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Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA)

The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA) provides similar rehabilitation and compensation to that provided under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA), for injuries and diseases suffered as a result of peacetime and peacekeeping service up to and including 30 June 2004 and operational service between 7 April 1994 and 30 June 2004.

MCS01 Overview of the DRCA

Permanent Impairment Compensation

Permanent Impairment compensation in the form of a lump sum is paid for the functional loss, pain and suffering and the lifestyle effects from injury or disease accepted as related to your DRCA service. It is assessed as a percentage of whole person impairment using part 2 (Defence-Related Claims for Permanent Impairment) of the Guide to the Assessment of the Degree of Permanent Impairment.

Where the current or former Australian Defence Force member's impairment is assessed at 80 percent or more from a single specified injury or disease resulting from DRCA service, an additional amount known as the Severe Injury Adjustment (SIA) may be payable under the Defence Act 1903. The SIA amount is increased for each dependent child.

MCS07 Permanent Impairment

Incapacity payments

Incapacity payments are periodic compensation for economic loss similar to the payments under the MRCA. 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 receive.

Both the MRCA and the DRCA also provide other benefits including reimbursement for the cost of obtaining financial advice about the investment of lump sum compensation, compensation for Household Services and Attendant Care Services, essential home, workplace and vehicle modifications, as well as aids and appliances and their repair or replacement.

MRC08 - Incapacity for Work

Compensation following death

Dependents of deceased members may be entitled to:

  • a lump sum payment;
  • an additional death benefit (ADB) in the form of a lump sum payable to the spouse under the Defence Act 1903 where the member’s death occurred after 10 June 1997;
  • a further lump sum for each dependant child (payable under the Defence Act 1903) is made to the spouse if they have responsibility for their care (payment goes directly to a child aged 18 years and over); and
  • reimbursement for the cost of obtaining financial advice when an ADB has been paid under the Defence Act 1903.

Compensation in the form of weekly payments is also made to prescribed children of deceased members. A prescribed child is someone who:

  • is under 16; or
  • is between 16 and 25 and undertaking full-time education and not ordinarily engaged in full-time work on his or her own account.

MCS13 - How to claim benefits under the DRCA

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