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A Bill for an Act to amend the law relating to veterans' affairs, military rehabilitation and compensation and defence, and for related purposes
Administered by: Veterans' Affairs
For authoritative information on the progress of bills and on amendments proposed to them, please see the House of Representatives Votes and Proceedings, and the Journals of the Senate as available on the Parliament House website.
Registered 25 Jun 2015
Introduced HR 25 Jun 2015
Table of contents.

2013‑2014‑2015

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (2015 Budget Measures) Bill 2015

 

No.      , 2015

 

(Veterans’ Affairs)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to amend the law relating to veterans’ affairs, military rehabilitation and compensation and defence, and for related purposes

  

  


Contents

1............ Short title............................................................................................. 1

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 1

3............ Schedules............................................................................................ 2

Schedule 1—Veterans’ Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme                          3

Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986                                                                              3

Schedule 2—Reconsideration and review of determinations                      8

Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004                                         8

Schedule 3—Graves of dependants of members of the Defence Force 10

Defence Act 1903                                                                                                       10

 

 


A Bill for an Act to amend the law relating to veterans’ affairs, military rehabilitation and compensation and defence, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1  Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (2015 Budget Measures) Act 2015.

2  Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  Sections 1 to 3 and anything in this Act not elsewhere covered by this table

The day this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

2.  Schedule 1

20 March 2016.

20 March 2016

3.  Schedule 2

1 January 2016.

1 January 2016

4.  Schedule 3

The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally enacted. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this Act.

             (2)  Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this Act. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this Act.

3  Schedules

                   Legislation that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

Schedule 1Veterans’ Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme

  

Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986

1  Subsection 23(5)

Omit “The rate”, substitute “Subject to subsection (6), the rate”.

2  Subsection 24(4)

Omit “subsections (5) and (6)”, substitute “subsections (5), (5A) and (6)”.

3  Subsection 24(5)

Omit “The rate”, substitute “Subject to subsections (5A) and (6), the rate”.

4  After subsection 24(5)

Insert:

          (5A)  If:

                     (a)  section 115D applies to a veteran because of subsection 115D(1A); and

                     (b)  the veteran is engaged in remunerative work of more than 8 hours, but less than 20 hours, per week as a result of undertaking a vocational rehabilitation program under the Veterans’ Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme;

then, subject to subsection (6) of this section, the rate at which pension is payable to the veteran is the higher of the following amounts:

                     (c)  the amount worked out under subsection (5) of this section;

                     (d)  the amount under subsection 23(4).

5  Subsection 24(6)

Omit “subsection (4) or (5)”, substitute “subsection (4), (5) or (5A)”.

6  Subsection 24A(1A)

Omit “subsection 24(4) or (5)”, substitute “subsection 24(4), (5) or (5A)”.

7  Subsection 25(2)

Omit “the rate applicable under subsection 24(4), (5) or (6)”, substitute “the rate that would have been applicable under subsection 24(4), (5), (5A) or (6) if section 24 applied to the veteran”.

8  At the end of section 37AAA

Add “(as affected by subsection 115G(2A))”.

9  Paragraph 98A(2)(a)

Omit “24(4), (5) or (6)”, substitute “24(4), (5), (5A) or (6)”.

10  Subsection 98A(3) (paragraph (a) of the definition of deceased veteran’s amount)

Omit “24(4), (5) or (6)”, substitute “24(4), (5), (5A) or (6)”.

11  Section 115A

Before “In this Part”, insert “(1)”.

12  Section 115A (definition of work and pension income rate)

Repeal the definition, substitute:

work and pension income rate of a veteran, in relation to a pension period, has the meaning given by subsections (2) and (3).

13  At the end of section 115A

Add:

Veteran to whom section 23 applies

             (2)  If section 115D applies to a veteran because of subsection 115D(1), then the work and pension income rate of the veteran for a pension period is worked out using the following formula:

Veteran to whom section 24 applies

             (3)  If section 115D applies to a veteran because of subsection 115D(1A), then the work and pension income rate of the veteran for a pension period is worked out using the following formula:

14  After paragraph 115B(5)(d)

Insert:

                   (da)  the provision of services, under the Scheme, to specified veterans for the management of medical conditions of those veterans; and

                   (db)  the provision of psychosocial services, under the Scheme, to specified veterans; and

15  Subsection 115D(1)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

Application of section

             (1)  This section applies to a veteran if:

                     (a)  section 23 applies to the veteran; and

                     (b)  the veteran is engaged in remunerative work of 20 hours or more per week as a result of undertaking a vocational rehabilitation program under the Veterans’ Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme.

