2019 Budget puts Veterans and their Families First

Australian veterans and their families will continue to see an improvement in support and services with $11.5 billion in funding allocated in the 2019–20 Budget. This funding represents an overall increase of $300 million allocated to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) in 2019-20 compared with 2018-19 to support our veterans and their families.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the 2019–20 Budget was focussed on putting veterans and their families first and would see a continued investment in the transformation of DVA.
“Over the next two years DVA will continue its focus on making it easier and faster for veterans to access the services they need, when and where they need them,” Mr Chester said.
“Veterans and their families will be able to access more services online and we will continue to simplify our phone system, introducing a single contact phone number, 1800 VETERAN.
“We are making sure that every veteran, no matter where they live has better access to DVA by partnering with Department of Human Services to use their extensive network of shop fronts and centres, as well as Mobile Service Centres and agent networks.
“We will also be investing more to make DVA’s online claims site, MyService, more user-friendly, making the claims process easier and faster.
“As the rising cost of living continues to put pressure on a lot of Australians, we have also announced a one-off Energy Assistance Payment that will provide additional support for more than 225,000 veterans and widows who receive support payments. The payment is worth $75 for singles and $125 for couples.
“We are continuing to deliver an extensive respect and recognition package with a veterans’ covenant, nationally recognised veterans’ card, lapel pin and commemorative program of national and international events.”

The Australian Government’s commitment to supporting veterans will strengthen with $24.4 million in funding over four years for a range of programs including:
         – $16.2 million in funding to support grants to organisations who support veterans to deliver innovative programs to support veterans to find meaningful employment
         – $4.2 million to extend the trial of the Provisional Access to Medical Treatment which will continue to provide veterans with access to treatment for specified conditions before claims are approved, getting veterans treatment faster and preventing the risk of further deterioration of their condition
       –  $4.0 million to provide training to volunteers who work with veterans enhancing their capability to recognise mental health risks and to provide intervention and support.

“Helping veterans effectively transition to civilian life is a priority for the government,” Mr Chester said.
“We know that employing a veteran is good for business and the experience and skills they bring to a job can be invaluable. “These grants will help veterans find employment by helping them navigate the range of community and government services available to them.”

Family violence victims who are former spouses or de-facto partners of veterans will also see an increase in support, with $6.2 million in funding allocated in the Budget.
“Funding for the Partner Service Pensions – eligibility alignment measure will ensure former spouses and de-facto partners will be able to continue receiving the partner service pension after their relationship has ended and divorce proceedings finalised, including where it is determined that special domestic circumstances apply,” Mr Chester said.
“This measure is about creating equity for all former partners of veterans, regardless of their marital status.”

Last year the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade completed its inquiry into the use of Quinoline anti-malarial drugs Mefloquine and Tafenoquine in the Australian Defence Force.
“We recognise that this is an ongoing concern for some veterans and the Australian Government is providing $2.1 million so that any concerned veterans can have a comprehensive health check by a general practitioner to identify service-related illness, disease and injury,” Mr Chester said.

The 2019–20 Budget also provides:
• $3.5 million in funding to support the 2020 Anzac Day Dawn Service in France as well as for managing security and attendance in both France and Turkey consistent with previous overseas commemorations. The funding includes funds for a scoping study for a commemorative site on the Island of Lemnos, Greece, the former site of an Australian field hospital during the First World War.
• New and amended listings on the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

More information on all of DVA’s 2019–20 Budget measures is available in the DVA Information Sheets here 

Comments

  1. Cec bayliss says

    Well can someone tell me why our exercise program is getting cut back to two days in July . And Dotors referrals every twelve weeks instead of yearly

  2. A lot of bullshit ……We of RCB Malaysia are veterans,we have families,our dead are not recognised,their families left with nothing,PM does not want to know us,Defence won’t fight for us,the Regiments won’t go there,the RSL deny us,what good is this $11billion+$275mill a year to us……have not seen it for nearly 50 years next year……what are you doing about it?……too slow……hit Ruston as soon as he made the statement……Hansards 28/11/2018

  3. Ruston stated $11billion a year…….how many years have LNP been running the AU……that’s a lot of money…..someone do the figures…then ask him to account…..who is doing this from committee?

  4. More bullshit….grind my teeth….PTSD…..as of 1998……applied for teeth to be attended to……Rang DVA as I continued grinding & swallowing teeth in my sleep……sorry have to wait at least 28 days for investigating,plus no voucher for one tooth as per public fix immediately…….why the hell did we serve or rather we may as well forget DVA,as all services aligned with Centrelink now…think about it me.

  5. Brian Maley says

    whos questioning $11 bill +$275 mill a year from LNP for veterans & families,plus fixing DVA?come on men more aggressive the Govt getting away from us again.

  6. So DVA is linking up with Social Security and Veterans will be able to use their shopfronts for DVA matters! I called this way back at the last change of Minister and was booed down by Government but it seems I was right. It won’t be long before DVA Offices disappear completely and all Veterans will need to go to Social Security (Centrelink) for all DVA matters.

    Also, wouldn’t it be a grand thing if the Government put on RAAF Flights every ANZAC Day for Veterans to go to either Gallipoli or France for ANZAC Day services. Could be done by an allocation system so that the same people do not go every year. RAAF must supply the plane for the PM to go or at least pay for first class flight on civvy aircraft so this would be more beneficial.

  7. Jim Sturla says

    I am a Gold Card holder, I recently rang DVA in order to get an answer to a query I had. As it is now affiliated with Centrelink I had to wait for over half an hour listening to canned music. I was finally put through to a young lass who told that she was only employed 8 days earlier and had no knowledge of what I was asking. She then hung up. I was not willing to spend another half an hour waiting on the phone so I then rang the RSL. They answered my query immediately. So much for DVA caring for veterans.

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