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Claiming for Benefits

You may find that the Australian Government websites have comprehensive information and you may need a little help with navigating vital support,  if you are a veteran and would like to speak to someone regarding your individual needs,


AV Connect recommends that you contact the relevant departments:   

DVA Veteran Access Network (VAN) officer 1800 838 372  or in person at a DVA office,    Medicare officer on 132011 or in person at the Services Australia Centres

This page, like all the pages on the AV Connect website are not to be construed as advice and you should be linking to the legislative instruments and policies to read in full.   We recommend that you contact DVA for any questions and or seek to gain advice from a trained advocate that has insurance.

Veterans’ Legislation Reform Consultation Pathway

Submissions for the Veterans' Legislation Reform Consultation Pathway close on May 12.

The proposed pathway seeks to reform the 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 (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 consultation process will inform the way forward for government to simplify veterans’ legislation.  The proposed effective date of 1st July 2025 for the new reformed legislation.

Social Media pages that connect Veterans through discussions about ADF and DVA entitlements

These social media pages encourage interactions between fellow Veterans to discuss current issues and ask questions about their individual circumstances.  All answers/opinions shared by the pages are of their own. AV Connect is not affiliated, and we are not responsible or liable for any discrepancies, if any provided on those pages.  We strongly advise that you check any responses with the ADF, DVA, or governing body directly .

Simple Terms - Provisions

Pension - Lump Sum - or a combination

Lump Sum


What to know when you want to make multiple claims


DVA Forms

Acronyms used in DVA

More information

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Have you considered the below while claiming?

DVA has free mental health care which means that you do not need to prove that your ADF service caused mental conditions, and DVA will cover your mental health treatment. They may  cover the cost through their Non-Liability Health Care (NLHC).  Learn more via their link

DVA  may provide you with a payment while you wait for them to approve your claim for a mental health condition under the MRCA or DRCA. The Veteran Payment is an interim payment that you may receive while DVA assesses your claim.

Image by Robina Weermeijer

Statements of principles (SOPs)

Statements of Principles (SoPs) are used in determining claims for liability for injuries, diseases and deaths under both the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA).


Statements of Principles (SOPs) are determined by the RMA, and are legislative instruments and have the same legal effect as any legislation passed by Parliament. SOPs exclusively state what factors must exist to establish a causal connection between particular diseases, injuries or death and service.

The RMA decides whether there is sound medical-scientific evidence that indicates that a particular kind of injury, disease or death can be related to operational service, peacekeeping service or hazardous service. In order for there to be a reasonable hypothesis connecting such an injury or disease or death with service, it must be possible that a causal connection between a factor in the relevant SoP and service can be established. If this is the case a SoP will be determined for that condition setting out:

* the factors that must as a minimum exist, and
* which of those factors must be related to service rendered by a person. 

There are two SoPs for each medical condition, one for operational and war-like service and one for other eligible service. This is because the different types of service attract different standards of proof for determining claims. These standards of proof are the:


* reasonable hypothesis for operational service, or hazardous service, and
* balance of probabilities for eligible war service or defence service. 

A little more information:

How are SoPs made?
The Repatriation Medical Authority (RMA) decides the SoPs after extensive investigations of the medical literature and research available worldwide. They are then gazetted in the Australian Government Gazette and tabled in both Houses of Federal Parliament. They become effective from the date they are signed by the Chairman of the RMA and remain law unless either House of the Australian Parliament disallows them. Veterans and ex-service organisations can ask the RMA to make a new SoP if one does not already exist, or to review a SoP if they believe that there is additional information available. This additional material needs to be sound medical-scientific evidence rather than a personal medical report or passages from a textbook.    

How are SoPs used?

SoPs provide a list of factors causally related to a particular medical condition. SoPs alone determine what factors can be said to cause a medical condition that is the subject of a claim for disability compensation payment. A veteran or dependant can look at the list of factors and see if any might be applicable to their particular circumstances. Decision-makers must decide whether any of the factors in the SoP for the condition being investigated apply to the person making the claim. If one of the factors applies then the decision-maker must see if it is also connected to the service of the serviceman or servicewoman.    

"Guide to the Assessment of Rates of Veterans' Pensions" (GARP)

DVA description "The GARP is used to assess the extent of incapacity from war caused or defence caused injury or disease for the purposes of determining the rate of pension."

Extract from the Policy "GARP is the legislative instrument used by decision-makers to determine the amount of Disability Compensation Payment to pay a veteran in respect of incapacity from war-caused or defence-caused injuries and diseases. It looks at the medical impairment suffered as a result of war-caused disabilities and the effect on the veteran's lifestyle. Its provisions are binding on the Repatriation Commission, the Veterans' Review Board and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal."

GARP contains:

  • criteria against which the degree of incapacity of the veteran resulting from war-caused injury or disease, or both, shall be assessed, and

  • methods by which the degree of this incapacity, shall be expressed as a percentage. 


Assessment of degree of incapacity
The two elements of the assessment of the degree of incapacity using GARP are:

  1. medical impairment, and    

  2. lifestyle effects     

GARP refers to one of two different instruments: GARP V or GARP M

GARP M, or the Guide to Determining Impairment and Compensation, is a specially adapted edition of GARP V that is used to assess compensation claims under MRCA.

Image by Joyce McCown

Service Eligibility Assistant

The Service Eligibility Assistant contains legislative instruments relating to service under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) and Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA), and associated information.  While many service requirements are set out within the main text of the Acts, some service types, locations and periods, and the individuals and units who are known to have rendered certain types of service, are instead set out in legislative instruments.  The following types of legislative instruments relate to service under the VEA and/or MRCA:

  • Determinations of warlike, non-warlike and hazardous service

  • Declarations of peacekeeping forces

  • Instruments of allotment for duty in an operational area

  • Instruments of assignment for operational service under VEA section 6D(1)(a)

  • Determinations relating to people other than members of the forces who are:

  • Declared members or deemed to be members of the Defence Force; or

  • Deemed to have rendered continuous full-time service as members of the Defence Force.

Available instruments can be viewed via the Service Eligibility Assistant either by region or by operation. Some instruments are not publicly available because they contain personal details of individuals.  All recent instruments are also available at


Balance of Probabilities (BOPs)

The term balance of probabilities is often used to describe the reasonable satisfaction standard of proof. The Delegate must decide whether the evidence provided is more probable than not to be true.

Standard & Onus of Proof

The MRCA sets out two standards of proof that apply in determining claims for liability. These are the “beyond reasonable doubt” standard of proof and the “reasonable satisfaction” standard of proof.y

The VEA contains provisions specifying the standard of proof required before a decision on a case involving pension can be made. The standard required is known as reasonable satisfaction.

Reasonable hypothesis (RH)

The RH test