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Factsheet IS65 - Service on certain submarine special operations, 1978 to 1992


This Factsheet provides information to members and former members of the Australian Defence Force who served on submarine special operations between 1978 and 1992 on their entitlements under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA).

Service on submarine special operations is classified as operational and qualifying service under the VEA, extending eligibility for a variety of entitlements under the Act.

Are all submarine operations between 1978 and 1992 eligible?

No. Only operations for which the Australian Service Medal (ASM) with Clasp Special Ops was awarded will be considered operational and qualifying service under the VEA.

What if I served on more than one submarine special operation?

Each submarine special operation for which you were eligible to be awarded the ASM with clasp Special Ops, or would have been awarded the clasp had you not already received one, during the period 1978-92 is operational and qualifying service.

What benefits are available to veterans who served on submarine special operations?

The classification of certain submarine special operations as operational service means that eligible veterans can claim disability pension under the VEA and are able to receive healthcare services for their accepted disabilities. Disability pension claims relating to relevant submarine special operations service are determined using the more generous ‘reasonable hypothesis’ standard of proof.

Qualifying service provisions means that eligible veterans qualify for a Gold Card at age 70, and they and their partners may be eligible for a service pension, subject to the relevant income and assets tests.

In addition, veterans with service on relevant submarine special operations are eligible to receive treatment for certain conditions, regardless of whether or not they are related to service. Veterans with service on relevant operations may receive treatment for any mental health condition. For further information, please see Factsheet HSV109.

Do I also have access to compensation under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA)?

If you already had a claim accepted prior to 1 July 2010 and have been paid compensation under the DRCA these entitlements will remain.

However, no further claims have been able to be made under the DRCA in respect of submarine special operations since 1 July 2010. All claims after this date must be made under the VEA. This is because eligibility for submarine special operations was established under the VEA from 1 July 2010, and no dual entitlement under the DRCA applies.

Will compensation I have received under the DRCA be taken into account?

Yes. Any compensation you have already received under the provisions of the DRCA will be offset against compensation paid under the VEA for the same incapacity.

What sort of evidence do I need to provide to show that I participated in a submarine special operation?

Since eligibility for benefits under the VEA is determined according to eligibility for the ASM with Clasp Special Ops, you will need to provide evidence that you have been awarded this medal, or are eligible for this medal. Please note that you must have become eligible for this medal as a result of your participation in submarine special operations during the relevant period.

DVA will confirm your eligibility with the Department of Defence.

What if I am eligible for the ASM with Clasp Special Ops, but the award has not been issued?

You need only to be eligible for the award of the ASM with Clasp Special Ops to have entitlements under the VEA. Having actually been issued the medal is not required.

However, if you would like to apply for your medal to be issued, please contact Defence Honours and Awards on their Medals Inquiry Line: 1800 111 321

More Information

DVA General Enquiries

Phone: 1800 555 254 *


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* Calls from mobile phones and pay phones may incur additional charges.

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The information contained in this Factsheet is general in nature and does not take into account individual circumstances. You should not make important decisions, such as those that affect your financial or lifestyle position on the basis of information contained in this Factsheet. Where you are required to lodge a written claim for a benefit, you must take full responsibility for your decisions prior to the written claim being determined. You should seek confirmation in writing of any oral advice you receive from DVA.

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29 October 2018