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Thursday, 14 November 2013

Statements of Principles Update

At the meeting of 9 October 2013 the RMA:
Determined Statements of Principles (SoPs) for:
  • chronic solvent encephalopathy……..………….…71/2013 & 72/2013
  • malignant neoplasm of the pancreas….…..…..….73/2013 & 74/2013
  • epilepsy……………………………….……………...75/2013 & 76/2013
  • epileptic seizure….……………..…………….……..77/2013 & 78/2013
  • steatohepatitis………………..………..……….……79/2013 & 80/2013
These SoPs revoke the SoPs previously determined for these conditions.
These determinations conclude the previously advertised investigations into:
  • solvent related chronic encephalopathy - [now known as: chronic solvent encephalopathy]
  • malignant neoplasm of the pancreas
  • epilepsy
  • epileptic seizure
  • steatohepatitis
 All of the above SoPs take effect from 13 November 2013.

Declarations
The Repatriation Medical Authority declared that its does not propose to amend the contents of the current SoPs concerning 'diabetes mellitus' and 'malignant neoplasm of the brain'. 
The Authority concluded that the sound medical-scientific evidence available is not sufficient to justify an amendment to these SoPs.
The Declarations will appear in the Government Notices Gazette of 13 November 2013 and can be viewed here.
The nineteenth Repatriation Medical Authority Annual Report 2012/13 is now available on the website.
Download the Summary of Changes regarding SoPs 71 – 80 of 2013
      (pdf-71KB)     (Word-95KB)

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

New RMA Investigations

At the meeting of 9 October 2013 the RMA:
Decided to advertise the following investigations:
  • non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, focussing on – "exposure to ionising radiation" and "benzene exposure"
  • Alzheimer-type dementia, focussing on – "exposure to ionising radiation"
The Investigation Notices for these investigations appeared in the Government Notices Gazette of 16 October 2013

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

New Mental Health Resources for Families

New resources are now available that can help families cope with the mental health concerns their loved ones may have when they return from overseas deployment.
 
 
 
 
 
 
When a different person comes home is the latest episode in DVA’s YouTube videos about military mental health. It explores how families, with the support of the wider veteran and defence community, can face these challenges and be there to support and encourage their family members to get the help they need.
 
Help is also available for those who are concerned that a family member or friend may be at risk of suicide. DVA’s suicide prevention website Operation Life Online and free Operation Life workshops provide valuable advice and resources tailored specifically for the veteran community including what warning signs to look for, what to do and how to link people to the help they need.
To view the mental health videos, visit DVA’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/DVAAus.
To find out more about Operation Life Online or times and locations for Operation Life workshops visit the DVA website.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

New Arrangements for SRCA Clients

White Cards for SRCA clients

As a result of the Review of Military Compensation Arrangements, clients with long term treatment needs under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) will be issued with a Repatriation Health Card – For Specific Conditions (White Card). 
Eligible clients will be sent a White Card in early December 2013 and the new arrangements will take effect from 10 December 2013.

What does this mean?
From 10 December 2013, SRCA clients will no longer claim reimbursement, or have an account sent to DVA to pay for the cost of healthcare services. 
Instead, SRCA clients will use the White Card (or Gold Card if they already have one) to access treatment. 
This will be the only way the Department will provide payment for health care services.

Further information here

Repatriation Handbook- Welfare Update

Please note that amendments have been made to the Repatriation Handbook-Welfare.
The updated version of the handbook can be downloaded/printed from the DVA website. here

Monday, 23 September 2013

14 - 20 October


The week celebrates the ongoing efforts being made to improve the health and wellbeing of the veteran community.
 
Veterans' Health Week is an opportunity for veterans, war widows, widowers, current and former ADF members and their families to connect with the wider community and promote healthy lifestyle options.


Physical Activity Expo and Family Fun Day

 

Sunday 20th October

 

11am to 3pm

 

Torrens Parade Ground

 
food and live entertainment for all

Thursday, 19 September 2013

MyAccount


For more info go to   https://myaccount.dva.gov.au/

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

CLIK Update

The next CLIK CD update 2013-01, publish date of 08 Aug 2013, is now available for download from the DVA website

www.dva.gov.au/clik/update

This release is a major version and only the full CD is available to download.
Detailed instructions on downloading and installing the update are available from the above website.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

At Ease

It’s not unusual to experience sadness, distress or anger after deployment.

