Issue – 1 – 2013
In this issue:
- Help in a natural disaster
- Defence and DVA commit to shared care
- Memorial to honour shared Australia-New Zealand military history
- New online training for community nurses
- DVA Benefits Guide
- VVCS group programs
- New payments to help older students with unexpected expenses
- Schoolkids Bonus for primary and secondary school students
- Ongoing assistance through the Household Assistance Package
- Are you travelling to Gallipoli or France for Anzac Day in 2013?
- Men’s Health Peer Education: could you be a volunteer?
- A promising year ahead for DVA in social media
- Media Releases
Help in a natural disaster
Although most of us look forward to summer as a time of relaxation, it’s also the peak season for natural disasters inAustralia. Bushfires, storms, cyclones, floods and heatwaves affect many DVA clients.
If you’re affected by a natural disaster, the australia.gov.au website has a wealth of essential information on its Emergency and Disaster Assistance page, including how to contact your State Emergency Services (SES) for immediate help and Centrelink to check your eligibility for the Disaster Recovery Payment.
Information about making claims on your Defence Service Homes Insurance policy can be found on the DSH website.
Veterans and their family members who may benefit from emotional support during or after a natural disaster can contact the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) on 1800 011 046.
Defence and DVA commit to shared care
The departments of Defence and Veterans’ Affairs have renewed their shared commitment to supporting Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and their families with a new Memorandum of Understanding.
The Memorandum of Understanding for the Cooperative Delivery of Care and Support to Eligible Persons will support current joint DVA and Defence programs such as the Support for Wounded, Injured or Ill Program which delivers consistent care and support to ADF members during all stages of their service and after transition to civilian life.
A link to the Memorandum of Understanding is available on the DVA Media Centre.
Memorial to honour shared Australia-NewZealandmilitary history
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has released plans for an Australian Memorial inNew Zealandhonouring the extraordinary relationship between the two countries.
The memorial will be built inWellington,New Zealandand will be completed in time for the Centenary of Anzac on 25 April 2015.
To see more pictures of the planned memorial visit the DVA Media Centre.
New online training for community nurses
vetAWARE is a new online, interactive professional development course for community nurses to help increase their understanding of the common mental health challenges faced by veterans.
DVA contracts hundreds of community nurses around the country who see veterans and war widows in their own home, and so they’re uniquely placed to recognise the signs of mental distress.
vetAWARE particularly meets the needs of nurses working in remote or regional communities who find it difficult to attend face-to-face training programs.
Information about vetAWARE is on the Community Nursing page of the DVA website.
DVA Benefits Guide
The new online DVA Benefits Guide gives a quick snapshot of the services and payments an individual may be eligible for.
It’s a useful interactive tool to help current and former Defence force members and their advocates to quickly and easily navigate the range of compensation payments, rehabilitation, health benefits and income support available from DVA.
VVCS group programs
Dates for the 2013 Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) group programs are now available on the VVCS website.
The courses cover a range of health topics for current and former servicemen and women, peacekeepers and their families, and are held across the country.
Learn how to get a better night’s sleep, manage anxiety and stress or achieve a smooth transition to civilian life. There’s even a residential program for couples to work on their wellbeing and enhance their relationship.
New payments to help older students with unexpected expenses
Some 1300 recipients of DVA education allowances will receive extra support in March. If you’re receiving a payment under the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme (VCES) or the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme (MRCAETS) you’ll be eligible for the new Income Support Bonus.
The Income Support Bonus will mainly be paid to those aged 16 and in secondary or tertiary education, but some students under 16 will also be eligible in certain circumstances. The payment of $105 will be paid twice a year, in March and September. It’s tax free and will be indexed in line with CPI.
For more information visit the Income Support Bonus page on the DVA website.
Schoolkids Bonus for primary and secondary school students
The Schoolkids Bonus, $205 for primary school children and $410 for secondary school children, is paid in January and July. If you completed secondary school last year, received an education allowance and didn’t receive the Schoolkids Bonus in January, please contact DVA.
Ongoing assistance through the Household Assistance Package
Eligible members of the veteran and Defence communities will soon start to receive the Clean Energy Supplement as part of their regular payment. The first payments will be made in April 2013.
If you rely on essential medical equipment at home, an annual payment of $140 is also available to cover the additional costs of running essential medical equipment or medically-required heating and/or cooling that arise from the carbon price. To find out more about the Essential Medical Equipment Payment, visit the Household Assistance page on the DVA website.
Are you travelling to Gallipoli or France for Anzac Day in 2013?
It’s not too late to register online to receive helpful information and tips on what to expect, what to bring and other useful updates including important travel information on 25 April 2013.
The registration service is optional and people can still attend Anzac Day commemorations if they haven’t registered.
Remember, attending an Anzac Day Dawn Service in Gallipoli or France is a once-in-a-lifetime experience but it’s important to come prepared.
For more information on Anzac Day commemorations in Gallipoli or France, or to register for either service, visit the DVA website.
Men’s Health Peer Education: could you be a volunteer?
If you’re interested in becoming a Men’s Health Peer Education (MHPE) volunteer and would like to learn more about the program, visit the MHPE web page or phone 133 243 (1800 555 254 from regional Australia) and ask to speak to the MHPE Coordinator for your state or territory.
Visit the DVA Flickr page to see photos of the MHPE annual workshop held inAdelaide in November 2012.
A promising year ahead for DVA in social media
A wide range of DVA services, information and commemorative milestones were promoted through DVAAus on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr accounts last year, much to the interest of its followers.
DVA also registered record levels of interaction with its followers by posing questions, responding to questions and resolving queries.
The DVAAus audience is growing by the day, with the number of followers on Twitter having doubled and DVA’s Facebook users having tripled in the last 12 months.
In order to continue providing you with useful information, tell us what you’d like to see on DVA’s social media channels—send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Why not ‘like’ the DVA Facebook page or ‘follow’ DVA on Twitter now?
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VVCS – Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service
A free and confidential counselling service for Australian veterans, peacekeepers and their families. Visit the VVCS website or phone 1800 011 046.
Media releases are available on the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs website.