Who can claim under the MRCA
Information about the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) and who it covers.
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What is the MRCA
The MRCA covers current and former ADF members with service after 30 June 2004. It provides treatment, rehabilitation and compensation for service-related injuries and conditions.
It also covers payments and support for dependants following a death related to ADF service where the service took place after 30 June 2004.
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If your injury or condition only relates to service before 1 July 2004, you may be able to get compensation and other benefits under one or both of the following:
- Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA)
- Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA).
However, if your injury or condition relates to service both before and after 1 July 2004, it will be covered under the MRCA. Go to When you are covered for details.Back to top
Who is covered
You are covered under the MRCA as a current or former member of the ADF if you have served after 30 June 2004 as a:
- permanent member of the ADF
- member of the Reserve Forces
- cadet, officer or instructor of cadets
- person getting assistance under the Career Transition Assistance Scheme under an arrangement approved by the ADF
- person who holds an honorary rank or appointment in the ADF and performs acts at the request or direction of the Defence Force
- person who performs acts at the request or direction of the Defence Force as an accredited representative of a registered charity
- person declared in writing by the Minister for Defence to be a member of the ADF under the MRCA.
When you are covered
You are covered by the MRCA if both of these apply:
- The injury or condition arose after 30 June 2004.
- Your ADF service after 30 June 2004 caused or contributed to it.
This includes if your service both before and after that date contributed to the condition.
If your injury or condition arose on or before 30 June 2004, the MRCA doesn't cover it.
If your service after 30 June 2004 has made an existing condition worse, the MRCA can cover the worsening only, if the original condition either:
- was accepted under the DRCA
- is not related to your service.
The MRCA can't cover the worsening if the original condition has been accepted under the VEA. You can apply for an increase in your Disability Compensation Payment (formerly known as the disability pension) under the VEA instead.Back to top
What is not covered
There are some situations the MRCA doesn’t cover. You can find details in Chapter 2 Part 4 of the Act. Your injury or condition may not be covered if:
- it was caused by a serious default or wilful act you committed, such as being under the influence of alcohol or drugs or being involved in a serious breach of discipline
- it happened because of reasonable counselling about your performance, or not getting a promotion
- you made a false representation, such as not declaring you already had the condition when you enlisted
- it happened during travel that isn’t covered, such as a non-work related detour
- it was caused only by your use of tobacco products.
Most of these rules apply even if the injury or condition has left you seriously and permanently impaired, but there are some exceptions. Chapter 2 Part 4 Section 32 of the MRCA has details.Back to top
Who can lodge a claim
You can either lodge a claim for compensation yourself, or approve someone to lodge it on your behalf.
Go to How to claim under the MRCA for information about claiming, including how to get help with making a claim.
The Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (MRCC) can appoint someone to lodge a claim on your behalf if you are not capable of approving someone to do so.
Your legal personal representative can lodge a claim after your death, or if you are legally disabled. If you don't have a legal personal representative who is able to lodge your claim, the MRCC can appoint someone to claim on your behalf. If we owe you compensation after death, we will pay it to your estate.
Permanent impairment payments cannot be paid to your estate after death.
If you die as a result of your service and you have dependants, they may be able to claim compensation. Visit Compensation for dependants under the MRCA for details.Back to top
How service type affects your eligibility
The type of service can affect your claim in 2 ways. It determines the:
- standard of proof we use to establish liability
- rate of any permanent impairment payments.
How to claim under the MRCA has more details.
There are 3 types of service under the MRCA: peacetime, warlike and non-warlike.
If you’re not sure what type of service applies to your claim, you can contact us.
The Minister for Defence officially declares certain operations and deployments as warlike or non-warlike. Not all ADF operations or activities are declared to be warlike or non-warlike. Any operation or activity that has not been declared by the Minister to be warlike or non-warlike is considered peacetime service.
Warlike service usually means the use of force has been authorised and casualties from enemy action are expected. It also includes peace enforcement activities, when armed force is authorised to restore peace and security. This includes peacemaking operations, but not peacekeeping.
Non-warlike service is declared when casualties from hostile forces could occur but are not expected. The use of force is limited to self-defence. Peacekeeping activities are usually classed as non-warlike service.Back to top
Where to get help
Contact us if you have questions about whether you can claim under the MRCA.
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You can also nominate:
- a friend or family member to be our contact person for your claim
- someone you know and trust to act on your behalf for all DVA matters.
If you have nominated someone to act on your behalf, they can submit a claim for you online by registering for their own MyService account.
If you need counselling or support
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.
Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling is a free and confidential 24-hour service for current and ex-serving ADF members and their families. Call 1800 011 046 or go to their website to get support or find out more.Back to top