At Ease can help veterans, ADF personnel, and family members identify the symptoms of not coping.
When you need to reach out, seek treatment or identify effective ways to move forward, At Ease can provide tips, treatment options & resources.

www.at-ease.dva.gov.au

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Statement of Principles Update

At the meeting of 7 August 2013 the RMA:
Determined Statements of Principles (SoPs) for:
  • malignant neoplasm of the anus and anal canal ……….51/2013 & 52/2013
  • fibrosing interstitial lung disease …………………..….…53/2013 & 54/2013
  • asbestosis…………………………………………………..55/2013 & 56/2013
  • sudden unexplained death………………………….……..57/2013 & 58/2013
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome………………..…………….……59/2013 & 60/2013
  • malignant neoplasm of the larynx…………………………61/2013 & 62/2013
  • hypertension………………………………………..……….63/2013 & 64/2013
  • gastro-oesophageal reflux disease………………………..65/2013 & 66/2013
  • motor neurone disease………………………….……….…67/2013 & 68/2013
These SoPs revoke the SoPs previously determined for these conditions.
These determinations conclude the previously advertised investigations into:
  • malignant neoplasm of the anal canal - [now known as: malignant neoplasm of the anus and anal canal]
  • fibrosing interstitial lung disease
  • asbestosis
  • sudden unexpected death - [now known as: sudden unexplained death]
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • malignant neoplasm of the larynx
  • hypertension
  • gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
  • motor neurone disease
 All of the above SoPs take effect from 4 September 2013.


Determined Amendment SoPs for:
  • lumbar spondylosis ………69/2013 & 70/2013 - to comply with a direction of the Specialist Medical Review Council (Declaration No. 19 of 2013).
The Amendment SoPs for lumbar spondylosis take effect from 26 June 2013.


Decided to advertise the following investigations:
  • drug dependence and drug abuse, focussing on – "definition and consequential effect on factors"
  • alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse focussing on – "definition and consequential effect on factors"
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • diabetes mellitus, focussing on – "mumps and measles"


The Investigation Notices for these investigations appeared in the Government Notices Gazette of 21 August 2013.

Download the Summary of Changes regarding SoPs 51 – 70 of 2013
      (pdf-80KB)     (Word-175KB)

Monday, 26 August 2013

New DVA Suicide Prevention Site

Suicide is the leading cause of death in Australia for men under 44 years and women under 34, and current and former serving members of the ADF are not immune from this loss.

Operation Life Online is a new website to assist veterans, ADF members and their families in learning about suicide prevention.

The site is designed to raise awareness of suicide, from recognizing warning signs and risk factors to learning ways to help in times of crisis.

Operation Life Online also provides advice to people in need of immediate assistance, regardless of the time of day or their location.


www.at-ease.dva.gov.au/suicideprevention

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Mental Health videos

DVA's YouTube channel videos focussing on mental health issues for current and ex-serving members of the ADF.

Chapter 1: Introduction  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwWnrAQDnS8
Chapter 2: Depression  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eACjaf11zY
Chapter 3: Alcohol and Substance Abuse  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v34_QoMxFwM
Chapter 4: PTSD  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvnvJDnlk8o
Chapter 5: Physical and Emotional Abuse  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1ApaztyNF8
Chapter 6: Anxiety  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsZEf-CAgWU
Chapter 7: Loneliness and Isolation  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtdh7oizXos
Chapter 8: Alienation  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udNLVogqZ2o
Chapter 9: Anger  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSZyAwFZkKQ

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

CLIK CD update news

On 27 June 2013 the Parliament passed the "Veterans' Affairs Legislation Amendment (Military Compensation Review and Other Measures) Bill 2013" legislation. This means that there are important policy changes for the MRCA  that took effect from 1 July 2013. 
The production of the CLIK CD has been delayed to include these changes. It is hoped that distribution of the CD will occur in early August.
 
I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that you can access the latest version of CLIK from the department’s website. 

To access the latest version of CLIK through the internet, open the CLIK website http://www.dva.gov.au/clik, click on the link “Launch CLIK” and follow the on-screen prompts.  

The Department is aware that a number of users of CLIK are experiencing problems when using CLIK on computers running 64 Bit operating systems (Windows Vista Ultimate (64-bit version), Windows 7 (64-bit version), or Windows 8).
To address this issue the Department is currently looking at replacing the current version of CLIK with a new system that will work on these operating environments.
The first step in doing this work is to find out more about how CLIK is being used and what sort of improvements will be needed. To assist with this process a survey will be included with the upcoming CLIK CD. It would be appreciated if you could take the time to complete this survey as the results will help us develop a new version of CLIK that meets the needs of users. 
 
Should you require further information about the CLIK CD please contact Steve Bidgood, CLIK Administrator on (02) 6225 4641.
If you would like further information about the changes to MRCA please contact Simon Hill (A/g Dir. Military Compensation Review) on (02) 6289 6389.

