The Repatriation Commission was established on 1 July 1920 by proclamation of the Australian Soldiers’ Repatriation Act 1920. When this Act and several other related Acts were replaced in 1986 by the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA), the Repatriation Commission was retained.
Under section 180 of the VEA, the functions of the Repatriation Commission are to:
- grant pensions and other benefits and provide treatment for veterans, their dependants and other eligible persons
- advise the Minister on the operation of the VEA
- generally administer the VEA, subject to the control of the Minister.
Section 181 of the VEA gives the Repatriation Commission the power to take necessary actions in connection with the performance of its functions, duties and powers.
The responsible Minister under the VEA is the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs. The Repatriation Commission provides advice to the Minister, who has the power to approve various actions of the Commission.
The Commission provides services under the VEA to around 314 000 veterans and members of the Australian Defence Force, their partners, widows, widowers and children. This is five per cent less than in 2011–12.