The Veterans' Review Board (VRB) is an independent tribunal that exists to review:
- decisions made by the Repatriation Commission under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (Cth) on:
- claims for acceptance of injury or disease as war-caused or defence-caused;
- claims for war widows', war widowers' and orphans' pensions;
- assessment of pension rate for incapacity from war-caused or defence-caused injury or disease; and
- claims for the grant, or assessment of, attendant allowance; and
- determinations under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (Cth) made by:
- the Military Rehabilitation & Compensation Commission; and
- the Service Chiefs of the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Navy, and the Royal Australian Air Force
The VRB reviews decisions made by officers of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) who have been given power under the VEA by the Repatriation Commission to decide claims for pension and applications for increase in pension. These officers are called ‘delegates’ of the Repatriation Commission.
The VRB’s role was extended in 2004 to review determinations under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA). It is concerned with rehabilitation, and compensation for members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and their families for injury, disease or death related to service rendered on or after 1 July 2004.
In conducting a review, the VRB is not bound by the rules of evidence or any of the findings within the decision it is reviewing.
Amendments to the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004, which impact on the VRB came into effect on 28 July 2014. The amendments were contained in the Veterans' Affairs Legislation Amendment (Mental Health and other Measures) Bill 2014. The changes will allow the VRB to make significant improvements to service and will enhance the operation of the VRB. The changes include the use of modern and effective alternative dispute resolution processes and improved case management powers, administrative and business procedures.
The general practice direction, ADR guidelines and a guide to understanding your decision, has been amended to reflect some of these changes. Two new practice directions regarding oral reasons and the composition of VRB panels have also been issued.
Please note that in respect of ADR, a trial using the new legislative framework for ADR will commence in NSW only, from 1 January 2015. The VRB will continue to offer ADR as outlined in the ADR guidelines, available on this website, until the trial commences and for all states other than NSW, after the trial commences.
- 12 March 2014 - A number of significant changes to Australia's privacy laws commenced. Under the new laws it will be easier for Australians to:
- request access to their personal information held by an organisation or agency
- request a correction to their personal information held by an organisation or agency
- 29 October 2013 - The VRB Annual Report for 2012-13 is now available here
- September 2012 - The VRB has reviewed the ADR guidelines. From 5 September 2012, requests for ADR in relation to VEA and MRCA cases will be managed in the same way. Please click here to read the revised guidelines
- June 2012 - What does the VRB decision mean?
- February 2012 - Fair Hearing Obligation