Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

No. 57 of 2019 Determinations/Veterans' Entitlements as made
This instrument is the Statement of Principles concerning joint instability (Reasonable Hypothesis).
Administered by: Veterans' Affairs
Registered 29 Apr 2019
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR02-Jul-2019
Tabled Senate02-Jul-2019

RMA-Red

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

 

STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES CONCERNING

JOINT INSTABILITY

(REASONABLE HYPOTHESIS) (NO. 57 OF 2019)

 

VETERANS' ENTITLEMENTS ACT 1986

MILITARY REHABILITATION AND COMPENSATION ACT 2004

 

1.             This is the Explanatory Statement to the Statement of Principles concerning joint instability (Reasonable Hypothesis) (No. 57 of 2019).

Background

2.             The Repatriation Medical Authority (the Authority), under subsection 196B(8) of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (the VEA), repeals Instrument No. 32 of 2010 (Federal Register of Legislation No. F2010L01048) determined under subsection 196B(2) of the VEA concerning joint instability.

3.             The Authority is of the view that there is sound medical-scientific evidence that indicates that joint instability and death from joint instability can be related to particular kinds of service.  The Authority has therefore determined pursuant to subsection 196B(2) of the VEA a Statement of Principles concerning joint instability (Reasonable Hypothesis) (No. 57 of 2019).  This Instrument will in effect replace the repealed Statement of Principles.

Purpose and Operation

4.             The Statement of Principles will be applied in determining claims under the VEA and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (the MRCA).

5.             The Statement of Principles sets out the factors that must as a minimum exist, and which of those factors must be related to the following kinds of service rendered by a person:

          operational service under the VEA;

          peacekeeping service under the VEA;

          hazardous service under the VEA;

          British nuclear test defence service under the VEA;

          warlike service under the MRCA;

          non-warlike service under the MRCA,

before it can be said that a reasonable hypothesis has been raised connecting joint instability or death from joint instability, with the circumstances of that service.  The Statement of Principles has been determined for the purposes of both the VEA and the MRCA.

6.             This Instrument results from an investigation notified by the Authority in the Government Notices Gazette of 14 November 2017 concerning joint instability in accordance with section 196G of the VEA.  The investigation involved an examination of the sound medical-scientific evidence now available to the Authority, including the sound medical-scientific evidence it has previously considered.

7.             The contents of this Instrument are in similar terms as the repealed Instrument.  Comparing this Instrument and the repealed Instrument, the differences include:

·                    adopting the latest revised Instrument format, which commenced in 2015;

·                    specifying a day of commencement for the Instrument in section 2;

·                    revising the definition of 'joint instability' in subsection 7(2);

·                    revising ICD-10-AM codes for 'joint instability' in subsection 7(3);

·                    revising the reference to 'ICD-10-AM code' in subsection 7(4);

·                    new factors in subsections 9(1) & 9(14) concerning 'physical trauma';

·                    new factor in subsection 9(2) concerning 'dislocation or subluxation', for clinical onset only;

·                    new factor in subsection 9(3) concerning 'sprain', for clinical onset only;

·                    revising the factors in subsections 9(4) & 9(15) concerning 'damage to a soft tissue structure as specified';

·                    revising the factors in subsections 9(5) & 9(16) concerning 'fracture or bony abnormality involving the articulating surfaces';

·                    revising the factors in subsections 9(6) & 9(17) concerning 'disease process as specified', by the inclusion of a note;

·                    new factors in subsections 9(7) & 9(18) concerning 'being pregnant';

·                    new factors in subsections 9(8) & 9(19) concerning 'undertaking an activity or undergoing a medical procedure that involves wide opening of the mouth', for temporomandibular joint instability only;

·                    new factors in subsections 9(9) & 9(20) concerning 'having lumbar spondylosis, lumbar intervertebral disc prolapse, lumbar spondylolisthesis, lumbar spinal stenosis or lumbar spinal fusion', for total hip prosthesis joint instability only;

·                    new factors in subsections 9(10) & 9(21) concerning 'being obese', for total hip joint prosthesis joint instability only;

·                    new factors in subsections 9(11) & 9(22) concerning 'being severely obese', for tibiofemoral joint instability only;

·                    new factors in subsections 9(12) & 9(23) concerning 'morbid obesity', for total knee joint prosthesis joint instability only;

·                    new factors in subsections 9(13) & 9(24) concerning 'local glucocorticoid injections for epicondylitis', for elbow joint instability only;

·                    deleting the factors concerning 'laxity of the joint capsule or a stabilising ligament of the affected joint' and 'a biomechanical abnormality involving the affected joint';

·                    new definitions of 'being obese', 'being severely obese', 'BMI', 'disease process as specified', 'MRCA' and 'VEA' in Schedule 1 - Dictionary;

·                    revising the definition of 'relevant service' in Schedule 1 - Dictionary; and

·                    deleting the definition of 'a biomechanical abnormality involving the affected joint', 'a disease process affecting the normal structural or functional relationship between the articulating surfaces of the affected joint' and 'neuropathic arthropathy'.

