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3.6.1 Defence Determination 2016/19


The Black Hawk helicopter accident of 12 June 1996 focussed attention on the levels of compensation for the dependants of those killed as well as the severely injured. An inquiry into compensation for the members of the ADF resulted in the following changes:

  • a severe injury adjustment (SIA) – for the severely injured who suffer specific injuries, a permanent impairment lump sum (see below for calculation of the SIA), as well as an additional lump sum for each dependent child;
  • an additional death benefit (ADB) – if an ADF member who dies is survived by a spouse and/or children, a lump sum is paid in addition to the DRCA for the spouse and an additional lump sum for each dependent child at the time of the death. For more information see the DRCA Death Handbook.    More ?
  • the severe injury adjustment and the additional death benefit are not offset against pensions payable under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA)
  • payment for financial advice for those in receipt of the SIA or ADB
  • access to the Veterans' Children Education Scheme guidance and counselling services for the children of the severely injured and the children of those who die in compensable circumstances (authority for this is found in Veterans' Entitlement Determination 2000/29)     More ?
  • access to the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Services (VVCS) for all ADF members and their families.

The changes operate from the start of the Military Compensation Scheme, i.e. 7 April 1994 although the SIA and ADB are only payable in relation to DRCA service on or after 10 June 1997 and before 1 July 2004. The payment rates are subject to indexation on 1 July each year.    

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Authority for paying the SIA, the ADB and the payment for financial advice is contained in Defence Determination 2016/19 (as amended). The Determination applies to injuries or deaths occurring on or after 10 June 1997 (the date of the Government's decision to increase the compensation benefits) and before 1 July 2004. For deaths or injuries occurring between 7 April 1994 and 9 June 1997 the increased benefits were paid on an ex-gratia basis.