DVA Claims: How to Seek Help

What are DVA Claims?

DVA Claims are compensation claims against the Department of Veterans Affairs in Australia. These claims help veterans, their families, and dependents receive the support and assistance they need and deserve. One can file different types of claims, depending on the circumstances and the specific issues being faced.

Types of DVA Claims

Compensation Claims

Compensation claims are lodged when a person believes they have suffered an injury, illness, or other harm due to their service in the Australian Defence Force (ADF). The DVA is responsible for assessing and determining compensation entitlements.

Claims Against the Department

Individuals may sometimes seek compensation from the DVA for loss or damage resulting from the department’s actions or decisions. These claims may be pursued under various legal avenues, including:

  1. Commonwealth Compensation: Claims under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act) or the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA).
  2. Claims under the Public Liability Scheme: This scheme covers claims resulting from personal injury or property damage caused by the department’s negligence.
  3. Act of Grace payments: These are discretionary payments made by the government to provide relief in exceptional circumstances where there is no legal liability but a moral obligation to compensate.

Case Study: ex-Peacekeeper Mark suffers from PTSD

 

Mark is a veteran who served in the ADF for several years. During his time in service, Mark was exposed to combat and other traumatic events that impacted his mental health. After returning home, Mark began experiencing symptoms of PTSD, including flashbacks, nightmares, and hypervigilance.

Mark’s PTSD symptoms worsened, and he struggled with substance abuse and relationship issues. As a result, he found it difficult to hold a job and could not provide for his family. His mental health deteriorated to the point where he was hospitalised for suicidal thoughts.

 

Realising that he needed help, Mark reached out to the advocacy group, AusVeterans. They assisted him in lodging 68 claims against the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) to seek compensation and support for his condition. After a thorough assessment, the DVA approved all of Mark’s compensation claims and recommended several benefits options.

Based on Mark’s individual circumstances and the severity of his symptoms, the DVA recommended that Mark apply for Disability Pension and Income Support. The Disability Pension would provide Mark with regular payments to help him support himself and his family. In contrast, the Income Support would provide additional financial support to cover his living expenses.

In addition to financial support, the DVA recommended that Mark seek medical treatment for his PTSD symptoms. The DVA would reimburse Mark for medical expenses related to his treatment, including medication, therapy, and other healthcare services. The DVA also recommended that Mark participates in a rehabilitation program to help him improve his physical and mental health, develop new skills, and re-enter the workforce.

Mark was initially hesitant to accept all of the DVA’s recommendations, but with the support of his family and AusVeterans, he took advantage of the benefits offered to him. Over time, Mark’s symptoms improved, and he managed his PTSD with the help of medication, therapy, and support from his wife and parents.

Mark is currently retraining and plans to re-enter the workforce after his studies. Mark would face an uncertain future without the financial support provided by the claims. The programs offered to support his mental health continue to help Mark to heal.

Do you need to lodge a DVA Claim?

This is how you do it:

Gather Necessary Information and Documentation

Before lodging a claim, gathering all relevant information and documentation, such as medical records, service history, and any other evidence supporting the claim, is essential. This will help to substantiate the claim and ensure a smoother process.

Contact the DVA

Contact the DVA through their contact channels, including phone, email, or in-person visits to a regional office. The DVA can guide the claims process and the required forms for each type of claim.

Seek Professional Assistance

If you need clarification on the claims process or require support, consider seeking professional assistance from organisations like AusVeterans. They can help you navigate the complexities of the DVA claims process and ensure you receive the support you deserve.

The Importance of Compassionate Support

As ex-ADF members, we understand that filing a claim for compensation and dealing with the claims process can be challenging and emotionally taxing for individuals and their families. Sometimes, the process can feel impersonal and lacking compassion. And at times, the process can be extended. In the meantime, we understand that you continue to suffer. We’ve been there too. Ensuring that your application is the completed with accurate, precise information and all the necessary supporting documentation is the best way to fast-track your claims.

We also know that understanding what is required before you can even lodge a claim can be overwhelming. AusVeterans recognises the difficulties faced by veterans seeking compensation. We approach the process with empathy and understanding. Our only goal is to assist you in getting the help you deserve.

We can help you

If you or a loved one is considering filing a DVA claim, don’t hesitate to reach out to admin@ausveterans.com.au  for assistance. Our team of compassionate professionals is here to help you navigate the process and ensure you receive the support you deserve. Contact us today at admin@ausveterans.com.au to discuss your case and explore your options. It costs nothing more than a phone call.