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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

ATDP Information Sessions

ATDP information sessions have been scheduled for the following dates:


  • 12 April  10:00am - Hobart
    RAAF Memorial Centre
    61 Davey St, Hobart
  • 13 April  9:30am - Ulverstone
    Ulverstone Returned Servicemens Club
    21 King Edward St, Ulverstone
  • 13 April  2:30pm - Launceston
    Launceston RSL
    313 Wellington St, Launceston
  • 26 April  1:30pm - Wodonga
    Hume Veterans Information Centre
    138 Melbourne Rd, Wodonga
  • 09 May  1:30pm - Bendigo
    V-Line Training Room
    2 Station Lane, Bendigo
  • 10 May  9:00am - Melbourne
    DVA Melbourne
    11th Foor, 300 La Trobe St, Melbourne
  • 10 May  3:00pm - Geelong
    Geelong RSL
    50 Barwon Heads Rd, Belmont
  • 01 June  11:00am - Lakes Entrance
    Lakes Entrance RSL
    221 Esplanade, Lakes Entrance

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Veteran Pension Increase

Veteran pension payments have increased in line with the biannual indexation process.

Pension recipients including veterans, their partners, war widows and widowers, across Australia will be paid the increase from 20 March 2017.

Due to the calculation of pension rates on a daily basis, the first pension paid after the indexation on payday 30 March 2017 will comprise both the old and new rates.

The new pension rates will be fully effective from payment date 13 April 2017.

Pensions are indexed twice a year in March and September. For a full list of pension rates, please visit the DVA website or call 133 254 or 1800 555 254 from regional Australia.

The table below highlights the new fortnightly rates.
Service pensionOld rate
(fortnightly)
New rate
(fortnightly}
Increase
(fortnightly)
Single person$877.10$888.30$11.20
Couples (each)$661.20$669.60$8.40
Single person - transitional$738.60$748.00$9.40
Couples (each) - transitional$595.80$603.40$7.60
War Widows
War widow(er)'s pension$891.30$902.80$11.50
Income support supplement$263.10$266.60$3.50
Disability pension
T&PI (Special rate)$1,346.90$1,364.30$17.40
Intermediate rate$914.40$926.20$11.80
EDA rate$744.00$753.60$9.60
100 per cent rate$478.80$485.00$6.20
10 per cent rate$54.81$55.43$0.62

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Advocacy News - Issue 4

The fourth issue of Advocacy News is now available.
This newsletter keeps you up to date with what's happening in the transition from TIP to the ATDP.

In this edition we introduce you to a former TIP Trainer who's now a big supporter of ATDP and we answer more of your Frequently Asked Questions.

www.atdp.org.au/ATDPnews4.pdf

Media Release - Minister for Veterans' Affairs 22 March 2017

The Hon Dan Tehan MP Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security 
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
and
The Hon Scott Morrison MPTreasurer
22 March 2017

Government launches $2.1m program to support children of veterans with mental health issues

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs the Hon. Dan Tehan and Treasurer the Hon. Scott Morrison today officially launched the Turnbull Government’s $2.1 million pilot support program for children of veterans with mental health issues, run by the Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation.
The government funded program will give children of veterans with mental health issues assistance to build their coping skills and resilience.
The program will include recreational and educational camps for children aged eight to 18 who have a veteran parent with a mental health condition.
Mr Tehan said families played a critical role supporting current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) members.
“When someone signs up to serve and defend our nation their entire family is also asked to make sacrifices,” Mr Tehan said.
“This program recognises that mental health issues affect entire families and the Government will support them.”
Mr Morrison said the program would allow children to bond with peers who were facing similar challenges.
“Kookaburra Kids is a fantastic charity founded in my electorate of Cook which has been successfully supporting children living in families affected by mental illness for well over a decade,” Mr Morrison said.
“The Foundation will use its current model to deliver activities specifically tailored to the unique needs of veterans’ children. The first programs are scheduled to start mid-2017 in New South Wales and ACT.”
Mr Tehan said the Kookaburra Kids program would build on other important work the Government was doing to support the broader veteran community.
“The Government provides free mental health treatment to anyone who has ever served at least one day in the full-time ADF for post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and alcohol and substance abuse,” Mr Tehan said.
“The 2016–17 MYEFO also provided $3.1 million to further extend access to the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service.”
For anyone looking to get involved with Kookaburra Kids, or if you would like to refer a child, please visit the Kookaburra Kids website.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Media Release - Minister for Veterans' Affairs 17 March 2017

