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.

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


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
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.