Regards
Neil Bayles
A/g First Assistant Secretary
Rehabilitation and Support
Department of Veterans' Affairs
(02) 6225 4572 Ph; (02) 6225 4458 Fax

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Statements of Principles Updates

At the meeting of 5 June 2013 the RMA:
Determined Statements of Principles (SoPs) for:
  • colorectal adenoma……………..….…………35/2013 & 36/2013
  • malignant neoplasm of the colorectum .…….37/2013 & 38/2013
  • familial adenomatous polyposis……………...39/2013 & 40/2013
  • sleep apnoea…………………………….……..41/2013 & 42/2013
  • erectile dysfunction……………………….……43/2013 & 44/2013
  • gingivitis…………………………………………45/2013 & 46/2013
  • periodontitis…………………………………….47/2013 & 48/2013
These SoPs revoke the SoPs previously determined for these conditions.

Determined SoPs for:
  • periodontal abscess……………………...…….49/2013 & 50/2013
Investigation into periodontitis resulted in the determination of –
  • SoPs concerning periodontitis and
  • new SoPs concerning periodontal abscess
These determinations conclude the previously advertised investigations into:
  • colorectal adenoma
  • malignant neoplasm of the colorectum
  • familial adenomatous polyposis
  • sleep apnoea
  • erectile dysfunction
  • gingivitis
  • periodontitis
All of the above SoPs took effect from 3 July 2013

Decided to advertise the following investigations:
  • malignant neoplasm of the brain, broadening current focussed investigation which included –
    • carbon monoxide, benzene and other chemicals associated with exhaust fumes; and
    • smoking
to include –
    • nerve agents; and
    • oil well fire smoke
  • ischaemic heart disease focussing on –
    • extreme physical activity; and
    • extreme cold


The Investigation Notices for these investigations appeared in the Government Notices Gazette of 3 July 2013.

Download the Summary of Changes regarding SoPs 35 – 50 of 2013
      (pdf-101KB)     (Word-136KB)

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

The Future of Advocacy and Refining the Appeal Process to a Single Pathway

DVA has developed two discussion papers which are designed to promote debate and feedback. These are “think pieces” and have been drafted for the purposes of consultation.  The papers are in response to recommendations from the Review of Military Compensation Arrangements and relate to:

Recommendations 7.7 and 7.8 – scoping of a more professional advocacy service for claims under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) and multi-Act claims.

Recommendations 17.1 to 17.5 – the review process for MRCA claims.  The Government has agreed in-principle that the review process for MRCA claims will be refined to a single appeal pathway with reconsideration by the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission as the first step in the process before proceeding to the Veterans’ Review Board (VRB) and then the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.  Case conferencing is to become part of the process and the VRB is to have explicit remittal powers.
The papers are:
  1. The Future of Veterans’ Advocacy (PDF 396KB) (Word 148KB)
  2. Refining the Appeal Process to a Single Pathway (PDF 531KB) (Word 305KB)
The first paper takes a broad approach to the issue of the long term sustainability of advocacy in veterans’ claims and poses eight options across a continuum from “do nothing” to an independent advocacy agency servicing DVA and ex-service organisations with both training and advocacy support.  It is important to note that the Department has no pre-conceived outcome or preference.  It is simply seeking to ensure a wide ranging and robust discussion on the future of advocacy.

The second paper deals with issues raised but not resolved by the report of the Review of Military Compensation Arrangements on how to implement a single appeal pathway for MRCA claims.  The paper puts some options where there are choices but is more solution focused than the first paper in that the issues need to be resolved. The Department has to go back to Government on the detail of how the single appeal pathway would best work, including the financial and legal implications.

The consultation period is now open and any feedback may now be provided.
Feedback can be mailed to the Department marked attention Ms Fiona Tuckwell at GPO Box 9998 in your capital city or submitted electronically via this link.
Feedback received will remain confidential and not be made publicly available.

Monday, 1 July 2013

BILL DELIVERS IMPROVED MILITARY COMPENSATION ARRANGEMENTS

A Bill outlining improved military compensation arrangements has passed through Parliament delivering increased support to the veteran and defence communities and their families.
 
The Bill outlines increased compensation, expanded eligibility criteria and improvements to existing military compensation arrangements from 1 July 2013.
 
