How to claim under the DRCA

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If you have an injury or condition related to ADF service within certain dates before 1 July 2004, we can help you with payments, rehabilitation and support. Find out how to claim.

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What is the DRCA

The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA) applies to current and former ADF members. It covers certain service before 1 July 2004. It provides treatment, rehabilitation and compensation for service-related injuries and conditions.

The DRCA also covers dependants following a death related to ADF service before 1 July 2004.

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The Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) also covers service before 1 July 2004. You could be eligible under the VEA, the DRCA or both.

If you served after 30 June 2004, you may be eligible for benefits under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA).

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When to claim

It’s best to lodge a claim as soon as you can. The sooner you claim, the easier it will be to find the evidence we need.

If you are thinking about making a common law claim against the Commonwealth or a third party, there are things you need to know about how this might impact your DVA entitlements. Read more at When and how to take legal action for compensation.

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How to claim

You can save time by claiming online, or you can use a paper form if you prefer.

You can claim conditions that affect your mental or physical health.

Claim online

You can claim online through MyService.

Using MyService means:

  • it is simpler and faster to submit your claim
  • you don't need to send us proof of identity documents
  • we can access the information we need quickly
  • there is no need to wait for documents through the post.

You can register and sign in to MyService through myGov.

The online claim process will tell you what documents to supply. You can upload copies of medical evidence and anything else we need.

Claim using a form

If you prefer to use paper forms, use D2020 Claim for Rehabilitation and Compensation. You will need to complete one of these forms for each injury or condition you claim.

At the end of this form, there is a D2049 Injury or disease details sheet. Your doctor will need to complete part of this.

Paper claims can take longer to process than online claims. If you haven’t already, you will need to supply proof of identity documents. You can also supply evidence of your service, or we can request it from Defence.

Claim as a dependant

Dependants can use the form D9182 Claim for Compensation for Funeral Expenses and/or Entitlements Following Death for Dependants of Deceased Members and Former Members of the Australian Defence Force.

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What we need from you

To help avoid delays with your claim, supply all the relevant documents you can. Making a claim for a service-related condition details the steps you need to take.

If you don’t have the information we ask for, contact us so we can help you work out the next steps.

If we need you to attend a medical appointment, we’ll let you know. We will pay for the appointment. You can also claim back reasonable travel costs.

As part of the assessment of your claim, you need to attend and cooperate with any appointments we organise. You need to give us a valid reason if you can’t keep the appointment. If you don’t have a valid reason, this may affect our ability to process your claim.

If we ask for more details about your claim, you need to give us accurate information within 28 days. If you need extra time, just let us know.

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Where to get help

You can get help to submit your claim.

Ex-service organisations

Many ex-service organisations have advocates who are trained to help you:

  • understand the claims process
  • gather the information you need
  • submit your claim.

You can use the Advocate Register to find an advocate near you.

Claim representative

You can choose to lodge your claim yourself and nominate someone you know to represent you, such as a friend or family member. This person will be our contact point for any matters related to your claim. We will ask you for their details when you lodge your claim in MyService. If you lodge a paper claim instead, there is space for their details on the form.

Nominated representative

You can nominate someone to act on your behalf for all your DVA matters, not just for your claim.

If you also want this person to lodge a claim for you, they can do this online. They will need to set up their own MyService account as your nominated representative.

Contact us

You can contact us if you have any questions, or if you want to nominate someone after you’ve submitted your claim.

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What happens after you lodge your claim

We will send you a letter to say that we received your claim.

If you submit your claim online, you will be able to track its progress by logging in to MyService.

Find out about claim processing times.

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How we can help while your claim is in progress

You may be able to get free mental health treatment without needing to lodge a claim for a mental health condition. For details and to find out if you’re eligible, go to Non-Liability Health Care (mental health) for veterans.

If you have claimed a mental health condition and cannot work more than 8 hours a week, we may be able to pay you a Veteran Payment while we assess your claim. It is an income support payment, so your income and assets affect how much you can receive. It is also available to partners.

If any injury or illness you claim is on our list of 20 most commonly accepted conditions, we can pay for treatment for that condition while your claim is in progress. This applies to claims submitted before 30 June 2024.

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How we assess your claim

When one of our delegates starts working on your claim, they will contact you to let you know.

We are making changes to reduce wait times, but there is likely to be a delay before you hear from a delegate.

We prioritise urgent claims. Contact us if you need support urgently because of a crisis or financial hardship.

To assess your claim, we:

  • check that your doctor has confirmed a diagnosis for each condition you have claimed
  • consider the evidence to establish whether the condition was more likely than not caused by your service.
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What happens when we reach a decision

Once we have made a decision, we will send you a letter explaining the outcome and the reasons for our decision. If we accept liability, the next step is to complete a needs assessment.

We will contact you to make a time that suits you to discuss your needs. This discussion will help us work out the kinds of benefits and support available to you. Go to What help you can get under the DRCA for details.

If you need more information about what to expect after we receive your claim, you can contact us.

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