We advise Defence Force members and veterans across Australia on their entitlements. If you need help securing your entitlements, register online here and we’ll contact you, or call TGB partner Tim White on (08) 8212 1077 .
There is absolutely no need to visit our offices. Our lawyers can speak with you via phone, Zoom or Skype etc, and send any documents via email, wherever you are in Australia.
We want to help you in the way you feel most comfortable.
As a Defence Force member or veteran, you have various entitlements to compensation if you have been injured as a consequence of your service in the defence force (whether in Australia or overseas).
Our expertise and experience
For more than 20 years, our Military Compensation team has been advising current Australian Defence Force members and veterans who have been injured during the course of their service. We are proud to fight for those who have served our country, and our specialist team is passionate about protecting the rights of Defence Force members and veterans.
TGB’s Military Compensation team is led by Partner Tim White, who is a current serving Reserve Legal Officer, and has been a member of the Royal Australian Airforce (RAAF) for 20 years.
We have assisted clients from right across Australia and based overseas who have served in various conflicts including World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, East Timor conflict, Iraq War, Afghanistan War and other conflicts in the Middle East.
How can we help you?
Military compensation claims can be complex. It is important to obtain professional, experienced and specialised advice from the outset, prior to lodging a claim. This will give you the best chance of your claim being accepted.
If you have already lodged a claim which has been rejected, we may be able to assist you to appeal the decision. We have a very high success rate when it comes to challenging decisions by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA). There are strict time limits within which to lodge an appeal, so you will need to contact us swiftly! If you successfully appeal, most or all of your legal costs are paid by the DVA.
The below diagram outlines the claims process so you can have a better understanding of what to expect.
What can a Defence Force member or veteran claim for?
- Lost wages (ie base wage, allowances, penalty payments etc.)
- Medical expenses (ie medication, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, surgery costs, consultations with doctors, rehabilitation costs, etc)
- Lump sum payment for permanent disability (which is currently not taxed)
- Household assistance costs
- Rehabilitation costs (eg re-training – university/TAFE courses, computer training etc. – associated costs with working towards alternative work opportunities)
- Lump sum payment for dependent spouse
Your injury could be deemed as occurring at work if:
- During lunch or other authorised breaks
- Whilst travelling to or from work
- At an approved work function (even on a weekend or outside “normal working hours”)
- Whilst travelling to a work function or an approved work activity
- Whilst participating in an approved sporting activity
- During a work training session
- When travelling to and/or from medical treatment for a work injury
What type of injuries are covered?
Numerous types of injuries are covered including physical injuries to your:
- head, etc.
You are also covered for numerous diseases and medical conditions including:
- heart problems,
- respiratory problems,
- psychiatric/psychological conditions, and others.
What if my partner dies during military service?
If a Defence member dies as a consequence of his or her service, a dependent spouse is entitled to lump sum compensation. Often this claim is not straightforward and if you are unfortunate enough to be in this situation, you should seek legal advice.
Is there a time limit?
The applicable legislation is complex and strict time limits apply. If you do not comply with the time limits your entitlements may be adversely affected. We will provide you with advice that is in your best interests.
Am I entitled to a lump sum payment?
If you sustain a permanent disability as a result of a work injury you may be entitled to a lump sum payment. Assessing a lump sum payment can be complicated. It is usually only paid once, so it is therefore important to seek legal advice about this claim. It is also a payment that is not taxed. Lump sum payments for permanent impairment can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If you have received a lump sum decision and feel it isn’t fair or adequate, speak with us. In many cases, we will advise you to dispute it. These lump sum claims involve considering different tables, and often the DVA understates the extent of the payment. We are frequently successful at obtaining increased payments for our clients by disputing these decisions.
What might a claim cost me?
In many cases, we are able to recover most or all of your legal costs from the DVA. This limits what you then have to pay us. We can assist further by delaying your fees until any settlement is achieved. Before undertaking any work, we will send you a detailed letter setting our how we charge so you are completely informed. We are transparent about all things relating to your case, but especially costs.
Disputing a decision of the DVA
We specialise in advising Defence Force members, veterans and their families (when necessary) in disputing DVA decisions. We can assist at both the initial appeal to the VRB, and the subsequent appeal to the AAT, should it go that far. This can be a complex process and often involves technical legal issues. Accordingly, it is important to seek advice from a lawyer who specialises in this area of work.
We regularly represent Defence Force members at both the VRB and the AAT and have been doing so for more than 20 years.
Our firm has settled an extensive number of claims and has run numerous cases to trial when necessary.
If you need help taking a dispute to the VRB or AAT, register online here and we’ll contact you, or call TGB partner Tim White on (08) 8212 1077 . We advise Defence Force members and veterans across Australia on their entitlements.