Administrative Appeals Tribunal

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You may have the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for review decisions made by the Veterans' Review Board (VRB), the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (MRCC) or the Repatriation Commission.

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What is the AAT

The AAT is an independent review body with power to review all VRB decisions relating to claims determined under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) and the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA).

The AAT can also review:

The AAT makes a brand new decision on the merits of the case, based on all the evidence, fact and law.

You can find out more on the AAT website.

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The scope of the AAT

Under the VEA, the AAT can review decisions of the VRB. It can also review certain decisions of the Repatriation Commission that relate to service pension and specific allowances, provided the decision has been first reviewed by the Commission.

Under the DRCA, the AAT can review a decision of the MRCC, provided a reconsideration of that decision has been made.

Under the MRCA, the AAT can review any decision of the VRB. It can also review certain reconsideration decisions by the MRCC.

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Appeal timeframes

VEA

Appeals under the VEA must be brought to the AAT within 3 months from when you receive the review decision. This will preserve the benefit of maximum possible payment.

Appeals may be accepted by the AAT up to 12 months from when you receive the review decision. If your appeal is accepted late, the backdating of your benefits may be affected.

MRCA

Appeals under the MRCA from a VRB decision must be brought to the AAT within 3 months of when you receive this decision. These appeals may be accepted by the AAT up to 12 months from when you receive the review decision. If your appeal is accepted late, your benefits may be affected.

Appeals under the MRCA from a reconsideration decision made under the MRCC must be brought to the AAT within 60 days of when you receive this decision.

DRCA

Appeals under the DRCA must be brought to the AAT within 60 days from when you receive a reconsideration decision.

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How to apply to the AAT

To apply for a review, visit the AAT website:

How to apply for Veterans' entitlements and military compensation.

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Costs

No fees apply to requests for review by the AAT of decisions under the VEA, DRCA and MRCA.

In some limited circumstances the AAT may award you legal or associated costs relating to your application.

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Who can represent you at the AAT

You can deal directly with the AAT or you can ask someone to help you. For example, this could be a:

  • veterans' advocate
  • family member or friend
  • lawyer

Legal aid

If the AAT is reviewing a VRB decision, legal aid may be available to you. Legal aid commissions are independent bodies established under state and territory legislation.

Visit the national legal aid website at www.nationallegalaid.org for more information on legal aid commissions and the types of services they provide.

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Our approach to AAT litigation

In December 2020 we created the Litigation Policy for Veterans’ AAT Appeals (PDF 930 KB).

This policy is for:

  • our staff who act as Advocates (DVA Advocates)
  • instructing officers
  • external legal providers

It is intended to provide guidance on our expectations for how litigation will be conducted on behalf of the Commissions in the AAT and any subsequent appeals.

It is specifically intended to promote transparency and clarity as to how we will instruct our advocates and legal providers in the conduct of proceedings in the AAT.

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Contact the AAT

To speak with the AAT or to visit them in person, call: 1800 228 333.

You can find more information on their Contact Us page.

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