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Non-Economic Loss (NEL)
NEL is a subjective concept of the effects of the impairment on the veteran’s life (‘lifestyle effect’). It includes pain and suffering, loss of amenities of life, loss of expectation of life and any other real inconveniences caused by the impairment. NEL is assessed in accordance with Division 2 of the DRCA PI Guide. Under the DRCA PI Guide, NEL includes:
- pain and suffering;
- loss of amenities of life;
- loss of expectation of life; and
- any other loss of a non-economic nature, caused by the injury.
Whilst 'activities of daily living' are used to assess impairment they should not be confused with 'lifestyle effects' which are used to assess NEL.
'Lifestyle effects' are a measure of an individual's mobility and enjoyment of, and participation in, recreation, leisure activities and social relationships. It is emphasised that the employee must be aware of the losses suffered. While different employees may have equal ratings of impairment it would not be unusual for them to receive different ratings for NEL because of their different lifestyles.
For information on the assessment and calculation of NEL, see Chapter 5.7 Calculation of Entitlement for Non-Economic Loss