Lump Sum Payment
o Lobby for correction to Lump Sum Payment:
- Correcting exclusionary service personnel. Eg. Members who mixed the sealant in the mixing hut are not included at all.
- Widows of members who died before 8 September 2001 are excluded.
- Dates of programs are incorrect.
- RAAF did not maintain proper records. Members are being rejected because of insufficient evidence.
- The amount of the lump sum payment $10,000.00 or $40,000.00 to be increased.
DVA – Veterans Entitlements Act
o We will
seek the RMA to expand SoPs to include deseal or chemicals.
o We will seek DVA to consider claims under Section 180A.
o We should receive “benefit of the doubt” consideration or at least “basis of probabilities” exceptions.
o We have approximately 12 pre-2001 widows as well as many new widows. We are pushing to obtain widows pensions for the death of their spouses
o The reality of the lump sum package is that we are not receiving the stated “entitlements”. Members claims ARE being rejected.
MCRS – Compensation Acts
We are pushing for equity of compensation.
- The 1971 Act allows a death benefit of $59,000.00 and incapacity is paid as a diminishing percentage of that whole. The fortnightly payment mentioned in the 1971 Act is $90.00 per fortnight.
- The SRCA Act allows a death benefit of $247,000 and incapacity is paid as a diminishing percentage of that whole.
o Our members will not be eligible for a Gold Card because our contamination occurred prior to the 2004 Act.
o We believe the policy is that MCRS will receive VEA claims which comply with the “MCRS recognised list”. They will process the claims together with the MCRS claims only if members meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Accepted under the Ex-Gratia Lump Sum and receive $40,000.00 – classed as Tier 1
- Accepted under the Ex-Gratia Lump Sum and receive $10,000.00 – classed as Tier 2
- Not Accepted under the Ex-Gratia Lump Sum but did enter the tanks and did receive exposure – classed as Tier 3
- All other claims for conditions WILL BE rejected.
o Because of these major concerns with MCRS, we believe the only reasonable and equitable compensation for our members is to pay them under VEA.
SHOAMP Health Care Scheme
o F111 Health
Care Scheme was passed to the control of DVA on 19 August and they immediately
stated that no new conditions which develop after 20 September 2005 will be
considered for reimbursement of expenses.
o The long term effects of chemical contamination are unknown and conditions develop over time, it is unreasonable that suddenly our members can no longer receive benefits for new conditions, even if they are identified as deseal specific.
o The SHOAMP Health Care Scheme has also begun rejecting members claims for reimbursement if the condition is not on their “MCRS recognised list”.
Overview of Claims
members have now been advised by DVA to:
- Submit a claim for Ex-Gratia Lump Sum Payment. If they disagree with the decision – appeal the decision
- Submit a claim to DVA – VEA for their conditions. If it is rejected - appeal the decision
- Submit a claim to MCRS for their conditions. If it is rejected – appeal the decision
- Submit a claim for reimbursement of their medical costs to the Health Care Scheme. If it is rejected – appeal the decision
o This is not only duplicating the workload of DVA/MCRS staff and slowing down the processing of other members claims, but it also extremely cumbersome, burdensome and unfair when our members are suffering from recognised cognitive, depressive, anxiety, and mood swing disorders.
Push for completion of spouses survey.
o Push for compensation for the effect on spouses.
o Establish support cells for spouses.
o Establish workshops for spouse survival skills.
Lobby for children’s health study.
o Establish educational information packages to assist children understand the situation.
Establish workshops to address member’s issues and give life skills
to cope with deseal effects.
o Input to SHOAMP Serum Monitoring Forum
o Input to Health Screening Committee and Expert Advisory Panel
with members of parliament to assist in correcting inequities.
o Liaison with RSL to obtain national support for our group in addressing our issues to government.
o Liaison with other service organisations to educate and encourage support for our group.
o Liaison with Australian Worker’s Union who is supporting and promoting our issues.