TGB Military Compensation lawyer, Tim White, says the psychological impact of war on veterans deserves greater recognition from the Commonwealth government.
Mr White represents many South Australian former defence force members who have been diagnosed with illnesses such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depressive disorders, anxiety and alcohol dependence, and said the link between mental health issues and war is regularly disputed.
“We assist many veterans after their pension claims for psychological injury have been rejected by the Department of Veterans Affairs,” Mr White said.
“More often than not our argument that the psychological condition is war caused, or at the very least has been made clinically worse due to their time on operational service, is contested.
“We have succeeded in most of these cases at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal but the fact that whole ordeal is dragged out in a trial, where the veteran is forced to re-live their war experiences all over again, certainly adds to the enormous amount of stress that they are already trying to manage.”
The legal process is not the only factor causing delays. Mr White said many veterans struggle to cope with their illnesses for years, undiagnosed.
“This has been an enormous issue,” he said.
“Veterans aren’t made aware of the link between war and psychological illness, and this impacts on not only their own health but also their relationships with others and the world around them.”
Sadly, this often comes to the surface on ANZAC Day.
“We represent some veterans who are unable to march in the parades because of their psychological conditions.
“ANZAC Day often brings back too many bad memories, and the large crowds can also be confronting for them.
“Hopefully the government can recognise how serious the veterans’ mental health issue really is, and more support can be given to these people who courageously served our country.”
TGB pays tribute to the many South Australian defence force members who served or continue to serve their country.
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Get in Touch!
To discuss anything in this article, or if you believe you may be eligible for military compensation and would like help with your compensation claim, please contact TGB partner Tim White. Tim is a member of the Royal Australian Airforce Reserves, and specialises in military compensation claims.
Tim and his team advise Defence Force members and veterans across Australia on their entitlement to military compensation.