 
For more information on the Review of Military Compensation Arrangements, details of the Bill or to access the discussion papers visit the ‘MRCA Review’ tab on the DVA website www.dva.gov.au
 
 
SUMMARY OF IMPROVEMENTS TO MILITARY COMPENSATION ARRANGEMENTS
 
Permanent Impairment
·         Improved provisions which will allow earlier payment of compensation for permanent impairment for some claimants with more than one accepted condition under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA).
·         DVA will make greater use of the payment of interim permanent impairment compensation and will include a payment for an imputed lifestyle effect when determining the level of interim MRCA compensation payable.
·         A new method for calculating transitional permanent impairment compensation for clients under the MRCA who have been compensated previously under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) and/or Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA). Additionally DVA will undertake a reassessment of transitional cases determined between 1 July 2004 and 30 June 2013. These reviews will be undertaken from 1 January 2014.
 
White Card for SRCA Veterans
·         Certain former ADF members with long term health conditions accepted under the SRCA will receive a White Repatriation Health Care Card from 10 December 2013 for specific conditions and a supplementary pharmaceuticals payment (if not already in receipt). 
 
Compensation for Dependants
·         Dependent children of deceased members will receive increased periodic compensation payments, aligning payments under the MRCA with similar payments made under the SRCA.
·         Future wholly dependent partners (widows or widowers) will have greater flexibility in the way they receive compensation following the death of an ADF member or former member.
 
Financial advice
·         Eligible persons will be able to receive compensation for legal advice and increased compensation for financial advice from financial advisers and lawyers in relation to decisions on selected compensation options.
 
Expanded eligibility criteria
·         Eligibility criteria for the Special Rate Disability Pension (SRDP) will be expanded. This will affect clients who have either redeemed small amounts of incapacity payments or who have had their incapacity payments fully offset by their Commonwealth funded superannuation payments. Clients who are SRDP eligible will be automatically accepted as permanently incapacitated for work for the purpose of Invalidity Service Pension.
 
General improvements to the delivery of benefits and services
·         The claims process for a person with an accepted condition under the VEA, which has been aggravated by service on or after 1 July 2004, will be simplified.
·         Current and former members, including reservists, will benefit from improved consistency and flexibility in accessing rehabilitation and transition services.
·         Education of rehabilitation providers, clients and their representatives will be increased to ensure that they are well informed about DVA entitlements in the event of injury or death. Information products on rehabilitation and transition from the ADF will also be improved.
·        A range of initiatives designed to improve the quality and timeliness of claims processing, including keeping clients informed of their claim’s progress, and improved reporting to assist the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission to fulfill its functions.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Revised Guidelines on the Special Rate and Intermediate Rate of disability pension

The Repatriation Commission has endorsed revised Guidelines on the Special Rate and Intermediate Rate of disability pension under the Veterans' Entitlement Act 1986 (VEA).
The revised Guidelines are titled CM6882 Special Rate and Intermediate Rate of pension and are now available in the Department's Consolidated Library of Information and Knowledge (CLIK)

further information here

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Statements of Principles Updates

At the meeting of 10 April 2013 the RMA:

Determined Statements of Principles (SoPs) for:
  • aortic stenosis……………..….………………..21/2013 & 22/2013
  • goitre…………..……..…...…………………….23/2013 & 24/2013
  • chronic gastritis and chronic gastropathy…...25/2013 & 26/2013
These SoPs revoke the SoPs previously determined for these conditions.
Determined SoPs for:
  • hyperthyroidism and thyrotoxicosis………….27/2013 & 28/2013
  • hypothyroidism…………………………………29/2013 & 30/2013
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis………………………..31/2013 & 32/2013
  • Graves’ disease………………………………..33/2013 & 34/2013
These determinations conclude the previously advertised investigations into:
  • aortic stenosis
  • goitre
  • chronic gastritis (now known as: chronic gastritis and chronic gastropathy)
  • hyperthyroidism (now known as: hyperthyroidism and thyrotoxicosis)
  • hypothyroidism
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Graves’ disease
All of the above SoPs took effect from 8 May 2013

Decided to advertise the following investigation:
  • somatoform disorder undifferentiated
The Investigation Notice for this investigation appeared in the Government Notices Gazette of 8 May 2013.

Download the Summary of Changes regarding SoPs 21 – 34 of 2013
      (pdf-47KB)

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Tribunal Advocacy Course 2013


Funding has been confirmed for the running of a Tribunal Advocacy Course in 2013.
The aim of this tertiary level, live-in course is to train participants in the preparation and presentation of cases before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
The Tribunal Advocacy Course is conducted in collaboration with the University of Canberra with assistance from DVA and members of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

We are now seeking ESO nominations for participation in the Tribunal Advocacy Course to be held in Canberra, 29 June to 05 July.

Eligibility criteria is detailed below and all nominations are carefully reviewed by the TIP SA/NT Chair before being forwarded to the selection panel.
In the event of multiple nominations, the TIP Chair will rank nominations in order of merit.
Successful nominees will be notified by 01 June.

