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Friday, 13 February 2009

Mil Comp Basic Course

As a result of a withdrawal, we now have a position available on the Mil Comp- Basic course being run next Tuesday (17 Feb).
If you are interested in attending, please contact the TIP office asap.
8290 0449 or tipsa@dva.gov.au

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

DVA Voluntary Work Policy

DVA regards voluntary work in the same way for all three Acts it administers, the VEA, the SRCA and the MRCA.

There is no legislated definition of voluntary work in any of these Acts. However, in policy terms, voluntary work is defined as unpaid work for a recognised community or welfare organisation.

DVA encourages veterans and members of the ex-service community to volunteer to assist community or welfare groups. Many thousands of veterans provide immeasurable support to ex-service organisations and other charities. Studies have also shown that volunteering has physical, psychological and social benefits.

Undertaking voluntary work of this nature does not trigger a reassessment of incapacity payments under either the SRCA or the MRCA. It is accepted that the conditions of engagement in volunteering cannot necessarily be equated to remunerative work given the person normally works at their own pace and time and is not subject to the conditions normally applied to paid employment.

Recipients of incapacity payments should be aware of how some other unpaid work may affect their benefits. Unpaid work for family, friends or a business enterprise formed for the purposes of making a profit is not classified as voluntary work.

For example, a recipient of incapacity payments and/or certain disability pensions who works several hours in a job that aims to make a profit may be found to be able to undertake paid work, and therefore ineligible for their current rate of payment. The same person volunteering as an advocate, pension or welfare officer would not be deemed capable of paid work purely on the basis of that voluntary work alone.

Under the MRCA and the SRCA, incapacity payments are regularly reviewed. The review assesses a person’s ability to earn during the period and is based on rehabilitation and specialist medical assessments. The assessments take into account physical and mental capacities, skills and training, work history, age and so on. Voluntary work is not a trigger for the review and does not of itself imply that someone is able to undertake remunerative work. In fact, voluntary work with a community or welfare group is most often beneficial to a person’s wellbeing.

References in SRCA and MRCA legislation to “capacity for rehabilitation” or “capacity for work” do not automatically translate to mean that a person who is undertaking voluntary work has a capacity to do paid work.

If a person is concerned about their voluntary work, or their plans to undertake voluntary work, they can contact DVA for advice on 133 254