Bushfire crisis – DVA support for veterans and their families

Dear ESORT members

The impact of the bushfires is being felt across the nation, including by members of the veteran and defence communities. Health and safety is the priority during this time, and we encourage Australians to listen to the experts on updates on conditions and how to be prepared.

The ABC, as the national broadcaster, provides up-to-date information on all alerts and warnings

Further information, often live, is also available on a range of state and territory government websites.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs is providing support to veterans and their families wherever possible, and it is important that members of the veteran and defence communities are aware that they can access a range of services, including the following:

·       The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment – one-off financial assistance to eligible Australians adversely affected by the bushfires. For more information on eligibility, and how to claim, visit the Department of Human Services website or call 180 22 66.

·       Defence Service Homes Insurance – To lodge a claim or for assistance please contact 1300 552 662 or visit the Defence Service Homes Insurance website.

·       Open Arms counselling support (24/7) – veterans and their families requiring emergency counselling support can call 1800 011 046.

·       Crisis payments – a one-off payment to financially assist eligible people following a range of defined circumstances. For information about the crisis payments and eligibility please read Factsheet IS121 – Crisis Payments

·       Other assistance – DVA’s Veterans’ Access Network (VAN) can be contacted on 1800 555 254 to assist with a wide range of issues, including replacement of aids and appliances, ensuring availability of pharmaceuticals, and arranging transportation to medical appointments. 

If any other services or support you receive from the Department are impacted by the fires, or if you need extra support in requesting these services, you can call 1800 555 254 for assistance.

Mark Cormack

Acting Secretary

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

3 January 2020

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