Eligibility Criteria (as a minimum)
·         Completion of a Pension Level 2 course, with mentoring experience and knowledge of processes used in the Veterans’ Review Board. Preferably completion of an Advocate-VRB course.
·         An understanding of the disability pension provisions in the VEA, including the function and use of the Statements of Principles and the assessment of pensions, in particular the Special Rate Pension.
·         Actively working as a Pension Officer and/or have had advocacy experience at review body level eg: VRB, AAT
·         Participated in or observed AAT courts and processes
·         Be highly recommended by their parent ESO
·         Be likely to participate in the appeals process to the AAT

Nominations of suitable candidates are to be received at the TIP office by no later than 10 May 2013.

Only nominations accompanied by a completed Nomination Form will be considered.
Nomination Form can be downloaded here

Monday, 4 February 2013

Statements of Principles Updates

At the meeting of 3 December 2012 the RMA:

Determined Statements of Principles (SoPs) for:
  • malignant neoplasm of the oral cavity, oropharynx and hypopharynx….……1/2013 & 2/2013
  • ankylosing spondylitis…..………..................................................…………….3/2013 & 4/2013
  • inguinal hernia..……..……..........................................................…..………....5/2013 & 6/2013
  • carpal tunnel syndrome ………................................................….……………..7/2013 & 8/2013
  • adenocarcinoma of the kidney…………........................................................9/2013 & 10/2013
These SoPs revoke the SoPs previously determined for these conditions.
These determinations conclude the previously advertised investigations into:
  • malignant neoplasm of the oral cavity, oropharynx and hypopharynx
  • ankylosing spondylitis
  • inguinal hernia
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • adenocarcinoma of the kidney
All of the above SoPs will take effect from 9 January 2013.


Decided to advertise the following investigation:
  • hypopituitarism (focussed review concerning infiltration of the pituitary gland or hypothalamus) (pdf)
The Investigation Notice for this investigation appeared in the Government Notices Gazette of 12 December 2012.


Download the 'Summary of Changes' regarding SoPs 1 – 10 of 2013. (pdf-1046KB)

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

VCES and MRCAETS - new bonus



From March 2013, the Income Support Bonus will be paid to parents or students (generally 16 years old or over) who receive an education allowance under the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme (VCES) or the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme (MRCAETS).

The Income Support Bonus will be a six-monthly payment of $105, with the first payment to occur in March 2013. It recognises that households relying on income support allowances as their main source of income may find it difficult to manage unanticipated expenses, such as urgent repairs or unexpectedly large bills. Those receiving allowances such as Youth Allowance, Newstart and Austudy will also receive the Income Support Bonus. Payments will be made automatically to those eligible.

The Income Support Bonus is not means tested and is not counted as income for income support payments. It is also tax free.

 

Friday, 4 January 2013

Personal Response Systems

Accessing a Personal Response System (PRS) 
Did you know that Personal Response Systems (PRS) are listed on the Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP) National Schedule of Equipment?
They can assist entitled persons to seek assistance quickly in an home emergency. A PRS is essentially a personal alarm device located in the veteran’s home, which is backed up by a 24/7 monitoring system with trained call-centre staff.
Veterans are eligible for a PRS if they have an assessed clinical need and hold either a Gold Card or a White Card with a related accepted disability.
The assessment for a PRS must be undertaken by a qualified health professional. If the assessing health provider determines that a PRS is clinically required, they will arrange the supply of a PRS through one of DVA’s contracted suppliers. Note that intercom systems, sound monitors and mobile and portable/cordless phones are not provided under the category of alarm systems in the RAP National Schedule of Equipment.

Further information on PRS can be found in the DVA factsheet, HSV134 Information for veterans about Personal Response Systems, which can be found on the DVA website at www.dva.gov.au
Alternatively, contact DVA on 133 254 or from regional Australia free call 1800 555 254.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

New schoolkids bonus



From January 2013, the Schoolkids Bonus will be paid to parents of primary and full-time secondary students under 20 years in receipt of an education allowance under the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme (VCES) or the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme (MRCAETS).
The Schoolkids Bonus provides up front support when parents are incurring education costs such as uniforms and excursions and replaces the Education Tax Refund (ETR) with a lump sum paid twice-yearly. The bonus will be $205 for primary school children and $410 for secondary school children. These amounts will be paid every January and July, increasing in line with the Consumer Price Index.
If you share the care of your child with a former spouse/partner, you may receive a proportion of the Schoolkids Bonus. The Schoolkids Bonus is not means tested and is not counted as income for income support payments. It is also tax free.