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No. 1 Prioritisation of Claims under the MRCA


Subject: Prioritisation of Claims under the MRCA


  1. The purpose of this instruction is to advise of the relative priorities that should be given to claims to determine liability under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA).

  1. Policy

  1. The duty of a delegate is to make determinations in an accurate and timely manner.

  1. It is expected that delegates will ensure that all determinations are made in as short a time as is possible in accordance with legislative requirements. These are generally the application of the appropriate standard of proof, the provision of procedural fairness and the according of substantial justice (see section 334 of the MRCA).

  1. In some cases the investigation and determination of claims may involve a greater degree of urgency than in another claim.  Ordinarily claims might be progressed on 'first come first served' basis and in accordance with the availability of the evidentiary material.  However there will be times when the urgency of a matter means that it will be dealt with ahead of later claims and with a deal more time effort to obtain the necessary evidence and information to make a proper determination.  This is a judgement for delegates and managers based on the alleviation of treatment, financial, medical and rehabilitation concerns and personal distress.

  1. The following is an indicative list of priorities

Priority one

Death claims – wholly dependant being the highest category

Priority two

Severe injury or illness, particularly where this is life threatening

Priority three

Immediate financial hardship, particularly for families with rental commitments, reservists who may be incapacitated for their civilian employment and recently discharged members with minimal accrued ADF entitlements, particularly recruits and officer cadets.

Priority four

Imminent financial hardship because the member's employment is about to cease.

Priority five

Rehabilitation cases where a return to work is dependent on some rehabilitative program but there are no higher priorities.

Priority six

Medical or treatment costs or other forms or payment, where treatment for a compensable condition is denied or delayed until a payment is made or reimbursement is required or a service not provided until a 'guarantee' is given.

  1. Other priorities may be superimposed

  1. Nothing in this policy instruction affects any higher priority given to any matters by a legislated time frame or by a decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal or the Federal Court.

Mark Johnson

Delegate of the MRCC

December 2004