Posted on 14 May 2021
Slater and Gordon is urging the Federal Government to fully commit to all funding within the budget’s forward estimates for the Department of Veterans Affairs, to make up for years of chronic underfunding.
Slater and Gordon National Military Compensation expert Brian Briggs has welcomed funding for Veterans’ families, wellbeing and support but warned it would not be a quick fix.
“The $164.6 million announced in additional resourcing for the Department of Veterans Affairs over two years for operations and claims processing, must support frontline services and directly benefit Veterans and their families. It must not get eaten up by administration and even more red-tape.
“They have only confirmed $118.3 million for the DVA in 2021-22 in the lead up to an election. Before the election, the Federal Government must commit to the funding in the forward estimates to continue to correct years of underfunding.
“While it’s a significant investment, this is a government playing catch-up.”
Mr Briggs said after multiple government inquiries, the dysfunctional issues sick and injured Veterans faced within the DVA were not new.
“The delays Veterans face with the DVA are continuing to have an enormous impact on their mental health, their recovery and their ability to move forward. There are already 33,000 claims waiting to be assigned. The funding is long overdue but unfortunately it won’t be a quick fix.
“We are happy to work closely with the DVA to ensure that any changes as a result of this year’s Budget initiatives directly benefit veterans and their families.”
Media Contact Anna Chisholm (03) 9602 8683/ 0437 801 093