The Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) provides rehabilitation and compensation coverage for the following members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) who served on or after 1 July 2004:
- All members of the Permanent Forces;
- All members of the Reserve Forces;
- Cadets and Officers, including instructors of Cadets;
- Persons who hold an honorary rank or appointment in the ADF and who perform acts at the request or direction of the Defence Force;
- Persons who perform acts at the request or direction of the Defence Force as an accredited representative of a registered charity;
- Persons who are receiving assistance under the Career Transition Assistance Scheme (established under section 58B of the Defence Act 1903) and who perform acts in connection with the scheme; and
- Other people declared in writing by the Minister for Defence to be members of the ADF.
Permanent impairment compensation
Permanent impairment compensation is paid for the functional loss, pain, suffering and the lifestyle effects resulting from injury or disease accepted as related to your MRCA service. Permanent impairment compensation is calculated based on the degree of impairment and the lifestyle effects of your accepted conditions using the Guide to Determining Impairment and Compensation (GARP).
Incapacity payments are payments for economic loss if you can’t work or have a reduced capacity to work because of an injury or disease accepted as service related under the MRCA. Incapacity payments can be made to current serving and former Permanent and Reserve ADF members, cadets, cadet officers and instructors and declared members who are incapacitated for service or work as a result of an injury or disease for which liability has been accepted.
These payments are generally taxable as they are income-related payments. In some circumstances payments may be exempt from taxation when the payments they are replacing were also exempt from taxation. Incapacity payments are also offset (i.e. reduced) by the employer-funded portion of any Commonwealth superannuation you may be receiving.
Special Rate Disability Pension (SRDP)
Special Rate Disability Pension is an ongoing payment that can be made to an eligible former member instead of incapacity payments. SRDP is not automatically granted. If a former member becomes eligible for SRDP he or she will be offered the choice between SRDP or continuing to receive incapacity payments.
The SRDP is offset by any MRCA and Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) permanent impairment compensation, Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) disability pension and/or the employer-funded portion of any Commonwealth superannuation you may be receiving.
Wholly dependent partners of deceased members may be entitled to:
- the wholly dependent partner’s pension (which can be paid as either a periodic payment, a lump sum or a combination of both);
- additional compensation where liability is accepted for the person’s death;
- a Gold Card for the treatment of all conditions;
- a MRCA supplement;
- bereavement payments;
- reimbursement for the costs of providing a funeral for the deceased up to a maximum statutory amount (which is the same rate as provided under the SRCA); and
- compensation for the cost of obtaining financial and legal advice.
Compensation is also payable for eligible young persons (EYP) of deceased members.
An EYP may be entitled to:
- a lump sum payment;
- periodic compensation (for as long as they remain an EYP);
- a Gold Card to meet the cost of medical treatment; and
- access to the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme (MRCAETS).