Do you need an Act of Grace?

Purpose

The Act of Grace Payment is a financial support mechanism designed to assist individuals who have experienced loss or detriment for which the Australian Government acknowledges some responsibility. This article provides an in-depth look at this kind of payment, focusing on its purpose, eligibility criteria, the application process, and helpful resources for Australian military veterans considering this form of financial assistance.

Eligibility Criteria for the Act of Grace Payment

The AGP is not an automatic entitlement; instead, it is a discretionary payment made on a case-by-case basis. To be eligible for this payment, an individual must demonstrate that they have experienced a loss or detriment that can be attributed, at least in part, to the actions or decisions of the Australian Government. Veterans who believe they meet these criteria should consider exploring this option as a potential form of financial support.

Applying for the Act of Grace Payment

To apply, veterans should follow these steps:

  1. Complete the Application form (D2020). This form is available for download from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) website.
  2. Provide supporting documentation to substantiate the loss or detriment experienced. This may include medical reports, financial statements, or other relevant documents.
  3. Submit the completed application form and supporting documentation to the DVA for assessment.

It is essential to provide accurate and comprehensive information in the application to ensure the best possible outcome. Only complete or accurate applications may result in delays or an unfavourable decision.

Circumstances Warranting an Act of Grace Payment

Such a payment may be appropriate in various circumstances, such as:

  1. Veterans experiencing financial hardship due to a decision or action by the Australian Government that has negatively impacted their income or financial stability.
  2. Veterans who have incurred expenses or suffered a loss directly due to their service, which is not adequately compensated through existing entitlements.
  3. Veterans who have experienced detriment due to errors or delays in administering their claims or benefits.

Consider the case of John, an injured Australian Military Veteran.

This case study focuses on an Australian military veteran named John, who sustained a severe injury during his service. Despite receiving compensation through existing entitlements, John faced financial hardships due to the unique circumstances of his situation. This case study highlights how the AGP was crucial in providing John with the additional support needed to address his financial challenges.

John’s Military Service and Injury

It’s important to understand some of John’s background and the circumstances that led to John requiring special assistance. John served in the Australian Defence Force for 12 years, during which time he was deployed on multiple operations overseas. In the final year of his service, John sustained a severe spinal injury during a training exercise, leaving him with chronic pain and limited mobility. As a result of his injury, John was medically discharged from the ADF and began receiving compensation through the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA).

Financial Hardships and Unforeseen Expenses

Despite his compensation from DVA, John faced financial challenges as he transitioned to civilian life. Not only was he adjusting to his new limited mobility and learning to manage his pain, John’s lifestyle and financial situation changed. The ongoing costs of his rehabilitation, medical treatments, and specialised equipment placed a significant strain on his finances and relationships. Furthermore, John’s limited mobility made it difficult for him to secure employment, exacerbating his financial difficulties.

Making an application

After learning about the AGP, John believed he might be eligible due to the financial hardship he was experiencing as a direct result of his military service. With the help of the veterans’ support organisation, AusVeterans, John completed the application form (D2020) and gathered the necessary supporting documentation. This included evidence of his injury, medical expenses, and financial hardship.

Receiving assistance

Upon reviewing John’s application, the DVA determined that his circumstances warranted an Act of Grace Payment. They acknowledged that, although John was receiving compensation through standard entitlements, his situation resulted in additional expenses and financial challenges for which the government held some responsibility as John’s employer at the time of his accident. The AGP provided John with the financial assistance he needed to address these additional costs and alleviate some of the financial strain he was experiencing.

Impact on John’s Life

The AGP made a significant difference in John’s life by providing him with additional financial support to manage the ongoing expenses related to his injury. In conjunction with receiving financial advice from a Veteran’s group, the payment also helped John to adjust to his new lifestyle and remove the burden of financial strain, allowing him to retrain and find suitable, flexible employment.

Helpful Resources and Forms

The DVA website is an excellent resource for veterans seeking further information. The site offers a comprehensive guide on AGPs, covering eligibility, application processes, and relevant forms (https://clik.dva.gov.au/compensation-and-support-policy-library/part-3-income-support-eligibility/39-payment-loss-or-detriment/393-act-grace-payments).

To download the Act of Grace Payment Application form (D2020), visit this link: https://www.dva.gov.au/sites/default/files/files/forms/d2020.pdf. In addition, the DVA’s ‘Factsheet IS39 – Act of Grace Payments’ provides a concise overview of the payment and related information, which can be accessed here: https://www.dva.gov.au/factsheet-is39-act-grace-payments.

For further assistance with your application or any inquiries, you can also contact the DVA directly through their ‘Contact Us’ page: https://www.dva.gov.au/contact-us or by calling 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372). These resources can help veterans better understand the AGP system and guide them through the application process.

Supporting Veterans through the Act of Grace Payment

The AGP plays a crucial role in supporting the financial stability of Australian military veterans who have experienced loss or detriment due to the Australian Government’s actions or decisions. By understanding the purpose, eligibility criteria, and application process for this kind of financial assistance, veterans can decide whether this form of financial support is appropriate for their circumstances. If you need assistance with your application or have any questions about the Act of Grace Payment, contact AUSVETERANS at admin@ausveterans.com.au. Our team is dedicated to helping veterans navigate these complex issues and providing the support they need.