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Chapter 48 - Summary of compensation recovery provisions following successful common law action

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The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA) contains provisions preventing a veteran, or dependant, from being compensated from more than one source for the same injury, disease or death.

Since the repeal of both the 1930 and 1971 Act, possible entitlements will be determined in accordance with the transitional provisions of the DRCA in relation to claims for which there was, or would have been, liability to pay compensation under those Acts where the entitlement arose before 1 December 1988. Any entitlements which arise on or after 1 December 1988 are determined in accordance with the relevant provisions of the DRCA.

The following table sets out a quick reference guide of the effect of a payment of common law damages. It shows:

  • whether compensation payments made under DRCA (or predecessors) prior to successful common law damages are recoverable by the Commonwealth, and

  • whether compensation under DRCA (or predecessors) is payable following successful common law damages.

 

Act

Type of damages payment

Effect on compensation paid before damages payment

Effect on future entitlement to compensation

1930 Act

From suing the Commonwealth

Deducted from the damages award

No further compensation payable

From a Third Party

Recoverable by the Commonwealth

Compensation is suspended until such time as the net amount of damages received by the claimant are recovered, but may resume once this happens.

1971 Act

From suing the Commonwealth

Recoverable by the Commonwealth

Compensation is suspended until such time as the net amount of damages received by the claimant are recovered, but may resume once this happens.

From a Third Party

Recoverable by the Commonwealth

Compensation is suspended until such time as the net amount of damages received by the claimant are recovered, but may resume once this happens.

DRCA 1988 Act

From suing the Commonwealth

No recovery

Payable other than permanent impairment and non-economic loss compensation provided under sections 24, 25 and/or 27

From a Third Party

Recoverable by the Commonwealth

No further compensation payable