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1.1 Compensation for Permanent Impairment under the DRCA


Sections 24 to 28 of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA) relate to claims for PI where the accepted condition became permanent on or after 1 December 1988 and relating to SRCA service. More detailed comment on such claims is provided later in this manual.

Permanent impairment is the effect of injury or disease on a part of the body (arms, legs, back etc.) or on a bodily system such as the digestive, psychological or reproductive system, and compensation is paid in the form of tax-free lump sums for the effect of the impairment.

The Guide to the Assessment of the Degree of Permanent Impairment is an Approved Guide under section 28 of the DRCA. The Guide was developed using a Whole Person Impairment (WPI) concept drawn from the American Medical Association's Guide, and expresses the extent to which impairment affects the functional capacity of a normal healthy person. This was based on the principle that a healthy person has 100% functionality and any impairment reduces that 100% by a nominated percentage as identified by the tables appropriate to the condition. However, subsequent court decisions must be considered in determining which impairment values are combined and which must be assessed separately. See Chapter 3 for discussions of injuries, impairments and the WPI concept.