Veterans, ADF members exempt from compensation changes

IN RECOGNITION of the unique nature of military services, ADF Members and veterans will be exempt from changes to compensation laws announced in Parliament today.

Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Senator Michael Ronaldson and Assistant Minister for Defence today said ADF members and veterans will be exempt from all but two of the proposed changes.

Senator Ronaldson said the two exempt amendments relate to changes in the calculation of Permanent Impairment Compensation.

"These exemptions will ensure that current and former ADF members will benefit from the proposed increase in the maximum statutory Permanent Impairment Compensation payable," Senator Ronaldson said.

"They also mean that veterans and current defence personnel will be able to combine multiple injuries that arise from a single incident in order to meet minimum permanent impairment threshold requirements."

The proposed changes to the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment build on the 2012 review of the laws

The review aimed to address legislative anomalies as well as issues relating to the performance and financial framework of the Act.

Currently all Australian Government employees are covered by the SRCA, including current and former ADF members who are covered under Part XI of the Act, for any injuries which relate to service prior to 1 July 2004.

Mr Robert said the Prime Minister had given approval for Part XI of the SRCA to become a separate bill.

"This arrangement recognises the unique nature of military service and will ensure the best possible outcome for all current and former ADF members," Mr Robert said.

"The excision of Part XI from the SRCA will allow more time for consultation with the veteran and defence community and allow for closer alignment of Part XI clients with contemporary military compensation legislation."

Current and former ADF members with service related injuries or illness arising from events that occurred on after July 1, 2004 will continue to be provided compensation coverage under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act.

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling on 1800 011 046.

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