16 February 2023
Today, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel, the Hon. Matt Keogh, announced the Government will be undertaking consultation on the proposed pathway to simplify the veterans’ legislative framework.
The consultation is the next step in the Government’s commitment to respond to Recommendation 1 of the Interim Report delivered by the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide in August last year. The Interim Report found that the complexity of the veterans’ system is adversely affecting the mental health of veterans.
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, with only new claims or claims relating to deteriorated conditions to instead be covered by the single ongoing Act.
- The impact for those whose service commenced after 1 July 2004 will be limited.
As this may impact future claims, we encourage you to provide feedback on the proposed pathway regardless of whether you have had experience of the claims process. Submissions can be made through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) consultation webpage or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All submissions are requested by 12 May 2023.
The consultation process will inform the way forward for the Government to simplify veterans’ legislation. The Government is committed to a thorough and considered process which will deliver a better future for veterans and their families. Information about the consultation process can be found on the DVA website.
DVA has developed a booklet outlining the need for reform and to provide you further details about the proposal.
We continue to encourage you to share your experiences with the Royal Commission. The more the Royal Commission understands about the ADF, and the people within it, the better they can conduct their enquiry.
The Royal Commission hearings may raise issues that are personally challenging for some in our Defence community. Should you or your family require support, Defence has a range of services available.
Greg Moriarty Angus J Campbell, AO, DSC
Department of Defence Chief of the Defence Force