SERVICES FOR VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES
VETERANS and their families will have greater
access to essential services with Minister for
Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester introducing the
Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment
(Veteran-Centric Reforms No. 2) Bill 2018 (VCR
“The measures introduced today will continue to
ensure veterans and their families get the
services and support they need,” Mr Chester
“As a government we are determined to put
veterans and their families first.
“Mental health continues to be a big issue in
communities throughout the country and we
provide free mental health care to anyone who
has served for one day in the Australian Defence
Force. We will be establishing a new Veteran
Suicide Prevention Pilot to deliver intensive
and assertive management services to veterans
following an attempted suicide or to those at
significant risk of suicide.
“This pilot is about linking non-government and
government support services to support
vulnerable veterans’ and their families and will
be offered at nine public and private hospitals
“We want to encourage and support those studying
with a view to getting them back into the
workforce. This is why we will remove the
reduction in the amount of incapacity payment
which normally occurs after 45 weeks for those
undertaking approved full-time study as part of
their rehabilitation plan. This will mean
veterans can focus on their study without having
to worry about changes to their financial
The Bill will also enable the grandchildren of
Vietnam veterans to be eligible to receive
financial support to further their education
through the Long Tan Bursary Scheme.
“We will continue to honour the service and
sacrifice of the men and women who served our
county in Vietnam by extending this support to
their grandchildren,” Mr Chester said.
“Families who have suffered the tragic loss of a
partner and who are wholly dependent partners of
veterans will have two years to decide how to
receive the compensation in periodic payments or
as a lump sum, which is an increase from the
current six months.
“The loss of a loved one is life changing and an
incredible challenging time for any family, this
change will remove the pressure to make an
immediate decision so that they can make the
best choice for their needs.
“This legislation re-affirms the Turnbull
Government’s commitment to put veterans and
their families at the centre of everything that
Other measures in the Bill will include allowing
claims for compensation under the Military
Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004
(MRCA) to be made orally as well as in writing.
This Bill will allow for some of the measures
announced in the 2018-19 Budget to be
Whil Prendergast: 0427 672 815
DVA Media: 02 6289 6466
Office of the Hon. Darren Chester MP,
Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can
be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for
support and free and confidential counselling.
Phone 1800 011 046 (international:
+61 8 8241 4546). VVCS is a
service founded by Vietnam veterans.