Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Adelaide ATDP Workshop - RPL Level 2 and Mentoring

It is planned to conduct a Recognition of Prior learning (RPL Level 2) activity and mentoring workshop in Adelaide in late February or March 2017 at the DVA South Australia State Office.
A number of Expressions of Interest (EOI) have been received from South Australian Advocates who have filled out the form on the ATDP website. If you have completed the form, you will automatically receive an invitation in the new year to attend the workshop.
For those of you who are yet to apply, you are encouraged to read the information below and fill out the on-line form so that an invitation can be sent to you to attend the workshop.
Places are limited and will be offered in accordance with the order in which EOI are received.

Who should attend?
The workshops are for:
- mentors who are currently working with trainee advocates who are doing their ATDP Level 1 training
- experienced Advocates (Levels 2, 3 or 4) who are currently, or would like to become, mentors.

The workshop runs for two days and covers:
RPL: Your experience, knowledge and skills will be assessed for ATDP Level 2 Compensation or Welfare accreditation. The RPL process will consist of individual interviews, individual presentation of evidence of advocacy work and the completion of an Underpinning Knowledge Quiz
Mentoring: The workshop covers what mentoring is and why it is a key part of ATDP; the mentor’s role and responsibilities; and how to develop and support your ‘mentee’.

If you’d like to submit an EOI, please fill out the online formwww.atdp.org.au/applications/eois.php
To complete the form, you will need to supply details of the official from your ESO who can be contacted to endorse your nomination and agree to cover your expenses if you need to travel to the workshop.
If you have any questions, or if you would like more information about ATDP, please visit the DVA website (www.dva.gov.au) or send an email to ATDPenquiries@dva.gov.au.
Alternately, contact Wayne Stidston (ATDP Project Officer)
8290 0315    wayne.stidston@dva.gov.au

Monday, 5 December 2016


Are you an experienced advocate who is supporting current and former ADF members in accessing their DVA entitlements?
Are you mentoring new advocates, or would like help develop the next generation of advocates? If so, ATDP has a training program to help you in this important work.

Register now for ATDP Mentor Training by completing this online form: www.atdp.org.au/applications/eois.php

An important note for all DVA clients

As you may know, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) is currently conducting the 2016 Client Satisfaction Survey.
DVA has recently become aware of a scam asking clients for their personal details from a caller claiming to be conducting a survey on behalf of DVA. Any such requests are a scam and are not legitimate. The official DVA survey will not ask for any personal information beyond confirming your name and, where a carer/spouse is completing the survey on your behalf, their relationship with you.
If you receive one of these calls do not provide the information. Hang up the phone and report the call to Scamwatch on 1300 795 995.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Statements of Principles Updates

At the meeting of 12 October 2016 the RMA:

Determined Statements of Principles (SOPs) for:

analgesic nephropathy77/201678/2016
fibromuscular dysplasia79/201680/2016
animal envenomation81/201682/2016
malignant neoplasm of the brain85/201686/2016
acquired cataract87/201688/2016
These SOPs revoke the SOPs previously determined for these conditions.

Determined New Statements of Principles (SOPs) for:

umbilical hernia93/201694/2016
female sexual dysfunction95/201696/2016
complex regional pain syndrome97/201698/2016

Determined Amendment Statements of Principles (SOPs) for:

anxiety disorder99/2016100/2016
panic disorder101/2016102/2016
The above SOPs take effect from 28 November 2016.

Summary of Changes

  • Summary of ChangesPDF

Completed Investigations

The above determinations conclude the previously advertised investigations into:

Monday, 21 November 2016

Soldier On Focus Group

In partnership with the Movember Foundation Australia, Soldier On is looking for male veterans affected by their service to participate in a focus group adressing issues of loneliness and isolation.
These focus groups will be held in Sydney, Newcastle, Albury, Currumbin, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, for up to 12 veterans in each location.
If you are willing to participate, please express your interest here - http://bit.ly/2ensHH5
Movember is an organisation which focuses on men's health, which is why this study is focused on male veterans. However, female partners of affected veterans are also invited to participate in an online focus group.
Please express your interest for this focus group here - http://bit.ly/2fGHhaN

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Advocacy News

Welcome to the second issue of Advocacy News.
This newsletter will keep you up to date with what’s happening in the transition from TIP to the ATDP.
This edition focuses on recognition of prior learning and mentoring.

You can view/download the newsletter here

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

RSL Women's Symposium

Book a place at the RSL-SA Women's Symposium for Friday 25th November and have the opportunity to listen to key speakers discuss topics tailored to women who are serving or have served in the Defence Force or are associated to the Defence Force.

Monday, 14 November 2016

ATDP - Recognition of Prior Learning

Applications are now open for recognition of prior learning (RPL) for Level 2 Welfare and Compensation Advocates. 

