The purpose of this page is to inform you of your obligations to notify the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) when claiming or receiving a compensation payment or settlement, or an award of damages, as this can affect benefits you may be receiving from the Department.
DVA administers benefits under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA), the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA), the Military Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2004 (MRCA) and the Social Security Act 1991 (SSA).
Any award of compensation or damages you receive -, for example a workers compensation claim or a common law action - can, affect the benefits you receive under these Acts.
This can be in the form of:
- an ongoing reduction to, or the recovery of, compensation paid to you by DVA;
- a reduction in the amount of, or a period when you will be precluded from receiving, a means tested income support payment; or
- the repayment of medical treatment previously paid for by DVA, and/or a bar to having future treatment paid for by DVA.
You should also be aware that, in certain circumstances, the recovery of damages or other compensation may even result in a requirement to repay all compensation received from DVA, and the cessation of all future compensation and treatment.
As a recipient of compensation payments from DVA, you have an obligation to notify DVA within a specified timeframe if you claim and/or receive a settlement of compensation or damages from a third party. Failure to notify DVA of such an event can cause significant overpayments that are required to be repaid to the Department. If you are unsure whether your compensation payments will be affected, you should contact DVA so that appropriate advice can be provided to you.
The extent of your obligations will be determined by the type of benefit you receive under the VEA.
If you receive a disability pension, war widow(er)’s pension, orphans pension, or another non-means tested compensation payment under the VEA, then you are required to notify the Department of certain events or changes that may have an effect on your rate of pension – this includes receiving an award or settlement of compensation or damages. Common types of these payments include those received from Work Cover, the Dust Diseases Board and third party common law claims. You are required to notify DVA within 21 days of this occurring. For more information refer to War widow(er)'s Pension and Compensation Offsetting and Disability pension and compensation offsetting.
If you receive an income support payment under the VEA, such as a service pension, partner service pension or income support supplement, then you are obligated to notify DVA within 14 days (28 days if you live overseas or receive remote area allowance) of receiving an award or settlement of compensation or damages. Notifying the Department within this timeframe will reduce any potential overpayment you may incur. Your income support payment may be reduced or your payment may be precluded for a period of time. For more information refer to What happens if you receive a compensation payment.
Any compensation or damages can also impact on payment for medical treatment provided by DVA. If you successfully claim and receive compensation or damages from another source for an injury or disease, you may be restricted from receiving any future payment for medical treatment by DVA for that condition, and be required to repay the cost of any treatment previously received for that condition.
For example, if you injure your knee at work and successfully claim and receive compensation or damages from another source for that injury, you may be precluded from receiving any future treatment at DVA's expense related to that knee. In addition, you may be required to repay the Department for any previous treatment that you have received for that condition. Further information on this topic is provided in Treatment costs after you receive compensation.
Veterans and their dependants who hold a DVA Health Card are required to notify DVA within 21 days of receiving a settlement of compensation or damages.
Yes. For example, under either DRCA or MRCA you can elect not to receive a lump sum permanent impairment payment and instead choose to sue the Commonwealth for non-economic loss you have suffered as a result of your injury or disease. This is known as a claim for common law damages. If you pursue this course of action you are required to notify DVA within 7 days of lodging your claim. If you are successful, then you have 28 days to notify DVA of the outcome.
Similarly, if you chose to pursue a claim against a third party for damages as a result of your injury or disease, you must advise DVA within 7 days of your claim being lodged. If your claim is successful, and you are awarded damages, you must advise DVA of this within 28 days of receiving your award.
You should be aware that claiming either common law or third party damages will affect your eligibility to benefits under DRCA and MRCA, and you may be required to repay compensation previously paid to you by DVA. For further information, please refer to When and how to take legal action for compensation.
The SSA stipulates that if you have received, or are to receive a compensation payment (e.g. a lump sum common law payment or a periodic workers compensation income replacement payment), you are required to notify of this event within 7 days. If DVA is administering your Age Pension on behalf of Centrelink, then you are required to notify the department within this timeframe.
There are penalties that may apply if you do not notify DVA within the relevant timeframes mentioned above. In addition to these penalties, failure to notify DVA of such events can result in the payment of incorrect rates of benefits which can cause significant overpayments that are required to be repaid to the Department.