Introduction to the RMA

Introduction to the RMA

In 1994 the Australian Government requested the Repatriation Commission, in consultation with veterans' organisations, to prepare legislation to reform the process of decision making about disease causation.  The aim was to create a more equitable and consistent system of dealing with claims for disability pensions received from Australian veterans and their dependants.  One of the outcomes of the legislative reform was the formation of the Repatriation Medical Authority (RMA) which is an independent statutory authority responsible to the Minister for Veterans' Affairs.

The RMA consists of a panel of five practitioners eminent in fields of medical science.  Their role is to determine Statements of Principles (SOPs) for any disease, injury or death that could be related to military service, based on sound medical-scientific evidence.  The SOPs state the factors which "must" or "must as a minimum" exist to cause a particular kind of disease, injury or death.

In carrying out its duties the RMA is bound by relevant sections of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986: PART XIA.

The SOPs are disallowable instruments which are tabled in both Houses of the Australian Parliament and they are binding on the various decision makers.  The matters of fact relating to an individual veteran's case, including the nature of service and any connection between eligible service and the factors in the SOPs, are determined by the various decision makers.  These decision makers include the delegates of the Repatriation Commission, the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, the Veterans' Review Board and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

On this website you can access information about the RMA, its membership, processes and publications.  The website includes a comprehensive site map in the footer and a search facility at the top of each page.  The website is easy to access and view from smart phones and tablets.  Copies of all SOPs produced by the RMA since 1994 and information about investigations and reviews can also be found.  The site features significantly improved capacity to search and find Statements of Principles (SOPs) - and other information.  You can search by SOP number, year, the name of the condition or ICD code, and now hundreds of commonly used names of medical conditions can be entered in the search field to identify the applicable SOP.  All information relating to a condition (the current SOPs, past SOPs, historical documents such as declarations or reasons for decision, and the most recent Explanatory Statements tabled in Parliament) are now available together in a single page relating to each condition.  A range of common questions raised by stakeholders can be found on the FAQ page. 

Requests for the RMA to undertake an investigation or review or review of the contents of an existing SOP or make a submission in relation to an existing review, can be lodged on-line, with the capacity to upload supporting documentation and print a copy of the completed request for your records.  If you have any questions, please contact us.