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2.7.4 What are the differences in deeming between DRCA and MRCA?

Last amended 
6 October 2023

The definitions in section 5 of MRCA make a clear distinction between an incapacity for service and an incapacity for work. An incapacity for service refers to a person's inability to undertake their military duties, whereas an incapacity for work refers to a person's inability to undertake civilian work.

The deeming provisions contained in section 181 of the MRCA only make reference to work.  Accordingly there is no power to deem ADF earnings.

The DRCA contains no distinction between civilian work and military service, so it is possible that a person could be deemed AE in ADF employment. For example, where a person refuses a corps transfer and elects to be medically discharged the delegate may consider the former member has an ability to earn in the ADF employment to which a corps transfer was offered. Similarly a member may choose to pursue reserve employment, post discharge from the Permanent Forces, in preference to pursuing civilian employment. In this scenario, under DRCA, it is possible to deem the person AE in reserve employment.

In addition under MRCA, a reservist may be deemed AE in their civilian employment (work) while they have an incapacity for service (unable to undertake their military duties). The distinction between the two types of work needs to be brought to the attention of the reservist's treating practitioner. The doctor must provide guidance in respect of each type of employment the client is unable to perform, and identify the restrictions that must be applied to the employment the client can perform.