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Veterans’ Entitlements Amendment (Claims for Travel Expenses) Bill 2010

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2010

 

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

VETERANS’ ENTITLEMENTS AMENDMENT

(CLAIMS FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES) BILL 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Prime Minister,

The Honourable Julia Gillard MP)



 

Table of Contents

 

 

Outline and Financial Impact …………………………………………………….             ii

           

1                     Short Title  ..........................................................................................           iii

2                     Commencement  .................................................................................           iii

3                     Schedule(s)   ........................................................................................          iii

 

Schedule 1 - Amendments  ………..…………………............................................          1

 

                                                                                                           

 



 

VETERANS’ ENTITLEMENTS AMENDMENT

(CLAIMS FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES) BILL 2010

 

OUTLINE AND FINANCIAL IMPACT

Outline

The Bill will extend from three months to 12 months, the period within which claims for certain travel expenses may be lodged.  The amendments will also enable the Repatriation Commission to further extend this period in exceptional circumstances. 

 

Financial Impact

 

The amendments have negligible financial impact.   



 

Veterans’ Entitlements Amendment

(Claims for Travel Expenses) Bill 2010

 

 

Short Title                  Clause 1 sets out how the Act is to be cited.

 

 

Commencement            Clause 2 sets out the commencement date of the

Act.

 

 

Schedules                    Clause 3 provides that each Act that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

 

This explanatory memorandum uses the following abbreviations:

 

‘Commission’ means the Repatriation Commission; and

 

‘Veterans’ Entitlements Act’ means the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 .



 

Schedule 1 - Amendments

 

Amendments of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986

 

Overview

 

These amendments will extend, from three months to 12 months, the period within which claims for certain travel expenses may be lodged.  The amendments will also enable the Commission to further extend this period in exceptional circumstances. 

 

Background

 

Under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act, an eligible person may be paid travelling expenses incurred in obtaining treatment.  The time limit for claiming travel expenses for treatment is 12 months.  This period can be further extended if the Commission considers there are exceptional circumstances.  Section 110 and subsection 112(3) provide for travel expenses for treatment.

 

Under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act, travel expenses are also paid for a person, and where necessary an attendant (carer), in the following circumstances:

 

  • to meet with the Commission or a delegate of the Commission in relation to a claim or review - subsections 132(1),(2) and (9);
  • to attend a medical examination or investigation in relation to a claim or review - subsections 132(1) and (2);
  • to give evidence or produce documents in relation to a claim or review - subsections 132(3) and (4);
  • to attend a hearing by the Veterans’ Review Board in relation to a review - subsections 132(5), (6) and (9);
  • to attend before the Administrative Review Tribunal in relation to a review - subsections 132(7) and (8);
  • to obtain documentary medical evidence for a review by the Veterans’ Review Board - section 170B;
  • to obtain documentary medical evidence to be submitted to the Specialist Medical Review Council - section 196ZO. 

 

Under the existing arrangements, the time limit for submitting a claim for travel expenses in the above circumstances is three months and there are no exceptional circumstance provisions available to extend this period. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explanation of the changes

 

These amendments extend the time limit for the lodgement of a claim for non-treatment related travel expenses from three months to 12 months.  This will align the time limit with that available for travel expenses for obtaining treatment.

 

The amendments also introduce to each of the non-treatment travel categories, a further extension to the 12 month time limit for exceptional circumstances, as currently exists for travel expenses for obtaining treatment. 

 

Explanation of the items

 

Item 1 repeals paragraph 132(11)(e) and substitutes a new paragraph.  Section 132 provides for travel expenses for a variety of non-treatment related purposes including:

 

  • to attend, at the request of the Commission or the Commission’s delegate, a discussion in relation to the claim or review,
  • to attend a medical appointment related to the claim or review; and
  • to give evidence or produce documents to the Commission. 

 

New subparagraph 132(11)(e)(i) provides that a claim for travel expenses under section 132 must be made within 12 months of the completion of the travel.  New subparagraph 132(11)(e)(ii) provides that, in relation to a claim for travel under section 132, if the Commission thinks that there are exceptional circumstances that justify extending the time period for claiming for such travel, then the time period is extended for such further period as the Commission allows. 

 

Item 2 repeals paragraph 170B(5)(b) and substitutes a new paragraph.  Section 170B provides for travel expenses within Australia for a Veterans’ Review Board applicant, and where necessary an attendant (carer), to be paid travel expenses for travel undertaken to obtain relevant documentary medical evidence for the review. 

 

New subparagraph 170B(5)(b)(i) provides that a claim for travel expenses under section 170B must be made within 12 months of the completion of the travel.  New subparagraph 170B(5)(b)(ii) provides that, in relation to a claim for travel under section 170B, if the Commission thinks that there are exceptional circumstances that justify extending the time period for claiming for such travel, then the time period is extended for such further period as the Commission allows.

 

Item 3 repeals paragraph 196ZO(5)(b) and substitutes a new paragraph.  Section 196ZO provides for travel expenses within Australia for an applicant, and where necessary an attendant, to be paid travel expenses for travel undertaken to obtain relevant documentary medical evidence that was submitted the Specialist Medical Review Council.   

 

 

 

 

 

New subparagraph 196ZO(5)(b)(i) provides that a claim for travel expenses under section 196ZO must be made within 12 months of the completion of the travel.  New subparagraph 196ZO(5)(b)(ii) provides that, in relation to a claim for travel under section 196ZO, if the Commission thinks that there are exceptional circumstances that justify extending the time period for claiming for such travel, then the time period is extended for such further period as the Commission allows.

 

Item 4 is an application provision that makes it clear that the amendments made by items 1 to 3 of  Schedule 1, apply only in relation to travel that is completed on or after the commencement of those items.  This rule applies regardless of whether the travel commenced before, on or after that commencement date. 

 

Commencement

 

Clause 2 provides this Act commences on the day the Act receives Royal Assent.