Thursday, 29 March 2018

Position vacant in the NT – Military Compensation Advocate Level 2

For some time there has been a shortage of advocates to meet the demand for assistance from the Defence and veteran communities in the Northern Territory.

To address this, the NT Government and ex-service organisations have joined forces to offer a 12 month paid position for a Military Compensation Advocate Level 2 or above.

The paid advocate will be supported by a close-knit team of volunteer compensation and welfare advocates based in Darwin. A motivated and diligent person will be able to make a real difference to lives of current and former Australian Defence Force members and their families across the Territory.

Click here for the position description.

For further information, please contact Sue McCallum at  0414 511 952  or email:  smatdp@veteransaustraliant.org.au

The closing date is 6 April 2018.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Statements of Principles Updates

At the meeting of 7 February 2018 the RMA:

Determined Statements of Principles (SOPs) for:

personality disorder17/201818/2018
toxic retinopathy19/201820/2018
accidental hypothermia21/201822/2018
Guillain-Barre syndrome23/201824/2018
systemic sclerosis25/201826/2018
malignant neoplasm of the eye27/201828/2018
These SOPs revoke the SOPs previously determined for these conditions.

Determined New Statements of Principles (SOPs) for:

popliteal cyst31/201832/2018

Determined Amendment Statements of Principles (SOPs) for:

suicide and attempted suicide33/201834/2018
malignant neoplasm of the ovary35/201836/2018
The above SOPs take effect from 2 April 2018.

Summary of Changes

Completed Investigations

The above determinations conclude the previously advertised investigations into:

New Investigations

Decided to advertise the following investigations:
The above investigation notices appear in the Government Notices Gazette of 13 March 2018.

Friday, 23 March 2018

ATDP Vacancies: Regional Implementation Group - Region 2

Expressions of Interest are invited from volunteers for membership of the ATDP Regional Implementation Group Region 2 (NSW, ACT, WA)

The Regional Implementation Group Region 2 is responsible for supporting the implementation of the ATDP in New South Wales, the ACT and Western Australia.

While experience in the provision of military welfare and compensation advocacy services will be well regarded, as would formal training qualifications, the prime requirement is an interest in and time available to support the operation of ATDP and the training of the next generation of advocates.


Instructions on how to apply and a Position Description can be downloaded here 

Please send your application to~~ ATDP.Communications@dva.gov.au ~~  by 2400 AEDT on Friday, 13 April 2018.


For additional information please contact Ian Thompson, Deputy Regional Manager, Region 2,
by email at

For more information about the ATDP visit the DVA website www.dva.gov.au

DVA Media Release - Better Services for Veterans and Families

The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
22 March 2018

Delivering better services for veterans and their families

VETERANS and their families will receive increased support services and income support payments after the Senate passed new legislation today.
The legislation follows a $31 million boost to mental health services which was announced late last year.
Minister for Veterans' Affairs Darren Chester said the legislation was part of the Turnbull Government's ongoing commitment to improve services for veterans and their families and delivers a significant part of the Government’s response to the concerns raised in the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Reference’s committee report.
"We are constantly striving to deliver the support and services needed for those who have served our nation," Mr Chester said.
“This is a great outcome for veterans and their families who play such an essential role in a veteran’s health and wellbeing with additional services to be provided under these new measures which include increased access to childcare assistance, home care and counselling.
“We have also established a new income support payment for veterans with mental health problems who are unable to work so they have a source of income. This will reduce the stress this places on both the veteran and their family in what can be a difficult time.
“Partners of veterans may also be eligible for the Veteran Payment and veterans with dependent children may be entitled to the maximum rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A without being subject to the Family Tax Benefit means test while they receive the Veteran Payment.”
Mr Chester said from 1 May 2018 a new pilot program, the Coordinated Veteran Care mental health pilot will commence which aims to support to veterans in rural and regional areas with chronic mental health at the mild to chronic status combined with co-morbid health conditions.
“Veterans are at the heart of many communities around Australia and it is essential they have access to these services no matter where they live and this a great initiative to ensure vital mental health services are delivered,” Mr Chester said.
“Veterans who have suffered a catastrophic injury will also be supported with access to household and attendant care services based on their individual needs.”
Mr Chester said the qualifying service determination has also been simplified by automating the process which will remove the requirement for veterans to make an application for the determination.
“There are also a range of other initiatives underway which will further deliver on our commitment to support our veterans who have given so much to our country and this Government is ensuring they receive and have access to support services they need now and into the future.”
Other measures in the legislation include an entitlement to a Gold Card for Australian Defence Force members who served in Japan after the cessation of hostilities at the end of World War II and before the British Commonwealth Occupation Force commenced.
Separate to this legislation, Mr Chester said anyone who has served one day in the Australian Defence Force can have mental health treatment free for any mental health condition.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

