Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > General > Commonwealth Ombudsman Report into DVA Claims Process

Commonwealth Ombudsman Report into DVA Claims Process

This is not a good document by the Commonwealth Ombudsman into the Department of Veterans' Affairs' communication with veterans making claims for compensation.
25 Jan 2022
Written by Ian Lindgren
General
The Wellbeing of Veterans and their Families
The Wellbeing of Veterans and their Families

We have just received the Commonwealth Ombudsman's Report into the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ communication with veterans making claims for compensation.   The report is available here

This is not a good document and is one of the reasons we have requested to address the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide late in the process.  It tells us that the DVA Claims Process is good but also recommends changes we know are required.  As the assessing the claims process we are perplexed as to how the Commonwealth Ombudsman can do this when it did not consider:

  • DVA’s compliance with policies and procedures,
  • how DVA makes decisions on whether to accept or deny claims,
  • veterans’ individual experiences of the claim process,
  • DVA’s communication with ex-service organisations or advocates,
  • DVA’s communications about claim types other than compensation for injuries or health conditions related to service, including compensation to dependents following a service-related death of a member.

Many of the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s observations do not represent the lived experiences of the majority of veterans and veteran families with DVA.   That being said, the Ombudsman’s recommendations below are generically sound and we will hold DVA accountable to them.  Concurrently we will support DVA in holding itself accountable by working with DVA as a team to benefit DVA, veterans, veteran families and the veteran community because we won’t get anywhere if we just focus on the negative.  We need to think positively and aim for a positive outcome.

Our newly established Issues and Research Team will now read this in detail so we can report on it here on the website.  

Our point of contact.  Ian Lindgren, Vice Chairman.  Email: ian.lindgren@peacekeepers.asn.au

The recommendations made in the report are:

RECOMMENDATION 1: PUBLISH TIMELINESS STANDARDS

We recommend DVA publish and update regularly, current average processing timeframes for claims under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 and Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related claims) Act 1988.

RECOMMENDATION 2: DIRECT VETERANS TO PUBLISHED TIMELINESS STANDARDS

We recommend DVA include in its acknowledgement letters to veterans, a statement advising that current average processing timeframes are published on its website.

RECOMMENDATION 3: REVIEW INFORMATION ON DVA WEBSITE

We recommend DVA introduce a policy requiring regular review of its webpage design and content about compensation claims to ensure information is published consistent with the Australian Government Digital Service Standards.

RECOMMENDATION 4: UPDATE INFORMATION REQUIRED IN ACKNOWLEDGMENT LETTERS

We recommend DVA update its Guidelines to include all information delegates should include in acknowledgement letters.

RECOMMENDATION 5: PUBLISH INFORMATION ABOUT GENERAL CLAIM PROCESS

We recommend DVA publish information that outlines the general steps involved in the claim process.

RECOMMENDATION 6: DEVELOP GUIDANCE TO ASSIST DECISION-MAKERS COMMUNICATING WITH VETERANS WITH UNALLOCATED CLAIMS

We recommend DVA develop guidance materials to assist its staff to communicate with veterans so they can identify and make decisions on claims that should be prioritised.

RECOMMENDATION 7: DEVELOP POLICY ABOUT FREQUENCY AND MODE OF CONTACT EXPECTED WITH VETERANS

We recommend DVA develop a policy to outline the frequency and mode of contact it requires delegates to have with veterans.

RECOMMENDATION 8: COMMUNICATE CONSEQUENCES OF NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION

We recommend DVA clearly outlines to veterans as early as possible, the potential consequences of not providing additional information.

Most read

We are looking for a veteran under 40 years of age to take an executive director position on the Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans' Assoc… More...

We need a young veteran capable of calling the shots More...

Today, we remember Lance Corporal Jason Marks, who lost his life serving his country, 14 years ago on 27 April 2008. More...

 
This website is powered by
ToucanTech