Military Compensation Claims

Whether you are a current or a former member of the Australian Defence Force ("ADF"), you have an entitlement to claim compensation if you have sustained an injury or disease as a result of your service. Claims are administered by the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission ("MRCC") in conjunction with the Department of Veteran Affairs ("DVA").

Claims for compensation for injury sustained whilst a member of the ADF are conducted under the Military Compensation and Rehabilitation Act, 2004 (Cth) ("MRCA"). It is what is known as a ‘long tail’ compensation scheme, which essentially means that an individual who has an accepted claim under the scheme, will be entitled to benefits until they turn 65 (although some exceptions apply).

What benefits are available under a military compensation claim?

Significant and comprehensive benefits are available under a military compensation claim for ADF members who sustain an injury or are suffering from disease.

Available benefits include:

  • payment for medical treatment and rehabilitation programs;
  • income replacement during periods of incapacity to work;
  • permanent impairment compensation (provided as ongoing periodic payments or as a lump sum); and
  • compensation following the death of a member or former member.

Can I claim common law damages from the Australian Defence Forces?

You can claim common law damages from the ADF, however, a claim for common law damages depends upon who you are suing. You can only make a claim for common law damages against the ADF for non-economic loss suffered as a result of the injury or disease you are experiencing.

In circumstances where you can prove that a third party (eg not the ADF) is responsible for your condition, then you can make a claim for common law damages for both economic and non-economic loss.

You should be aware that a claim for common law damages differs from the MRCA ‘no fault’ compensation scheme, in that common law damages will only be awarded where it can be proved that your injury or disease was caused by the fault of the ADF or a third party.

You must elect to make claim for common law damages before you receive any permanent impairment compensation under the MRCA. Once you receive such compensation under the MRCA, you lose any rights to make a common law damages claim for the specific disease or injury.

Are there time limits for claiming military compensation?

The MRCA does not place a time limit on the lodgement of a claim for military compensation.

However, it is to your advantage to start a claim as soon as possible after you become aware of the injury or disease, as early lodgement of your claim facilitates the process of determination while supporting information is readily available. In some cases, such as where you are entitled to permanent impairment compensation, starting a claim early can maximise the amount of compensation payable.

How can IM Lawyers help?

If you have sustained an injury or suffered from a disease which you consider has arisen from your military service (past or present), you should consider seeking legal advice about what you should do, and how to go about making a claim.

At IM Lawyers we understand that many veterans may have the assistance of delegates (for example through the Returned Services League) who may provide them assistance.  We are experienced in working alongside these delegates to ensure you are maximising your benefits (and minimising your legal costs where possible).

If you have already submitted a claim but it has been rejected or you have been receiving compensation and it has now ceased, you should consult a solicitor who knows their way around the military compensation scheme to assist with any appeal of those decisions.

At IM Lawyers we have the necessary expertise and experience to help you with any issues related to your military compensation claim.

Call now to arrange an initial free consultation

1800 001 339

It costs you nothing to find out where you stand.

In compensation law matters we operate under a no win, no fee model, as plaintiff solicitors and barristers have done so for decades.

This means that if we accept you as a client:

  • We will not charge you upfront fees;
  • If you lose your case, you will not pay our fees.
  • If you win your case, you will be required to pay our fees which will, ordinarily, be taken out of any compensation benefits you receive or will be claimed on top of the compensation from the insurer.