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Learn more about the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA), including who is eligible and the benefits you and your family can get.

The Act

The DRCA provides rehabilitation and compensation for injuries and diseases caused by:

  • peacetime and peacekeeping service up to and including 30 June 2004
  • operational service between 7 April 1994 and 30 June 2004.

The rehabilitation and compensation you can get under the DRCA is similar to that available under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA).

Read more at our Overview of the DRCA page.

Permanent impairment compensation

We pay permanent impairment compensation as a lump sum. It is for the functional loss from injuries or diseases accepted as related to your DRCA service. We assess it as a percentage of whole person impairment. We also pay non-economic loss (NEL) compensation for lifestyle effects. To do this, we use the Guide to the Assessment of the Degree of Permanent Impairment 2023 (DRCA PI Guide)

Where we assess your impairment at 80 percent or more because of a single injury or disease caused by DRCA service, you may be eligible to get an additional amount. This is known as the Severe Injury Adjustment (SIA). The SIA amount increases for every dependent child you have.

Read more about Support under the DRCA.

Incapacity payments

We pay incapacity payments fortnightly. It is compensation for economic loss. These payments are usually taxable because they replace lost income and so for tax purposes, they are treated as income. In some cases, they are exempt from taxation if the payments they are replacing were also exempt from taxation.

Incapacity payments are also offset (reduced) by the employer funded portion of any Commonwealth superannuation you may get.

Read more about How we calculate incapacity payments.

Compensation following death

The DRCA provides compensation to dependants of veterans who have died. This is paid as a lump sum. Dependants can get the lump sum if the veteran died because of military service covered by the DRCA. Dependants include the veteran’s:

  • partner
  • children if they are under 16
  • children if they are under 25, studying full time and don’t have a full-time job.

Partners of veterans who died after 10 June 1997 can get an extra amount called an ‘additional death benefit’. This is also paid as a lump sum. The partner can get this benefit for themselves and one for each of the veteran’s dependent children in their care. To be seen as being in the partner’s care, the dependent child must be under 18. Dependent children 18 or over get their additional death benefit paid directly to them.

Anyone who gets an additional death benefit can also get reimbursed for the cost of any financial advice they got about this benefit. Dependent children, also called prescribed children, of a veteran who has died can also get a weekly compensation payment.

Other benefits

The DRCA also provides other benefits including:

  • reimbursement for the cost of getting financial advice about the investment of lump sum compensation
  • compensation for household services and attendant care services
  • essential home, workplace and vehicle modifications
  • aids and appliances and their repair or replacement.

Visit our page on How to make a claim under the DRCA.

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