Making an Application

When can an application for a review by the SMRC be submitted?

In accordance with Section 196Y of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986, an application for review must be made within three months of the following events occurring:

  • after the Statement of Principles was made, amended or last amended by the Repatriation Medical Authority; or
  • a decision by the Repatriation Medical Authority not to make a Statement of Principles for a particular kind of injury, disease or death; or
  • a decision of the Repatriation Medical Authority not to amend a Statement of Principles; or
  • a decision of the Repatriation Medical Authority refusing to carry out an investigation.

Who can apply for a review by the SMRC?

The Specialist Medical Review Council may be asked by any of the following:

  • the Repatriation Commission;
  • the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission;
  • a person eligible to make a claim for a pension under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986;
  • a person eligible to make a claim for compensation under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (the MRCA); or
  • an organisation representing veterans or members.

What decisions can be reviewed?

The Specialist Medical Review Council may be asked to review:

  • the contents of a Statement of Principles in respect of a particular kind of injury, disease or death;
  • a decision of the Repatriation Medical Authority not to determine a Statement of Principles under either the reasonable hypothesis or balance of probabilities tests, in respect of a particular kind of injury, disease or death.
  • a decision of the Repatriation Medical Authority not to amend a Statement of Principles in respect of a particular kind of injury, disease or death;

The Specialist Medical Review Council cannot review, or continue to review, a Statement of Principles, which has been revoked by the Repatriation Medical Authority. If an application has been lodged seeking review of a Statement of Principles which is subsequently revoked by the Repatriation Medical Authority, and the new Statement of Principles does not address the concern, a new application seeking review of the new Statement of Principles must be lodged within three months of that Statement of Principles being determined.

The Specialist Medical Review Council cannot review decisions made by the Repatriation Medical Authority under section 196CA (which says that the RMA may decide not to carry out an investigation in specified circumstances, including if the Repatriation Medical Authority considers the request does not identify sufficient relevant information, or is vexatious or frivolous).

How to apply for a review by the SMRC.

Please use the form below to make your application for a review to the Specialist Medical Review Council

In completing the application form an eligible person or organisation is required to state the grounds on which a review has been sought. That is, your application should focus on medical evidence, not on your personal medical history.

How does the SMRC advertise that it intends to carry out a review?

As soon as practicable after an application for a review is received, the Specialist Medical Review Council will publish in the Commonwealth of Australia Government Notices Gazette a notice of its intention to carry out a review.  This notice will identify the date by which all submissions to the Specialist Medical Review Council must have been received.

For details of current reviews see our current reviews page

How does the SMRC conduct a review?

In conducting a review, the Council must review all of the information (and only that information) that was available to the RMA when it made the decision under review. This is information which was actually used by the RMA as opposed to information which was generally available but not accessed by the RMA. When reviewing the sound medical-scientific evidence the Council must determine whether or not there is sound medical-scientific evidence on which the RMA could have relied to amend or determine a SoPs. Please see the SMRC Members Handbook for details.

What Decisions can the SMRC make?

The SMRC has the power:

  • to direct amendments to a SoPs (by the RMA) or direct the RMA to determine a new SoPs;
  • to require the RMA to reconsider the matter; or
  • to declare that the making of a SoPs or amendment of an existing SoPs is not justified.

With respect to an application to the SMRC to review a decision of the RMA under subsection 196C(4), the SMRC may direct the RMA to carry out an investigation, or affirm the RMA’s decision not to undertake an investigation. The SMRC may make recommendations about future investigations to be undertaken by the RMA.

The SMRC’s declarations are published in the Commonwealth Government Gazette. The SMRC’s reasons for decisions are available upon request, from the Registrar of the SMRC.

Please note - the SMRC does not make or review decisions about individual Repatriation pensions. If you have any queries regarding claims for pension you should contact the Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Last updated 11-Dec-2018