Equal Compensation For All Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen

This petition made change with 1,163 supporters!

Equal Compensation For All Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen

Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen injured before July 2004 are paid tens of thousands of dollars a year less than those injured after July 2004.  Even worse the pre July 2004 personnel are facing a cut of 5% if a new amendment is passed.  In essence the service of a Sailor, Soldier or Airman who was injured before this arbitrary date is worth much less to our government than those injured after this date.  It is not dependant on valor, place or cause.  Only on when.  I for one do not think this is how our service should be treated.

So I ask the Minister for Veteran's affairs to take some firm, fast and positive action on these matters.  Not to make excuses or conjure up another review, not to ignore this situation for another 11 years, but to bring all damaged servicemen's compensation to an even footing and if not then to at least squash the proposed amendment to the SRCA which will rip 5% from my and many other families quality of life!

Why is there such a disparity in payments?  Well in July 2004 the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act (MRCA) was introduced and took over from the Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Act (SRCA).  Personnel injured after July 2004 are paid compensation calculated against their rank and pay grade at time of discharge using the current military pay scales.  That is their pay keeps pace with service personnel (their peers) that they would have been working with had they not been injured.  They are also paid a remuneration allowance to compensate for the loss of allowances, conditions and amenities which presently sits around $7000 per year. 

Those injured prior to July 2004 are paid compensation calculated against their rank and pay Grade FROZEN at time of discharge and then have a WPI index applied to this amount once a year.  They do not keep pace with their peers and this has resulted in SRCA compensation payments falling many thousands of dollars behind MRCA payments.  It was not always like this.  Prior to October 2001 SRCA compensation was calculated the same as MRCA payments.  Also SRCA recipients do not receive a remuneration allowance, though one would suppose they lost access to the same allowances, conditions and amenities. 

Under neither system can you qualify for promotion and employer superannuation contributions are not paid.  In some cases your existing military superannuation (including your contributions) may be drawn upon to pay your compensation.

Now to make matters worse under the SRCA if you are unable to work full time, your compensation amount is cut by 25% after 45 weeks.  If you are able to work full time you can receive 100% compensation as a top up.  This percentage is presently being amended with the new range being as low as 70% and the period at the higher rates being severely shortened.  This means a person on compensation will loose at least 5% of their take home payments if this amendment goes through.  

Please understand that the people this effects are people who have been told by medical practitioners that they should not be working or only working short hours at this time.  They have not ceased working out of choice and if the Department of Veterans Affairs believes they are malingering they can and will stop their payments.

So as politicians of all stripes spend ANZAC day professing to honour our fallen and damaged Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen I ask those same politicians to honour all service personnel equally and put pressure on the present government to rectify this abhorrent situation.   And I ask you the Australian people to add your support to this petition.  Send it to your friends, link it to your face book page and send it to your Members of Parliament.  Let our politicians know that inequality is not tolerated in this great country. 


Today: daniel is counting on you

daniel foley needs your help with “The Minister For Veterans' Affairs: Equal Compensation For All Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen”. Join daniel and 1,162 supporters today.