Monday, 11 May 2009

Released on behalf of Minister for Veterans' Affairs - Media Release VA033

An easier process for veterans and ex-service personnel to claim compensation and benefits is a step closer with a new trial commencing this month, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Alan Griffin, said today.

Mr Griffin said a new single claim process will make accessing compensation more straightforward for those veterans and ex-service personnel who may have entitlements under more than one Act administered by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

“Depending on their service, veterans and ex-service personnel may be entitled to benefits under three different Acts – the Veterans Entitlements Act 1986, the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004,” Mr Griffin said.

“To date, veterans wanting to claim under more than one Act needed to submit a separate claim form for each Act.

“The new process being trialled will see veterans lodge one single claim form for compensation and benefits available under any of these three Acts, cutting down the unnecessary paperwork for veterans.”

Mr Griffin said understanding which legislation relates to their claims can be confusing for veterans and ex-service personnel.

“The introduction of a single claim form will help reduce this confusion and is an important step forward in improving the overall claim process for veterans,” he said.

The new process will be trialled over the next two months in Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane, working with specific veteran advocacy centres located in these states.

“My Department is working closely with ex-service organisations and members of the veteran community to ensure the new process is effective in helping veterans access their rightful entitlements and easing the claims process. If successful, the single claim process will be expanded as soon as possible,” Mr Griffin said.

This trial complements other initiatives designed to improve the transition for members leaving service, particularly those who have to deal with multiple agencies.

Media inquiries: Sasha Nimmo 0437 863 109

The VVCS - Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 011 046.

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