ADF compensation

Ed, This Government is committed to supporting current and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) who may have been physically or sexually abused. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) has introduced measures to make it easier for those affected to access compensation and to receive the mental health support they need. The Department has broadened the acceptance of statutory declarations as part of compensation claims, making it possible for such declarations to constitute sufficient evidence to establish that abuse took place. This change will benefit those who may not have reported abuse at the time it occurred, or who have never previously spoken about it. A dedicated team has also been established to manage all new claims relating to sexual and physical abuse. Treatment for all mental health conditions is now free for anyone who has served just one day in the full-time ADF. The Veterans and Veterans’ Families Counselling Service also provides specialist free counselling and group programs. This service is available by phoning 1800 011 046, or via their website: www.vvcs.gov.au. I encourage anyone who may have suffered abuse in the ADF to contact DVA to access the support and benefits the Department provides. Further information can be found on DVA’s website or by calling 1800 555 254. Dan Tehan, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs