and establishing whether this incident occurred during eligible VEA service.

For example, in a recent claim a former serving member had a period of eligible VEA service which ended on 6 April 1994.  He claimed compensation in respect of an injury which occurred in June 1994 and was granted the temporary Special Rate.  As the injury giving rise to the claim occurred outside of his period of eligible VEA service, the member was not eligible to claim compensation in respect of it, and action had to be taken to recover the payment of disability pension.

Action to be taken

Claims Assessors are reminded that they must check the veteran's service documents each time a claim for compensation is lodged to ensure that:

  1.           the veteran had eligible VEA service; and
  2.           the incident leading to the claim for compensation occurred during a period of eligible VEA service.

Claims Assessors must not rely on information already recorded on the Client Data Base to determine the veteran's eligibility to claim compensation.