A new payment will help Defence veterans battling mental health issues while waiting for their compensation claim to be assessed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Last week the federal government passed the Veterans’ Affairs Reform Bill, creating the new payment, as well as opening up training and counseling opportunities for at-risk veterans.
The package also includes a new program to help veterans living in rural, regional and remote areas who show signs of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, from 2001 to 2014 a total of 292 defence servicemen and women tragically took their lives. It should be noted this number only takes into account personnel who joined from 2001. Meanwhile, the suicide rate for former Australian defence servicemen aged 18-24 is almost double the national rate.
Meanwhile, the DVA has so far accepted 1590 PTSD claims and 543 alcohol dependence abuse claims from veterans of the Afghan conflict.
TGB Lawyers partner Tim White welcomed the new package but warned more still needed to be done.
“This is another much-needed, appreciated piece in the military compensation puzzle,” Mr White said.
“In my 20 years helping Defence men and women get compensation the number of mental health claims has only gone up. We welcome this extra support but, sadly there is always more support required.”
If you, or anyone you know, needs help contact:
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
- MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
- Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
- Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36
- Headspace on 1800 650 890
If you need help with your claim, register here or contact TGB partner Tim White on (08) 8212 1077 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Tim is an expert in military claims and a Legal Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force Reserves. Please note TGB can assist current and former ADF members Australia-wide.