DVA Media Release - Pension Increases

The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
20 March 2018

Veteran pensions set to increase

VETERAN pension payments will increase in March in line with the biannual indexation process.
Pension recipients including veterans, their partners, war widows and widowers across Australia will receive increased payments from 20 March 2018.
Due to the calculation of pension rates on a daily basis, the first pension paid after the indexation on payday 29 March 2018 will comprise both the old and new rates.
The new pension rates will be fully effective from payment date 12 April 2018.
The table below highlights the new fortnightly rates.
SERVICE PENSIONOld rate (fortnightly)New rate (fortnightly)Increase (fortnightly)
Single person $894.40 $907.60 $13.20
Couples (each) $674.20 $684.10 $9.90
Single person – transitional $752.40 $762.00 $9.60
Couples (each) – transitional $607.00 $614.80 $7.80
War widow(er)’s pension $909.10 $922.50 $13.40
Income support supplement (ceiling rate) $268.50 $272.60 $4.10
DISABILITY PENSIONOld rate (fortnightly)New rate (fortnightly)Increase (fortnightly)
T&PI (Special rate) $1,373.80 $1,394.20 $20.40
Intermediate rate $932.70 $946.60 $13.90
EDA $758.90 $770.20 $11.30
100 per cent $488.40 $495.70 $7.30
10 per cent $55.77 $56.50 $0.73
These are the maximum rates of payment and include any Energy Supplement payable.
Pensions are indexed twice a year in March and September. For a full list of pension rates, please visit www.dva.gov.au or call 1800 555 254.

Friday, 16 March 2018

VVCS Suicide Prevention Webinar

Registrations are now open!

Join VVCS for their next community webinar on suicide prevention where they will explore its importance in our community and provide advice and resources to support you to assist your friends, family and colleagues experiencing challenging personal times.

To register and submit your questions for the panel, visit   bit.ly/VVCSsuicideprevention

Thursday, 15 March 2018

DVA Media Release - BEST Grant Applications now open

The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
15 March 2018

Grants supporting ex-service organisations now open for applications

APPLICATIONS are now open for the Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) grants and Grants-in-Aid for ex-service organisations announced by Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester today.
“These grants help ex-service organisations provide vital advocacy services for current and former serving men and women which help veterans with their compensation claims and also ensure they get correct access to entitlements and services,” Mr Chester said.
“More than $4 million in over 155 grants has been provided to ex-service organisations supporting veterans under these programs in 2017-18 and I encourage all ex-service organisations apply for this round of grant funding.
“Applications for both grant programs close on Thursday 19 April 2018 with payments to the successful applicants to be made before the end of 2018-19 financial year.
“Organisations needing assistance with online lodgement are encouraged to seek help through the Community Grants Hub.
“If you think you may need help with your application please call or email the Hub as soon as possible to ask for help. This will ensure any issues can be worked through in time for your application to be considered for funding.”
For information about how to apply for grants online, see the Community Grants Hub website: www.communitygrants.gov.au or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website: www.dva.gov.au.
Support is available by phone: 1800 020 283 or by email: support@communitygrants.gov.au.
To receive an email alert when veteran and other community grants are open for applications on the Hub, visit www.communitygrants.gov.au.