Consultation on Veterans' legislation simplification and harmonisation

This legislation consultation process has closed on 14 November 2022.

Welcome to the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) consultation page in relation to Recommendation 1 from the Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide and relevant recommendations of the 2019 Productivity Commission inquiry into the system of compensation and rehabilitation for veterans, ‘A Better Way to Support Veterans’.  

Background

Productivity Commission inquiry into the system of compensation and rehabilitation for veterans

In June 2019 the Productivity Commission delivered a report into the system of compensation and rehabilitation for veterans, including recommendations for veterans’ legislation reform. 

Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide

In August 2022 the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide released its Interim Report making 13 recommendations.

The Government responded on 26 September 2022.

Recommendation 1 states that:

The Australian Government should develop and implement legislation to simplify and harmonise the framework for veterans’ compensation, rehabilitation and other entitlements.

Recommendation 1 also lays out a timeline for implementation of this recommendation. The Government agreed to Recommendation 1 and stated that:

The Government will develop a pathway for simplification and harmonisation of veteran compensation and rehabilitation legislation on the basis of this recommendation, noting that funding will be considered in the context of budget processes and fiscal constraints. The timing of implementation will be informed by what is required for necessary consultation and the passage of legislation.

Consultation

This consultation gives you an opportunity to provide your views on the Royal Commission’s recommendation for legislative reform, and on the Productivity Commission’s recommendations that relate to reforming the legislative framework for veteran compensation and rehabilitation.  Please refer to information provided above on the Royal Commission Interim Report and the Productivity Commission recommendations identified in Table 1 below, including references to the Productivity Commission report for full details.

We seek your views to inform the development of a legislative reform pathway for the simplification and harmonisation of veteran legislation, as part of the response to Recommendation 1 of the Royal Commission’s Interim Report.

Table 1. Productivity Commission recommendations that relate to legislative reform
Rec No Recommendation  Productivity Commission Report reference - Overview Productivity Commission Report reference - Main report (volume, chapter & page no.)
8.1 Harmonise the initial liability process  p51 Vol 1-Ch8-p372
8.3 Abolish the Specialist Medical Review Council (SMRC) p51 Vol 1-Ch8-p382
8.4 Move MRCA to a single standard of proof  p52 Vol 1-Ch8-p389
10.2 Single Review Pathway p56 Vol 1-Ch10-p459
10.3 Veterans' Review Board as a review and resolution body p56 Vol 1-Ch10-p460
10.4 Review of ongoing role of Veterans' Review Board  p57 Vol 1-Ch10-p462
13.1 Harmonise the DRCA with the MRCA  p63 Vol 2-Ch13-p611
13.2 Simplify the administration of invalidity pensions  p64 Vol 2-Ch13-p618
13.3 Replace invalidity pensions with incapacity payments  p64 Vol 2-Ch13-p624
13.4 Rehabilitation for invalidity payment recipients  p65 Vol 2-Ch13-p630
14.1 A single rate of permanent impairment compensation  p66 Vol 2-Ch14-p637
14.2 Interim compensation to be taken as a periodic payment  p66 Vol 2-Ch14-p641
14.3 Interim compensation to be finalised after two years p66 Vol 2-Ch14-p642
14.4 Eligible young person permanent impairment payment p67 Vol 2-Ch14-p644
14.5 Improve lifestyle ratings p67 Vol 2-Ch14-p646
14.6 Target incapacity payments at economic loss  p67 Vol 2-Ch14-p650
14.7 Remove the MRCA special rate disability pension p68 Vol 2-Ch14-p653
14.8 Remove automatic eligibility for MRCA dependant benefits p68 Vol 2-Ch14-p657
14.9 Combine MRCA dependant benefits into one payment p68 Vol 2-Ch14-p658
14.10 Harmonise the funeral allowance p69 Vol 2-Ch14-p659
15.2 Simplify and harmonise education payments   p70 Vol 2-Ch15-p676
15.3 Consolidate supplements into underlying payments p70 Vol 2-Ch15-p679
15.4 Remove and pay out smaller payments p70 Vol 2-Ch15-p680
15.5 Harmonise attendant and household services p71 Vol 2-Ch15-p683
15.6 Harmonise vehicle assistance p71 Vol 2-Ch15-p685
19.1 Two schemes for Veterans Support p78 Vol 2-Ch19-p834

Participation is voluntary and anonymous, unless you choose to identify yourself in your responses.

Please note that DVA does not intend to publish submissions to this consultation.  Submissions will be collated and analysed to support departmental advice and Government consideration of the issues. In providing a submission, you are agreeing that your submission will be used in this way.

Where you do choose to provide us with personal information in your submission – for example your name, your contact details or any other identifying information – we will manage your personal information carefully, and in accordance with the DVA Privacy Policy.

In providing feedback:

  • indicate whether you support or do not support the recommendations and, if you wish, give short reasons for your views;
  • provide an alternative position to the particular recommendation;
  • support some elements of the recommendation and not other elements, and indicate what these are; or
  • provide any other comments relevant to the recommendations.

If you have previously provided feedback on the Productivity Commission recommendations you are not required to submit it again.

The consultation period will end on Monday 14 November 2022.

Further consultation

Following this consultation, please note that there will be further consultation with the veteran community and other stakeholders on the legislative reform pathway. Details will be provided as and when this occurs.

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