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 hearings.
  • Services members are selected from nominations submitted to the Minister for Veterans' Affairs by ex-Service organisations.
  • 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 recorded.

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 your case.

For further information on appeals under the Veterans' Review Board, contact your nearest DVA office or visit their web site at and look up fact sheet VRB 01.

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.


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