Fill out the online form here:
RPL for Levels 1, 3 and 4 will be available next year.
Level 3 and Level 4 Compensation Advocates can also undertake Level 2 RPL if they wish as this will make their RPL at Level 3 or 4 quicker next year.
For more information about RPL, see the DVA website or send an email to ATDPenquiries@dva.gov.au

Thursday, 3 November 2016

ADF Self-Harm and Suicide Prevention Services Review

Everyone is welcome to have their say on self-harm and suicide prevention services available to current and former members of Australia’s defence forces.
In particular, ADF personnel, their families, friends and carers, are invited to share their experiences as are providers - including ex-service and community-based organisations - as well as health professionals.
Your privacy is respected. All survey responses are confidential and you can choose to make a written submission without giving your name or other personal details.
Your input will provide further information and advice to the federal government to help focus future activity so that improvements can be made for the benefit of current and former Defence personnel and those who support them.
This review is being undertaken by the National Mental Health Commission. An interim report to government is due this December, the final report in February 2017.
The survey and submissions close on Tuesday 22 November 2016.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Rebalanced assets test to apply from 01 January 2017

In the 2015 Budget, the Australian Government announced that it would be rebalancing the assets test limits to improve the fairness and affordability of the pension system. These changes have been passed by Parliament and will commence from 1 January 2017.
More than 90 percent of pensioners will either be better off or have no change to their pension under the rebalanced assets test. There will be no change to the existing assets test exemption for the family home.
Assessable assets include things like bank accounts, shares, investment properties and cars.
The assets test affects service pension and income support supplement, as well as pensions paid under the social security law such as age pension. Compensation payments such as disability pension and war widow(er) pension are not affected.

The rebalanced assets test will feature higher assets value limits, allowing pensioners to own a higher value of assets before their pension starts to reduce. Importantly, the increased assets value limits will continue to be indexed each 1 July.
The changes mean that people may receive either an increased rate of income support pension, a reduced rate, or have no change, depending on individual circumstances. More info is available on the DVA website.
More info is available on the DVA website

Monday, 24 October 2016

Veterans' Health Week

Veterans’ Health Week starts today.
This year's theme is Social Connection.
The week is an opportunity for veterans, war widows, widowers, current and ex-Australian Defence Force members and their families to participate, connect and influence the health and wellbeing of themselves and their friends.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Statement from DVA regarding SRCA

DVA have had a number of enquiries through their Facebook Page recently regarding reports that DVA is making changes to the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA).
The Government will be introducing a Bill to make a standalone version of the SRCA for current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) members.
This means the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs would be responsible for all compensation Acts for ADF members. Currently, the Minister for Employment has responsibility for the SRCA.
Should the new Act be passed by Parliament, eligibility and benefits under the Act will be the same as those currently available to serving and former ADF members under the existing SRCA.
The new Act (if passed) will be the same as the current SRCA, so there will be no change to existing entitlements or access to benefits.
DVA has consulted ex-service organisations at regular national Round Table meetings, where representatives have been supportive of a standalone SRCA.
The development of the new Act was referenced in a March 2015 media release of the former Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.
The Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act (2004) will remain in place and will be unchanged by the new Act.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

ATDP Mentor Training and RPL

ATDP Workshops:  Mentor Training and Recognition of Prior Learning
The Advocacy Training and Development Program (ATDP) is seeking applicants for upcoming mentor training and recognition of prior learning (RPL) workshops. It is hoped to hold some workshops before Christmas and there will be more next year.
The location of the workshops will be determined by demand.
It is expected that the first workshops will be in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, with other locations to follow.

Who should attend?
The workshops are for:
· mentors who are currently working with candidates who are doing their ATDP Level 1 training, and
· experienced TIP officers and advocates (Levels 2, 3 or 4) who would like to become mentors.
To be eligible to attend you need to be endorsed by an official from your ESO, such as the president or secretary.
They will also need to agree to cover your expenses if you need to travel to the workshop.

The workshop runs for two days and covers:
· Mentoring: What mentoring is and why it is a key part of ATDP; the mentor’s role and responsibilities; and how to develop and support your ‘mentee’ (which is the modern word for protégé).
· RPL: Your experience, knowledge and skills will be assessed for ATDP accreditation. You will be interviewed about your work, your TIP records will be reviewed, and you will complete some example case studies.

If you’d like to register for a workshop, please fill out the online form www.atdp.org.au/applications/eois.php  by 2400 AEDST on 23 October 2016.

To complete the form, you will need to supply details of the official from your ESO who can be contacted to endorse your nomination.
If you miss out on a workshop this time, your details will help us to plan next year’s workshops and you will be notified as soon as the dates are set.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Non Liability Health Care

DVA can pay for treatment for PTSD, depression, anxiety, and alcohol and substance abuse irrespective of when or where a current or former permanent member of the Australian Defence Force served or the type of service. Treatment is available for as long as it is needed – just follow the steps in the diagram below. To find out more, please call DVA on 133 254 or 1800 555 254 (regional callers), email nlhc@dva.gov.au or download a form at www.dva.gov.au/sites/default/files/dvaforms/D9213.pdf

Friday, 30 September 2016

ATDP Information Session

Advocacy Training and Development Program information session.
Guest Speaker will be John Cadd - Interim ATDP Deputy Chair, Region 3

Plympton Glenelg RSL 
10am  Friday 7th October

After the presentation a BBQ (small charge) and bar will be open. 