Consultation

8.             Prior to determining this Instrument, the Authority advertised its intention to undertake an investigation in relation to joint instability in the Government Notices Gazette of 14 November 2017, and circulated a copy of the notice of intention to investigate to a wide range of organisations representing veterans, service personnel and their dependants.  The Authority invited submissions from the Repatriation Commission, the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, organisations and persons referred to in section 196E of the VEA, and any person having expertise in the field.  No submissions were received for consideration by the Authority during the investigation.

9.             On 14 December 2018, the Authority wrote to organisations representing veterans, service personnel and their dependants regarding the proposed Instrument and the medical-scientific material considered by the Authority.  This letter emphasised the deletion of factors relating to laxity of the joint capsule or a stabilising ligament of the affected joint and a biomechanical abnormality involving the affected joint.  The Authority provided an opportunity to the organisations to make representations in relation to the proposed Instrument prior to its determination.  No submissions were received for consideration by the Authority.  Minor typographical changes were made to the proposed Instrument following this consultation process.

Human Rights

10.         This instrument is compatible with the Human Rights and Freedoms recognised or declared in the International Instruments listed in Section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.  A Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights follows.

Finalisation of Investigation

11.         The determining of this Instrument finalises the investigation in relation to joint instability as advertised in the Government Notices Gazette of 14 November 2017.

References

12.         A list of references relating to the above condition is available to any person or organisation referred to in subsection 196E(1)(a) to (c) of the VEA.  Any such request must be made in writing to the Repatriation Medical Authority at the following address:

The Registrar

Repatriation Medical Authority

GPO Box 1014

BRISBANE    QLD    4001

 


RMA-Red

Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights

(Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011)

 

Instrument No.:                                 Statement of Principles No. 57 of 2019

Kind of Injury, Disease or Death:   Joint instability

 

This Legislative Instrument is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

Overview of the Legislative Instrument

1.         This Legislative Instrument is determined pursuant to subsection 196B(8) of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (the VEA) for the purposes of the VEA and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (the MRCA).  Part XIA of the VEA requires the determination of these instruments outlining the factors linking particular kinds of injury, disease or death with service such being determined solely on the available sound medical-scientific evidence.

2.         This Legislative Instrument:-

§     facilitates claimants in making, and the Repatriation Commission in assessing, claims under the VEA and the MRCA respectively, by specifying the circumstances in which medical treatment and compensation can be extended to eligible persons who have joint instability;

§     facilitates the review of such decisions by the Veterans' Review Board and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal;

§     outlines the factors which the current sound medical-scientific evidence indicates must as a minimum exist, before it can be said that a reasonable hypothesis has been raised, connecting joint instability with the circumstances of eligible service rendered by a person, as set out in clause 5 of the Explanatory Statement;

§     replaces Instrument No. 32 of 2010; and

§     reflects developments in the available sound medical-scientific evidence concerning joint instability which have occurred since that earlier instrument was determined. 

3.         The Instrument is assessed as being a technical instrument which improves the medico-scientific quality of outcomes under the VEA and the MRCA. 

Human Rights Implications

4.         This Legislative Instrument does not derogate from any human rights. It promotes the human rights of veterans, current and former Defence Force members as well as other persons such as their dependents, including:

§     the right to social security (Art 9, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Art 26, Convention on the Rights of the Child and Art 28, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) by helping to ensure that the qualifying conditions for the benefit are 'reasonable, proportionate and transparent'[1];

§     the right to an adequate standard of living (Art 11, ICSECR; Art 27, CRC and Art 28, CRPD) by facilitating the assessment and determination of social security benefits;

§     the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (Art 12, ICSECR and Art 25, CRPD), by facilitating the assessment and determination of compensation and benefits in relation to the treatment and rehabilitation of veterans and Defence Force members;

§     the rights of persons with disabilities by facilitating the determination of claims relating to treatment and rehabilitation (Art 26, CRPD); and

§     ensuring that those rights "will be exercised without discrimination of any kind as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status" (Art 2, ICESCR).

Conclusion

This Legislative Instrument is compatible with human rights as it does not derogate from and promotes a number of human rights.

 

Repatriation Medical Authority

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] In General Comment No. 19 (The right to social security), the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights said (at paragraph 24) this to be one of the elements of ensuring accessibility to social security.