The amendments would enable the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (MRCC) to give a written notice requiring information from The Commonwealth, State or Territory Departments and third parties when determining a claim for compensation.
Currently under section 151 of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA), the MRCC is limited to whom they can obtain, by written notice, information from. It includes the Secretary of the Department of Defence, the Secretary of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs or the Chief of the Defence Force.
The written notice must specify the period, the document or information (or both) that is in the possession, custody or control of that person that is required. In addition, the written notice must be given without delay.
The amendments to section 151 of the DRCA would ensure the “Obtaining information’ provisions are similar to those within the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) and the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986. These amendments would align the power to obtain information across the three Acts.
These amendments will lead to consistent determinations for compensation being made as the MRCC’s ability to obtain information under the DRCA will be similar to its power to obtain information under the MRCA.
The MRCC’s ability to request the information is critical to facilitating the investigation of claims, which will lead to possible reductions in the overall time taken to determine individual entitlements.