Veterans’ Legislation Reform Consultation Pathway takes shape
The Government announced in February that public consultation on a Legislation Reform Pathway to simplify veteran compensation and rehabilitation legislation is underway.
In September 2022, the Government accepted Recommendation 1 of the Interim Report from the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide, agreeing there was a need to simplify the existing legislation.
Preliminary consultation was undertaken last year about recommendations made by the Productivity Commission and the Royal Commission in relation to legislative reform, which confirmed that there is support for simplification and harmonisation of veterans’ legislation.
The proposed pathway to simplify veterans' legislation opened for public consultation on 16 February 2023. Submissions close on 12 May 2023.
The proposed pathway seeks to reform more than a century of veterans’ entitlement legislation.
The Pathway for consultation anticipates:
- New claims under existing schemes will cease after a transition period, from which point all new veteran claims will be dealt with under an improved Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) as the sole ongoing Act. The MRCA currently services the majority of claims.
- All benefits under existing schemes will continue unaffected. New claims or claims relating to conditions which have worsened will instead be covered by the single ongoing Act. Current payment rates will be maintained and indexed normally.
The consultation process will inform the way forward for the Government to simplify veterans’ legislation.
Every member of the veteran community will have the chance to provide their views about the proposal. Ex-service organisations will have a chance to provide their views through ESORT and other consultative forums, including Deputy Commissioner Consultative Forums. DVA will also host webinars to answer questions and seek views on the proposal. Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Matt Keogh will be discussing the proposal with key members of the ex-service community across Australia.
Minister Keogh said the Government is committed to a thorough and considered process, which will deliver a better future for veterans and their families.
More information on the Pathway, and an opportunity to provide feedback can be found on the Veterans’ Legislation Reform Consultation Pathway page of the DVA website.