New compensation Act for veterans

Source: The Hon Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Minister for Defence Personnel, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan said veterans would benefit after Parliament yesterday passed measures to simplify veterans’ legislation.

Parliament yesterday passed the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA), which will replace for Australian Defence Force (ADF) members the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA). There will be no change to eligibility or the coverage of entitlements or benefits available to current and former members of the ADF.

The purpose of this change was to move all military compensation legislation under the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs. Mr Tehan said the legislation gave the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs policy responsibility for all veterans’ compensation legislation.

“This new legislation will allow for more consistent for veterans’ entitlements subject to consultation with the defence and ex-service community. This will allow the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to improve the services it offers,” Mr Tehan said.

DRCA will commence 28 days after Royal Assent when all veterans and ADF members with existing claims under the SRCA will automatically become claims under the DRCA.

Mr Tehan assured the Parliament that there would be no change to coverage in this move but that the Government had put in place a safety net for any unforeseen situations.

Any new claims for injuries and illnesses due to service prior to 1 July 2004 which are lodged on or after the commencement date will now also be DRCA claims.

Further information on the DRCA, and on making a claim for rehabilitation and/or compensation due to a service related injury or illness under any of the military compensation Acts, can be found at www.dva.gov.au.