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8.2.2 When a decision under section 327 is not required

19 June 2020: any MRCA Treatment Pathway 1 and Treatment Pathway 2 information below has been retained for historical purposes only.  A Single Treatment Pathway has been in effect since 12 December 2019. See section 8.1 Overview for current information.


A determination under section 327 is not required if a person is automatically eligible for a Gold Repatriation Health Card, or apart from the exceptions explained in 8.5, where a person is a current serving member.


  1. Under section 281 of the MRCA a person with an impairment rating of 60 or more impairment points is automatically provided with a Gold Repatriation Health Card.


Example:  A member is injured while serving in February 2005 and his injuries result in paraplegia.  Liability is accepted under the MRCA in July 2005.  However, because the member is still serving he receives treatment from the ADF under section 58F of the Defence Force Regulations 1952 (the Defence Regulations), including the provision of appliances and pharmaceuticals.  His condition stabilizes and the member's claim for permanent impairment is accepted. He is assessed at 70 impairment points.  He is discharged in April 2006.  Section 281 automatically applies and the member is issued with a Gold Repatriation Health Card for any treatment after discharge.


Once a person reaches 60 impairment points there is no discretion as to which treatment path applies, they must be given a Gold Repatriation Health Card.  A Gold Card issued via section 281 entitles the person to treatment for all conditions, in exactly the same way as under the VEA.  By definition a Gold Card cannot be issued until such time as the person has been assessed for permanent impairment.


It should be noted that a person may become eligible for a Gold Card by virtue of a combination of their MRCA, SRCA and VEA impairments.


  1. Under Section 282
of the MRCA a person who is eligible for the Special Rate Disability Pension (SRDP), in accordance with the criteria specified in section 199, is automatically provided with a Gold Repatriation Health Card.


Section 199 of the MRCA states that to be eligible for SRDP the person needs to meet each of the following criteria:

  • The client has to be in receipt of incapacity payments at a given point in time; and
  • The impairment is assessed at 50 or more impairment points; and
  • The impairment is ongoing; and
  • The client is unable to undertake remunerative work for more than 10 hours per week and unable to benefit from rehabilitation.


The latter criterion requires that the client has undergone a formal assessment of their capacity for rehabilitation in accordance with section 44.


A Gold Repatriation Health Card will be embossed with 'TPI' if a person is assessed as being SRDP eligible. The client does not have to be in receipt of SRDP to be issued with a Gold Card, they merely need to be eligible. This enables those persons to obtain the same concessions that are available to TPI pensioners and War Widow/ers under the VEA.


  1. The provisions of sections 85(4B) and 85(7A) of the VEA, may provide a MRCA person, who has rendered warlike service on or after 1 July 2004, with automatic Gold Card eligibility under the VEA.  In these cases treatment for all medical conditions is provided under the VEA.  Further information on these provisions is provided in paragraph 8.6.1.


4.A current full time serving member of the ADF (including a reservist on CFTS) is    usually provided with medical treatment by the Department of Defence under the Defence Regulations.  Accordingly a decision about which Treatment Pathway is appropriate is not required unless the Service Chief requests that the MRCC accept responsibility for the cost of that member's treatment.  Further commentary on treatment for serving members is at 8.5.