Compensation offsetting is the reduction of a Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) compensation payment where another compensation payment has been provided for the same incapacity or death through the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA), Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) or another source.
This is based on the concept that a person should not be compensated twice for the same incapacity or death, when another person in a similar circumstance can only receive one source of compensation. This is separate to and distinct from offsetting which occurs under the MRCA and DRCA between incapacity payments and the Commonwealth-funded portion of any military superannuation received.
Depending upon the circumstances of the case, compensation offsetting may limit a payment for life, or for the period during which the compensation is received. More information is available about compensation offsetting by contacting DVA.
Typically, compensation offsetting is applied to circumstances where there is dual eligibility: where you may be eligible to claim for an incapacity from a single injury or disease (or death in the case of dependents) under both the VEA and DRCA for service before 1 July 2004.
By law compensation cannot be granted twice for the same incapacity or death; the VEA includes provisions to offset payments made under the DRCA (or any other source) for the same incapacity.
Offsetting is a legal requirement for DVA and therefore there is no right of review by the Veterans' Review Board (VRB) or the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).
You may request a review of the actual calculation of the amount, request an explanation of how the offset was calculated or submit any additional relevant information for reconsideration.
The calculation of an amount to be offset against disability pension under the VEA is an administrative decision for the purposes of the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 and can be appealed to the Federal Court under the provisions of that Act. If you are considering this course of action it is advised that you seek independent legal advice.