The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) has broadened
the use of statutory declarations as evidence in
compensation claims for incidence of sexual and or
In the absence of contradictory evidence, DVA delegates will accept a
credible statutory declaration to establish the fact of
abuse in claims related to incidents of physical or
sexual abuse of children under 18 at the time of the
abuse, when that abuse occurred before 11 April 2011.
In all claims relating to sexual and physical abuse,
it is open to delegates to accept a credible statutory
declaration as sufficient to establish the fact of
abuse, taking into account all the particular
circumstance of the case and all available evidence.
A statutory declaration is not the only means to
establish the fact of abuse.
The change in guidance is in response to issues
raised at the public hearings of the Royal Commission
into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan said DVA had
earlier established a dedicated team to manage all new
claims relating to sexual and other forms of abuse and
all claims would be managed with sensitivity.
“Current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF)
members who may be distressed by the Royal Commission
are encouraged to contact the Veterans and Veterans
Families Counselling Service (VVCS) for immediate
support,” Mr Tehan said.
“Anyone who has served full-time in the ADF can get
free treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder,
depression, anxiety and alcohol and substance use
disorders without having to prove the condition is
related to service.
“This treatment is separate from any claim for
VVCS provides immediate free and confidential
counselling service for veterans and their families 24/7
on 1800 011 046.
Any survivor of sexual abuse in the ADF can lodge a
claim for compensation with DVA.
To apply for compensation, call 133 254 (or 1800 555
254 for regional callers).