This page explains who may be present at your Veterans’ Review Board (VRB) hearing at your request.
You may choose whether or not to attend your hearing and whether or not to be represented at your hearing. You may be represented at your own expense by anyone other than a lawyer (although a lawyer may help you prepare your case). Under section 147(3) of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA), people with legal qualifications are prohibited from representing veterans, widows and dependants at VRB hearings.
Some Ex-Service Organisations, and some private individuals, provide assistance and representation for applicants. Most provide their services free, but some may charge a fee. Most organisations have only a limited number of representatives, so there is usually some delay before they can finalise the preparation of your case. For a list of major ex-service organisations, visit the Ex-service organisations (ESOs) page.
The Repatriation Commission, the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, or your service chief (if you are a serving member of the ADF) may also be represented but they rarely choose to do so.
Generally speaking, hearings of represented cases take longer to arrange than unrepresented cases. If you do decide to be represented, make the arrangements as soon as possible to avoid later delay. The VRB will usually not arrange a hearing until your representative says your case is ready.
The VRB and DVA cannot pay any expenses incurred by your representative in coming to your hearing.
Yes, you may bring a friend to your hearing. A friend or relative is always welcome, whether or not you are represented. Please bear in mind however, that the VRB and DVA cannot pay any expenses incurred by friends or relatives in coming to your hearing.
Veterans’ Review Board
Phone: 1800 550 460 *
VRB Email: contact [at] vrb.gov.au
VRB Website: www.vrb.gov.au
* Calls from mobile phones and pay phones may incur additional charges