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Factsheet MCS13 - How to claim benefits under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA)


This Factsheet briefly explains how to submit a claim and the benefits available under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) and the Defence Act 1903.

What is the SRCA?

The SRCA is the workers’ compensation legislation for all Australian Government employees, including serving and ex-serving members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF). The SRCA provides compensation coverage for all injuries, diseases and deaths due to peacetime service in the ADF between 3 January 1949 and 30 June 2004 (which includes British Nuclear Test defence service) and for certain periods of operational service between 7 April 1994 and 30 June 2004, including warlike, non-warlike, hazardous and peacekeeping service.

The Defence Act 1903 provides additional benefits in SRCA cases involving severe injury or death due to service between 10 June 1997 and 30 June 2004.

All service from 1 July 2004 onwards is covered under the provisions of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA). Please refer to DVA Factsheet MRC01 for an overview of the benefits that apply to claims under the MRCA.

Who are ADF ‘members’?

The benefits available under the SRCA apply to the following ADF ‘members’ with service prior to 1 July 2004:

  • all members of the permanent ADF;
  • all members of the Reserve force;
  • all Cadets and Officers and Instructors of Cadets; and
  • people declared in writing by the Minister for Employment who:
    • hold an honorary rank in the ADF,
    • are members of philanthropic organisations that provide services to the ADF, or
    • are undertaking Career Transition Training under an arrangement made by the ADF.

How do I make a claim?

To lodge a claim, you can lodge a claim online, or fill out a hard copy of  DVA Form D2020.  If you are a dependant and wish to claim compensation following the death of an ex-serving member you should complete DVA Form D9182.

Ex-ADF members and dependants may obtain a form from the DVA website or from your nearest DVA office.

If you are still a serving member, you should formally report your injury or disease through your chain of command. Claim forms for serving members are available from your orderly room or ship’s office, or DEFWEB. If you are a serving member, your Service Medical Centre should hold your medical records.

When you have completed the claim form, you should send it and all requested documentation to your nearest DVA office. You should retain a copy of the claim form (and any documents you provided with it) for your personal records.

If you have not been able to obtain all the information or documents required, you should contact staff at your local DVA office. They may be able to help you obtain the necessary information.

What benefits are available?

Medical and other treatment expenses

The cost of treatment for your accepted conditions will generally be met through a DVA Health Card - Specific Conditions (White). The Australian Government will pay all reasonable medical, hospital, pharmaceutical and other treatment costs related to your compensable injury or disease. For further information, please refer to DVA Factsheet HSV61.

Incapacity payments

If your claim for compensation is accepted and you are unable to work due to your injury or disease, you may be entitled to weekly compensation benefits based on your Normal Weekly Earnings (NWE). For serving members, this is the higher of your salary at the time of injury or at the onset of your incapacity for service. For ex-members, NWE is the higher of your salary at date of injury or what you were receiving at the time of discharge from the ADF. For further details, please refer to DVA Factsheet MRC08.

Permanent impairment lump sum

Permanent impairment is the measurable effect of an injury or disease on a part of the body or on a bodily system. If you suffer a permanent impairment from a condition linked to your service under the SRCA, you may be entitled to a lump sum payment of compensation. For further details, please refer to DVA Factsheet MCS07.

Rehabilitation and help to return to work

An assessment of your rehabilitation requirements, including your medical management, psychosocial and vocational rehabilitation needs, may be made after your claim has been accepted.

If your rehabilitation assessment indicates that you would benefit from rehabilitation, the assistance available to you may include:

  • the development of an individually tailored program to assist you to reach your rehabilitation goals;
  • the provision of aids, appliances and/or home, vehicle and workplace modifications to assist you to be as independent as possible;
  • help to establish a meaningful and fulfilling career outside the ADF; and
  • involvement in programs to help you adjust to your new circumstances, focus on recovery and to build a fulfilling life after your service related injury or disease.

For further details, please refer to DVA Factsheet MRC05.

Household and attendant care services

You may be reimbursed for costs incurred if, as a result of compensable injury or disease, you require assistance with cooking, house cleaning, gardening, laundry or attendant care services, such as bathing, dressing or feeding. This reimbursement is subject to a maximum weekly amount. For further details, please refer to DVA Factsheet MRC41 and DVA Factsheet MRC42.

What financial help will my family receive if I die as a result of my service prior to 1 July 2004?

Financial help is available to your family if your death is a result of ADF service. Your dependants may be entitled to:

  • a lump sum compensation payment for death;
  • an additional death benefit (payable under the Defence Act 1903);
  • a further lump sum for each dependent child (payable under the Defence Act 1903);
  • a weekly payment for those children who were dependent upon you at the date of death, and who are either under 16 years old, or are full-time students between 16 and 25 years of age who are not ordinarily engaged in employment on their own account;
  • funeral expenses; and
  • reimbursement for the cost of obtaining financial advice when an additional death benefit has been paid under the Defence Act 1903.

What happens if my service is on or after 1 July 2004?

As previously mentioned, the information contained in this Factsheet is relevant only for service prior to 1 July 2004. Injuries, diseases and deaths that are related to service on or after 1 July 2004 are covered by the MRCA and claims may be lodged under that legislation. For further details, please refer to DVA Factsheet MRC01.

Proof of identity

Proof of your identity must be obtained before any claim can be determined and any benefits or compensation can be paid to you under SRCA. Further information can be obtained from the DVA Factsheet DVA06.


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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Metro Phone: 133 254 *  

Regional Phone: 1800 555 254 *


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13 October 2016