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3.3.1 Primacy of SOP regime
Section 332 of the MRCA defers to the VEA in relation to the SOP regime. The SOPs are legal instruments, made under section 196B of the VEA. The SOPs provide the means by which specified diseases and injuries may be related to service.
The majority of medical conditions claimed by military personnel are covered by SOPs.
Each SOP condition has two instruments which reflect the different tests applicable to MRCA claims:
- reasonable hypothesis (RH) for warlike and non-warlike service; and
- balance of probability (BOP) for peacetime service.
Section 338 of the MRCA says that the 'reasonableness of hypothesis is to be assessed by reference to SOPs'. Section 339 says that 'reasonable satisfaction is to be assessed ... by reference to SOPs'.
The SOPs are binding on Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (MRCC) delegates and are an essential consideration in all liability determinations under MRCA.