The Hon Dan Tehan MP Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security 
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
17 March 2017

Improving current provisions for veterans’ privacy

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan outlined how the Digital Readiness Bill would provide stronger protections for veterans’ privacy at the RSL ACT conference in Canberra today.
Mr Tehan also provided a document that set out the improvement to privacy protections for veterans under the Digital Readiness Bill.
"This Bill will strengthen veterans’ privacy above and beyond the current system," Mr Tehan said
Currently, a veteran’s personal information is covered by the Privacy Act 1988 which means the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) can release all of an individual’s information — including their medical records — and the Department does not need to contact an individual before releasing their information.
Under the Digital Readiness Bill, only the Secretary of the DVA has the power to release an individual’s private information and the Secretary must contact the individual and provide a reasonable opportunity to respond.
The Secretary can only correct misinformation that is detrimental or harmful to the broader veteran community and when doing so the Secretary must use anonymous information in the first instance. An individual’s specific medical information cannot be used to correct misinformation.
Before releasing an individual’s information, the Secretary must also consider an individual’s circumstances-including health, disability, psychological and social circumstances.
No individual’s national security or service records can be compromised under the new legislation.
"The privacy safeguards that currently exist for protecting veterans’ privacy information are less rigorous; there is not really any stick to go with them if someone decides to exploit a veteran’s information," Mr Tehan said.
"As part of the Digital Readiness Bill, we have strengthened the privacy safeguards around how information could be disclosed."
Under the proposed new legislation the Secretary of the DVA would face criminal sanction if a veterans’ personal information was incorrectly released.
"If you’re a Secretary of a Department and you’ve got a criminal conviction against your name, you’re going to find it very, very difficult to get employment in other departments or find work elsewhere," he said.

Digital Readiness: Strengthening Veterans’ Privacy

Under the current rules, the Department can release veterans’ information with reference to the Privacy Act 1988. While the Department of Veterans’ Affairs has and will always operate with privacy of information as a first priority in its conduct, the current laws do not have operating safeguards, as outlined below.
With the changes made to the Digital Readiness Bill, the Minister would set rules around a Public Interest Disclosure provision. This would put in place codified and concrete safeguards around when and how the Department uses personal information.
These changes will strengthen veterans’ privacy.

COMPARISON OF PRIVACY SAFEGUARDS

UNDER THE PRIVACY ACT 1988UNDER DIGITAL READINESS
The Department does not need to contact the individual prior to releasing information.When disclosing their information, the Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs must contact to the individuals.
The Department does not need to provide an opportunity for the individual to respond prior to release.The Secretary must give the person a reasonable opportunity to respond, including an individual’s circumstances including age; health; disability; social, cultural or family circumstances; and any physical, psychological, national security or relevant circumstances.
The Department can release all of an individual’s record.An individual’s entire record can never be released.
The Department can release details on an individual’s medical conditions.No individual’s specific medical information can be used to correct misinformation.
The Department can provide this information to anyone it believes should have it, whether they have need for it or not.Only people who have a genuine and legitimate interest can be provided the information.
 The Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs has to consider an individual’s circumstances including age, health, disability, and social, cultural or family circumstances.
 The Secretary has to consider any physical, psychological, national security or relevant circumstances about the individual.
 The release of information has to be proportionate to the objective and to the outcome.
 The Secretary has to consider if anonymous or general information would achieve the same outcome.
 Only misinformation that is detrimental or harmful to the broader veteran community can be addressed.
 When used to address misinformation, the Secretary has to use anonymous information in the first instance.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Statements of Principles Update

At the meeting of 8 February 2017 the RMA:

Determined Statements of Principles (SOPs) for:

ConditionSOPs
presbyopia22/201723/2017
spondylolisthesis and spondylolysis24/201725/2017
These SOPs revoke the SOPs previously determined for these conditions.

