26 September 2023

Veterans invited to input simple pathway

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The Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) is calling for input on a pathway to simplify veteran compensation and rehabilitation legislation.

Opening the consultation, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Matt Keogh said the proposed pathway responded to a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide’s Interim Report.

“The proposed pathway seeks to reform more than a century of veterans’ entitlement legislation, providing veterans the support they not only need, but deserve,” Mr Keogh said.

“Currently, the legislation underpinning the compensation system for veterans is overly complicated,” he said.

“It can be difficult to understand, stressful to navigate and complex to administer, resulting in delays, backlogs and confusion for veterans and families.”

Mr Keogh said the Royal Commission found the system was ‘so complicated that it adversely affects the mental health of some veterans and can be a contributing factor to suicidality’.

He said DVA was seeking feedback until 12 May from the veteran and broader Australian communities on a legislative reform pathway to create a simpler system in the future.

“This consultation pathway is guided by a set of principles that will ensure legislative changes benefit the entire veteran community,” the Minister said.

“The pathway proposes a future model whereby all claims are considered under one piece of legislation rather than three, creating a simpler system that makes it easier for veterans and families to understand their entitlements and receive the support they need, when they need it,” he said.

“Importantly, the model also considers critical safeguards, such as grandparenting existing arrangements so there is no reduction in compensation payments currently being received by veterans, and current payment rates are maintained and indexed as they would be under the current system.”

DVA’s six-page Veterans’ Legislation Reform Consultation Pathway proposal can be accessed at this PS News link.

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