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6.7.1 VEA Clearance
The general presumption is that where a veteran is in receipt of a VEA Disability Pension (DP), a clearance should be sent to the Offsetting and Manual Payments team to determine whether offsetting applies. Where the veteran is receiving a VEA Disability Pension at the Intermediate Rate, Special Rate (TPI) or Temporary Special Rate a clearance is always required.
Compensation offsetting under the VEA is the process of reducing one compensation payment in recognition of another compensation payment for the same incapacity. Incapacity means the overall effect of an injury or disease. The same injury or disease accepted under the VEA may be medically diagnosed in a different way when accepted under the DRCA. If the DRCA condition contributes to the same incapacity as your VEA condition, then offsetting applies. The underlying principle behind these provisions is that a person should not be compensated twice for the same incapacity, when a person in a similar circumstance can only receive one source of compensation if only eligible from that source. It is up to the Offsetting and Manual Payments team to determine whether the incapacity is the same.
The only situation where a clearance is not required where a client is in receipt of a general rate VEA Disability Pension, is when it is abundantly clear that compensation will not be paid for the same incapacity under the DRCA as under the VEA. The following examples demonstrate this situation:
Examples of where a clearance is not required
1. The veteran has hearing loss and tinnitus accepted under the VEA and lumbar spondylosis accepted under the DRCA. The veteran is in receipt of 10% DP under the VEA for hearing loss and tinnitus. The veteran claims permanent impairment (PI) compensation for lumbar spondylosis under the DRCA and the delegate decides the veteran is eligible for PI.
2. The veteran has PTSD accepted under the VEA, sprain of the right knee and dislocation of the left shoulder accepted under the DRCA. The veteran is in receipt of 50% DP under the VEA for PTSD. The veteran claims PI compensation for the right knee condition under the DRCA and the delegate decides the veteran is eligible for PI.
3. The veteran has osteoarthritis of the left knee and right knee and non-melanotic neoplasm of the skin accepted under VEA and an amputation of the right ring finger accepted under the DRCA. The veteran is in receipt of 40% DP under the VEA for osteoarthritis of the left knee and right knee and non-melanotic neoplasm. The veteran claims PI compensation for the finger amputation under the DRCA and the delegate decides the veteran is eligible for PI.
As a general rule, in the majority of cases a clearance will be required from the Offsetting and Manual Payments team where the veteran is in receipt of a VEA DP and subsequently is eligible for DRCA PI. Where the veteran is in receipt of DP at above the general rate, a clearance will always be required. The above three examples demonstrate situations where it is absolutely clear compensation will not be paid for the same incapacity under the DRCA as under the VEA. In these cases the delegate should place a file note in ISH to demonstrate they have considered offsetting, however are satisfied beyond doubt that offsetting is not required. If there is any doubt, the delegate should defer to the general rule, as above, and request a clearance before proceeding with the DRCA PI claim.
For the process to be followed from clearance to payment see 10.7 of the SRCA Permanent Impariment Handbook.
Possible dual entitlement – SRCA and VEA
A dual entitlement is unlikely to arise in the following cases:
- ADF members with only part-time service
- ADF members who enlisted after 7 April 1994.
A dual entitlement may exist in the following cases:
- ADF members with known operational, peacekeeping or hazardous service
- ADF full-time members who enlisted before 7 April 1991
- ADF full-time members who enlisted between 7 April 1991 and 6 April 1994 and were medically discharged