Determined Amendment Statements of Principles (SOPs) for:

ConditionSOPs
suicide and attempted suicide26/201727/2017
The above SOPs take effect from 27 March 2017.

Summary of Changes

  • Summary of Changes PDF 

Finalised Declaration for:

ConditionDeclarationReasons for Decision
Alzheimer-type dementiaPDF WordPDF Word

Completed Investigations

The above determinations and declarations conclude the previously advertised investigations into:
The above declaration notice appears in the Government Notices Gazette of 7 March 2017.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Improved Self Help Resource

Improvements to an online resource for current and former members of the ADF will better help them manage stress.
The High Res website has been updated following user feedback to make it easier to use.
The High Res website is a valuable tool that current and former ADF personnel can use to help them manage stress.
Improvements to the website include a simple step-by-step guide to developing a personal action plan, tips for better sleep and self-help tools on controlled breathing, muscle relaxation, managing negative or distracting thoughts and emotions.
Current and former ADF personnel are increasingly seeking digital support and DVA is meeting this growing need through a range of mental health websites and apps.
Serving and ex-serving members of the ADF and their families are encouraged to visit the refreshed High Res website.
The High Res resource can be accessed through DVA’s At Ease portal at


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Hobart ATDP Workshop - RPL Level 2 and Mentoring



The Advocacy Training and Development Program (ATDP) is holding its inaugural Tasmanian Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Compensation and Welfare Level 2 and Mentoring Workshop in Hobart on 10-11 April at RAAF Memorial Centre, 61 Davey St Hobart .

Applications Close Sunday 12 March

Who Should Attend?
Experienced Compensation/Welfare practitioners and advocates (Level 2, 3 or 4) who are, or would like to be, mentors.

What Does a Mentor Do?
Mentors guide a trainee through their Level 1 and/or Level 2 ATDP training and record their progress.

What is RPL?
RPL is a simple process by which experienced practitioners have their skills, knowledge and experience reviewed for accreditation as an ATDP Advocate.

What Happens at the Workshop?
Day 1 - RPL Level 2
Your experience, knowledge and skills will be assessed for either Compensation or Welfare Level 2 ATDP accreditation.
You will be interviewed about your work, your TIP training records and other evidence (if available) will be reviewed, and you will complete an open book quiz.

Day 2 - Mentoring Workshop
What mentoring is and why it is a key part of the ATDP, including the mentor's role and responsibilities, and how to develop and support 'mentees' and report their progress in the ATDP system.


What Do I Need to Do?

  1. You need endorsement from an official from your ESO, such as the President or Secretary. They also need to agree to cover your expenses if you have to travel to the Workshop.
     
  2. Fill out the on-line form at  www.atdp.org.au/applications/eois.php  by 2400 AEDT on 12 March 2017.
     
  3. The official will be contacted and you will receive an email with further details once we know final numbers.


I Want to Come, But I Can't Make It to Hobart on 10-11 April
If you are unable to attend the workshop because the time or location aren't suitable, still complete the on-line form and include your preferred location. This will help us to plan future workshops in Hobart and in regional areas.

If you have any questions, or you would like more general information about ATDP, please visit the DVA website  www.dva.gov.au  or send an email to  ATDPenquiries@dva.gov.au

If you have any problems with enrolment process, please contact Philip Boys by email   aso3@atdp.org.au  or phone  08 8290 0449