The section sets out how to work out the veteran’s reduced daily pension amount.

Note 1:       This amount is used to work out the rate of pension payable under section 23.

Note 2:       This section does not apply to certain veterans: see subsections (5) and (6).

          (1A)  This section also applies to a veteran if:

                     (a)  section 24 applies to the veteran; and

                     (b)  the veteran is engaged in remunerative work of more than 8 hours per week as a result of undertaking a vocational rehabilitation program under the Veterans’ Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme.

The section sets out how to work out the veteran’s reduced daily pension amount.

Note 1:       This amount is used to work out the rate of pension payable under section 24.

Note 2:       This section does not apply to certain veterans: see subsections (5) and (6).

16  Subsection 115D(7) (definition of taper amount)

Repeal the definition, substitute:

taper amount for a veteran means the following amount:

                     (a)  if the veteran’s average weekly hours are 40 hours or more—zero;

                     (b)  if subsection (1) applies and the veteran’s average weekly hours are less than 40 hours—the amount worked out using the following formula:

                           

                     (c)  if subsection (1A) applies and the veteran’s average weekly hours are less than 40 hours—the amount worked out using the following formula:

                           

17  After subsection 115G(2)

Insert:

          (2A)  If the veteran does not undertake any remunerative work in a continuous period of at least 6 months:

                     (a)  in working out the length of the initial period, or the 5‑year period mentioned in subsection (2), in relation to the veteran, disregard that continuous period; and

                     (b)  in doing calculations under subsection (1) or (2) in relation to the veteran, disregard that continuous period.

18  Application and saving provisions

(1)       The amendments made by items 2 to 7, 15 and 16 apply in relation to weeks beginning on or after the commencement of this item, where those weeks fall within pension periods beginning on or after that commencement.

(2)       The amendments made by items 12 and 13 apply in relation to pension periods beginning on or after the commencement of this item.

(3)       The amendment made by item 17 applies in relation to continuous periods beginning on or after the commencement of this item.

(4)       The amendments made by this Schedule do not affect the continuity of the following periods in relation to a veteran:

                     (a)  the initial period referred to in section 115D of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986;

                     (b)  the second period referred to in that section.

Schedule 2Reconsideration and review of determinations

  

Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004

1  Section 344

Omit “claimant’s rights to apply for reconsideration or review”, substitute “claimant’s right to apply for review”.

2  Section 344

Omit:

There are 2 possible paths in the reconsideration and review process depending on the type of reconsideration sought by the claimant.

3  Section 344

Omit “ask the Commission to reconsider it or”.

4  Section 344

Omit “If dissatisfied with the determination on reconsideration or review”, substitute “If dissatisfied with the determination on review”.

5  Paragraph 345A(2)(c)

Repeal the paragraph.

6  Subsection 346(5)

Omit “request a reconsideration of the determination under section 349 or”.

7  Section 349 (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

349  Chief of the Defence Force initiating reconsideration of determinations

8  Subsections 349(1) to (3)

Repeal the subsections.

9  Subsection 352(2)

Repeal the subsection.

10  Application provision

The amendments made by this Schedule apply in relation to original determinations made on or after the commencement of this item.

Schedule 3Graves of dependants of members of the Defence Force

  

Defence Act 1903

1  Paragraph 124(1)(qba)

Omit “the graves of persons who have died”, substitute “the following”.

2  Subparagraph 124(1)(qba)(i)

Before “while”, insert “the graves of persons who have died”.

3  Subparagraph 124(1)(qba)(i)

Omit “or”.

4  Subparagraph 124(1)(qba)(ii)

Before “as a result”, insert “the graves of persons who have died”.

5  Subparagraph 124(1)(qba)(ii)

Omit “and”.

6  At the end of paragraph 124(1)(qba)

Add:

                            (iii)  the grave of a person who, immediately before his or her death, was a dependant of a member of the Defence Force on service, where the grave is located in the Terendak Military Cemetery in Malaysia; and