Thursday, 29 September 2016

DVA Advocacy News

Welcome to the first issue of DVA Advocacy News. This newsletter will keep you up-to-date with what’s happening in the transition from TIP to ATDP.

You can view/download the newsletter here

Updated Info on the ATDP

Updated information on the Advocacy Training and Development Program (ATDP) is available on the DVA website.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Appeals process simplified for veterans

Media Release 22 Sep 2016

Veterans will have a simpler appeal system that still affords them access to legal assistance under amendments to the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) passed by the Senate, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan said today.
The amendments provide a single pathway for veterans covered by the MRCA to appeal decisions, first through the Veterans’ Review Board (VRB) — an independent statutory body comprising civilian and former military personnel — then, if necessary, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).
Mr Tehan said veterans now had a simplified appeals process if they were not satisfied with a decision on a claim, starting with an internal review, followed by the VRB dispute resolution process or a full hearing, and, if the veteran was still unsatisfied, the AAT.
“Our focus is making the appeals process faster, simpler and less stressful for veterans,” Mr Tehan said.
“At a VRB hearing a veteran can have their ex-service organisation advocate present and they don’t need to go to the additional expense of engaging a lawyer to represent them. In fact, the VRB does not allow lawyers to represent at the hearing.
“The VRB gives our veterans access to a free, alternative dispute resolution model that has seen 85 per cent of applications finalised in just two months and without the need for a full hearing.
“This is good news for veterans as it avoids the need for a full hearing at the AAT. The aim is to speed up the appeal process and avoid unnecessary costs and delays, this is about improving the system for veterans – it is not designed to create more business for lawyers.
If a veteran does want to engage lawyers to represent them that option is available at the AAT.
“The national rollout of alternative dispute resolution will give veterans an opportunity to discuss their appeal with the VRB in a non-adversarial setting and at an earlier stage than is currently available.”
In the 2016–17 Budget, the Government allocated $2.7 million to the national rollout, which will allow the introduction of a new VRB case management system that will streamline processes and reduce backlogs.
Veterans will be able to lodge and manage appeals and monitor progress electronically in real-time. And in the event that an appeal still proceeds to the AAT, the MRCA will allow the award of costs in certain circumstances—an amendment that specifically addresses concerns raised during consultations.
The single path brings the MRCA appeals process into line with the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 appeals process. It applies to all MRCA primary decisions made on or after 1 January 2017.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Reduced Liability for Some Conditions

DVA has reduced the requirements for liability for five medical conditions, reducing the time taken to process around 600 claims a year.
There are now 13 medical conditions streamlined for acceptance of liability under the VEA or the MRCA.
If a veteran’s doctor diagnoses one of the 13 conditions, DVA can accept it as service-related which means less paperwork and reduced processing time.

Planning Ahead Kit

Planning Ahead is a publication designed to help veterans and their families prepare for bereavement and as a guide to putting your affairs in order.
There is also a checklist that can be used to record the contact details of important people, businesses and organisations that may need to be notified in case of your death.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Planning Ahead

This week is Planning Ahead Week 2016: 12 – 16 September.
Planning Ahead is about taking control of your future. It means that your choices will be known and acted on if you cannot express them yourself at some time in the future.
This may happen if you have a sudden accident, become very ill or develop a condition that affects your memory and your planning ability.
Thinking about your future and making your wishes known in advance can help reduce family stress and conflict during times of crisis.
It is important for all adults to understand the benefits of early planning. Various legal tools are available to help secure future health, financial, legal and personal choices – such as:
• Advance Care Directives
• Enduring Power of Attorney
• Wills
• Registration for organ and tissue donation.
Visit www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/planningahead for further information and resources, including a short animated video which you can watch and share with your family, friends and colleagues about the importance of Planning Ahead.
It talks about what you can do, how, and why we all need to discuss our wishes with our loved ones.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Non Liability Health Care

If you have a family member who served in the ADF and is struggling with substance use issues, DVA can offer support today.
Help is available right now for any current or former permanent ADF member experiencing PTSD, depressive disorder, anxiety disorder or alcohol and substance use disorders.
The condition does not need to be linked to their military service.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Statement of Principles Updates

At the meeting of 2 August 2016 the RMA:

Determined New Statements of Principles (SOPs) for:

antiphospholipid syndrome69/201670/2016
incisional hernia73/201674/2016
Scheuermann's disease75/201676/2016
The above SOPs take effect from 26 September 2016.

Summary of Changes

Finalised Declaration for:

ConditionDeclarationReasons for Decision
malignant neoplasm of the bladderPDF WordPDF Word
The Authority declares that it does not propose to amend Statements of Principles, Instrument Nos. 96 and 97 of 2011, concerning malignant neoplasm of the bladder for the reason that there is insufficient new sound medical-scientific evidence available to justify an amendment to the Statements of Principles already determined in respect of malignant neoplasm of the bladder

Completed Investigations

The above determinations and declarations conclude the previously advertised investigations into:

New Investigations

Decided to advertise the following investigations:
The above in the Government Notices Gazette of 6 September 2016.