Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 12 December 2002
Page: 8175


Senator Mark Bishop asked the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, upon notice, on 4 October 2002:

(1) How many Australian Defence Force personnel have now served in East Timor.

(2) How many are in payment of a disability pension from the department, by percentage and disability type, and of those how many are still serving.

(3) How many are now totally and permanently incapacitated, by accepted disability type.

(4) How many have received a lump sum payment for disability under the Military Compensation and Rehabilitation Scheme (MCRS), and of those how many have been discharged.

(5) How many are in receipt of benefits under both the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 and the MCRS.


Senator Hill (Minister for Defence) —The Minister for Veterans' Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) The Minister has been advised that to 31 August 2002 a total of 18,403 individual Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel have served in East Timor, including 1,215 in the Area of Operations at that time.

(2) As at 26 October 2002, a total of 486 Australian Defence Force personnel and 13 eligible civilians who have had disabilities accepted as being caused by the East Timor service are in receipt of a disability pension from the Department of Veterans' Affairs. The breakdown according to the degree of incapacity is shown in the table below.

Disability pension

Number

10%

70

20%

49

30%

70

40%

63

50%

62

60%

42

70%

14

80%

43

90%

22

100%

23

Intermediate Rate

2

Temporary Special Rate (TTI)

20

Special Rate (TPI)

19

Total

499

Each of the 499 veterans is in receipt of a pension for at least one condition which has been accepted as being due to East Timor service. The Department of Veterans' Affairs does not allocate a specific rate of pension to each disability. The Minister has advised that in most cases the total rate of pension paid does not relate to East Timor service only.

These 499 veterans have a total of 909 disabilities accepted as resulting from East Timor service. The most commonly accepted conditions are shown in the table below.

Disability Type

Acceptances

Musculo-skeletal

413

Psychiatric

175

Ear, Nose and Throat (incl hearing loss)

117

Skin

70

Fevers and viruses

58

Gastro-intestinal

34

Other

42

Of the 499 personnel in receipt of a disability pension as a result of their East Timor service:

· 330 are still serving;

· 1 is currently an Inactive Reserve;

· 155 have been discharged from the Australian Defence Forces; and

· 13 went to East Timor as civilians who were eligible to claim under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.

(3) 19 former Australian Defence Force personnel are in receipt of Special Rate (Totally and Permanently Incapacitated) pensions after having at least one disability accepted as being causally related to their East Timor service.

Of these, 19 are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. Co-morbidities include hearing loss and tinnitus, musculo-skeletal conditions, alcohol abuse and skin conditions.

An additional 20 former Defence Force personnel are in receipt of Temporary Special Rate (TTI) pensions after having at least one disability accepted as being causally related to their East Timor service.

Of these, 18 are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, one from major depressive disorder and one from adjustment disorder. Co-morbidities include alcohol abuse, cancer of the cervix, hearing loss and musculo-skeletal conditions.

(4) 80 East Timor veterans have received a lump-sum payment under the Military Compensation and Rehabilitation Service (MCRS) as a result of East Timor service.

The Minister has been advised that of these, 26 have been discharged.

(5) 106 East Timor veterans have received benefits under both the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA).

Of these 106 veterans:

· all are currently in receipt of benefits under the VEA;

· 46 have received a lump sum payment under the SRCA;

· 27 are currently in receipt of incapacity payments under the SRCA;

· 59 have received incapacity payments under the SRCA but are not currently doing so; and

· 20 have never been in receipt of incapacity payments as a result of East Timor service.