Apply for the Disability Compensation Payment under the VEA

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This page briefly explains how to make a claim for a Disability Compensation Payment under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA), how claims are decided and how to apply for an increase in pension.

Disability Compensation Payments under the VEA are paid only in relation to injuries or illnesses which result from certain types of service rendered before 1 July 2004.

For information about entitlements related to service on or after 1 July 2004, refer to Overview of the MRCA. For information about entitlements related to peacetime service before 7 April 1994 or peacetime and certain war service between 7 April 1994 and 30 June 2004, refer to Overview of the DRCA.

You may have eligibility under more than one Act. If this occurs and you claim under both Acts there may be offsetting of the payments relating to the same incapacity. For more information, see Disability Compensation Payment and compensation offsetting.

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What is a Disability Compensation Payment?

A Disability Compensation Payment is paid to compensate veterans for injuries or diseases caused or aggravated by war service or certain defence service rendered on behalf of Australia before 1 July 2004.

There are four categories of Disability Compensation Payment payable under the VEA:

  • General Rate, payable in increments of 10% up to 100%;
  • Extreme Disablement Adjustment (for over 65 years of age only);
  • Intermediate Rate; and
  • Special Rate.

The General Rate is paid solely on the basis of the degree of incapacity you suffer as a result of your accepted conditions. For more information, see General Rate

The Intermediate and Special Rates take into account your level of incapacity from war or defence service caused disabilities and the effects that this incapacity has had on your working life. The Special Rate is intended to assist severely disabled veterans who are unable to have a normal working life due to their accepted disabilities, and is the highest level of Disability Compensation Payment available under the VEA. The Intermediate Rate provides a level of compensation between General Rate and Special Rate. For more information, see General Rate.

Retired veterans who are 65 or over with very severe disabilities and who do not qualify for a Special Rate pension may be entitled a higher rate of Disability Compensation Payment known as the Extreme Disablement Adjustment. For more information, see Extreme Disablement Adjustment.

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How is a claim for Disability Compensation Payment decided?

In order to be paid Disability Compensation Payment, you must first have a disability or disabilities accepted as being war-caused or defence-caused.

When you lodge a claim for a Disability Compensation Payment, the claims assessor will obtain evidence about your claim. This evidence may include documents about your service history, your medical history and, in some cases, your personal and employment history. Medical evidence may be sought from your doctor, or a specialist.

Claims for Disability Compensation Payment for most medical conditions are determined according to Statements of Principles, which are based on sound medical-scientific evidence and set out factors which must exist in order for the condition to be related to service. The claims assessor will examine available evidence to see whether the circumstances of your claim satisfy the relevant Statements of Principles. The Statements of Principles are developed by the Repatriation Medical Authority. DVA claims assessors are legally required to apply the Statements of Principles in assessing claims. For more information, see Statements of Principles (SOP).

Where there is no SOP for the disability you have claimed, the claims assessor will determine your claim by reference to the best medical evidence available.

If your claim satisfies one or more of the factors in the Statements of Principles, and those factors can be related to your service, the claims assessor will determine that your disability is war-caused or defence-caused. The claims assessor will also determine how much Disability Compensation Payment you will be paid if you are incapacitated as a result of your war-caused or defence-caused injury or disease.

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How is Disability Compensation Payment assessed?

During the investigation of your claim, the claims assessor may arrange for you to be examined by a general practitioner or a specialist. The claims assessor will refer to the reports of these examinations, as well as other information on your file or that you have provided, to assess the level of Disability Compensation Payment to which you may be entitled.

Disability Compensation Payment is assessed on the basis of the Guide to the Assessment of Rates of Veterans' Pensions (GARP V). For information on how Disability Compensation Payment is assessed using GARP, see Our guides to assess compensation.

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How much is my Disability Compensation Payment likely to be?

The grounds on which these pension rates are paid are complex, but generally the greater your service related incapacity, the more pension you receive. For specific information on rates of pensions, see Disability Compensation Payment and War Widow(er)’s Pension Rates and Allowances.

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When will my Disability Compensation Payment start?

Generally the Disability Compensation Payment will become payable from three months before the date a claim is received by DVA. This means that once your claim for a Disability Compensation Payment is granted, the pension will commence from the next pension pay day along with an arrears payment for the pension that was payable for up to three months prior to your claim being received.

We may also need to confirm information with Services Australia before we can arrange your payment.

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How do I apply for a Disability Compensation Payment?

You can lodge your claim online using MyService. Applying through MyService may in some cases allow your claim to be processed more quickly.

To claim a Disability Compensation Payment you need to complete DVA form D2582 and return it to DVA. When completing the form you must clearly state the reasons why you think the condition is related to your service. You must also seek your doctor's diagnosis of the condition being claimed and his/her opinion about the time of onset of the condition.

You may be asked to provide other evidence to support your claim, such as information on your employment history, details of injuries or accidents, or other personal details relating to your claim. To assist us in processing your application, it is recommended that you also complete DVA form D2670 and submit it with your application. The Lifestyle Rating form provides you with three options for the assessment of the effect of your accepted disabilities on your lifestyle.

When lodging a new claim for compensation payments under the VEA, you may also be required to provide documents to DVA that prove your identity if you have not already done so in association with an earlier claim. For further information see Proof of Identity 

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How do I apply for an increase in my Disability Compensation Payment?

Applications for increase in Disability Compensation Payment can be lodged online using MyService.

To apply for an increase in Disability Compensation Payment please fill out DVA form D2582, which is the same as the one used for claiming new disabilities. You must clearly state on the form, information about the treatment you have received for your accepted disabilities and the reason why you believe your accepted disabilities have worsened since the last assessment. Similarly to an initial Disability Compensation Payment claim, it is encouraged that you submit DVA form D2670 to accompany your application to support the assessment of the lifestyle effects that your accepted disabilities have impacted, and it this has worsened since your last assessment.

These forms are available from your nearest DVA office, your local ex-service organisation or through the DVA website.

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Will all my conditions be reassessed each time I claim?

When you apply for an increase or claim another condition, we may look at each of your accepted conditions to work out your overall impairment level. We will ask a GP, specialist or other health provider for the information we need. But you can ask us to only reassess some of your accepted conditions.

A delegate will contact you when they start working on your claim. They will ask you which conditions you would like reassessed. You might want us to only look at conditions that have got worse since we last assessed them.

Although we will take your preferences into account, we may decide that we need new medical advice on some or all of your accepted conditions.

It’s a good idea to get advice from an advocate if you’re thinking about asking us to only reassess some of your conditions.

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What if I need help with my claim?

If you need help, contact 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) and we can help you with your claim. Most ex-service organisations also have officers and advocates who can help you too.

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How long does it take to consider a claim for Disability Compensation Payment/application for increase?

The Department aims to process claims within 75 days. However, it may take longer if you have a complex case. This processing time is required to:

  • obtain documents about your service from the Department of Defence if you have never claimed before;
  • conduct further medical examinations if necessary;
  • allow DVA to gather further information about your medical and personal history, if necessary; and
  • assess the information and make a determination in relation to your claim.
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What happens when a claim/application has been decided?

Whether your claim or application for increase is successful or not, you will be given written reasons for the decision as well as information that explains the decision. You will receive the decision in writing, either by mail, email or via MyService. The letter will also tell you what to do if you are not satisfied that the correct decision has been made.

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