Veterans' Review Board
The Veterans' Review Board (VRB) is an independent statutory
body and is part of the Australian repatriation determining
system. The VRB reviews individual decisions of the
Repatriation Commission affecting certain pensions and benefits
for Australian veterans and their dependents.
Who are the members:
- Senior members are usually lawyers and they preside at
- Services members are selected from nominations submitted
to the Minister for Veterans' Affairs by ex-Service
- Other members have a wide variety of qualifications.
All are appointed by the Governor-General.
You can appeal to the VRB if you are refused a claim by a
delegate of the Repatriation Commission
or if you are not satisfied with the assessment made in regard to
your claim. You have three months to seek a review of the
decision of the delegate from the time you receive the
decision. If you appeal within the three month period and
the review is determined in your favour, it is backdated to the
date the claim was submitted to DVA.
You can still seek a review of the delegate's decision within
12 months from the date you received the determination, but if
the review is successful it will not be backdated.
The hearings are informal. You may represent yourself or
you can be represented at the hearing. You can be
represented by anyone other than a lawyer (although a lawyer can
help prepare your case). You can take a friend or relative
to the hearing with you.
You do not have to appear. Your representative can
present your case, but it is recommended that you appear, as the
members may wish to ask questions. The members can ring you
if you make yourself available.
Hearings are held in each State capital except Darwin and in
Canberra. At times, hearings are also held in various
regional centres. You can apply to DVA for reimbursement of
the costs (including associated travel costs) of obtaining
medical evidence in support of your application to the VRB.
Certain conditions apply and these should be checked before
incurring the costs.
After your hearing the VRB will mail their decision and the
reasons for it, to you as soon as possible, usually within a few
weeks. The VRB cannot discuss the reasons for the decision
in your case. The hearings are in private, but are
If you are unhappy with the decision of the VRB you have a
further right of appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal
(formerly the Administrative Review Tribunal).
Present a case for review to the VRB can be quite daunting,
and in same cases complex. We strongly recommend that if you are
going to make an appeal to the VRB you should consult an
ex-service organisation, (that you have confidence in), who have
pension officers that have competed the Training
Information Program, (TIP).
When everything is complete
and your case prepared, your representative will arrange for a
"Certificate of Readiness for Hearing" to be forwarded
on your behalf to the VRB in order for them to set a date to hear
For further information on appeals under the Veterans' Review
Board, contact your nearest DVA office or visit their web site at
www.dva.gov.au and look up
fact sheet VRB
The Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia can assist any
veteran of any conflict, their widow/er's and
children by providing advice and assistance in regard to all
pensions matters. Simply contact your nearest sub-branch.