You are here

C07/2004 Determining Intermediate and Special Rate Cases



Determining Intermediate and Special Rate Cases

Changes to delegated authority

The Repatriation Commission has decided to withdraw its universal delegations for Claims Assessors at the APS5 level to determine a rate of  disability pension. The delegations have been re-issued with the change that Intermediate and Special Rate are to be determined by a senior delegate at the APS6 level or higher. See Instrument Volume 1/01/04, Delegation of Powers and Functions of the Repatriation Commission (attached).

With the exception of this class of cases, delegates at the APS5 level have the same delegations as before.


A recent examination of the files of Special Rate veterans with psychiatric disabilities suggested that existing policy and guidelines relating to the determination of Special Rate cases are not being applied correctly in all cases.

The Commission is concerned that decision making in this area is of the highest standard.

The Repatriation Commission has therefore decided that Team Leaders or Managers at the APS6 level or higher are to determine all decisions where Intermediate or Special Rate (both TTI and TPI) is under consideration.

This Instruction does not direct or suggest any particular outcome for a decision. Rather it is directed towards ensuring that these decisions are made by an experienced and senior officer to ensure both consistency and transparency in the decision making process.

Why not simply have pre-decision checks?

The Commission has considered the alternative possibility of instituting pre-decision checks by a senior officer, however legal advice indicates that pre-decision checks of determinations prepared by Claims Assessors may offend against the requirement that a decision maker must exercise an independent discretion, rather than acting on the instructions of others (s.5(2)(e) of the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977).


Henceforth, Intermediate and Special Rate decisions (whether granted or refused) are to be made by senior delegates (Team Leaders or Managers) in their own names.

Thus the standard procedure for these cases would be:

  • The Claims Assessor investigates the claim and writes up the recommended decision;
  • The Team Leader/Manager considers the recommended decision and the evidence; and
  • The Team Leader/Manager either sends the matter back to the Claims Assessor for further investigation or proceeds to make a determination in accordance with current policy and guidelines.

The Team Leader/Manager may decide to undertake their own further investigation.

Under this system, improved quality of Intermediate and Special Rate decisions is expected.

Mark Johnson

Branch Head

Disability Compensation

31 March 2004