Debunking the myths

Answers to some commonly misunderstood questions about DVA and the claims process.

Veteran – I’m not a veteran – I’m still in uniform

A veteran is a current or former member of the ADF who has been on operational service. You don’t have to be 'old' or discharged from the ADF to be a veteran or get assistance from DVA.

DVA only supports veterans

DVA can also provide support to ADF members who are injured as part of non-operational service so it is not necessary to have been on operational service to still be eligible for support.

DVA is only for people who have discharged from ADF

DVA is not just for people who have discharged from the ADF. DVA may be able to provide a range of services and benefits while you are still serving (and after discharge) if you have an injury or medical condition that has been contributed by your operational or peacetime military service.

It will cost me to have a representative to help me put in my claim

Ex-service organisations do not charge for their services; however, they may ask for a small fee to cover photocopying expenses. If you engage a legal representative you should ask about fees.

I can’t get to a DVA office

Phone DVA on 133 254 and you will be put in touch with a DVA office or your local On Base Advisor. You can find out the location of your nearest office or ask when a DVA representative or On Base Advisor might be visiting your area.

It’s obvious that my military service caused my condition – I was fit before I enlisted and now I am suffering with X. So my service caused X.

In order to determine that your condition is service-related, DVA is required by legislation to obtain supporting evidence from the Department of Defence.  Additional medical information may also be required.

It took 3 years for my claim to be finalised and the Service Charter states that claims will be finalised in 120 days

Whilst some claims will take longer than others to finalise, it is possible that after the initial liability was accepted it was necessary for the impairment from your condition to stabilise before any compensation could be paid. Alternatively, if your first claim for liability was rejected and you asked for a review, then our Service Charter starts the clock again when the appeal is lodged.

I got back a letter saying that liability had been accepted, but I didn’t get any money.

After it has been accepted that your military service contributed to your condition, DVA then needs to establish what available benefits you may be entitled to. If you did not indicate on your claim form what benefits you are seeking, you should speak to the DVA On Base Advisor or contact a DVA office to discuss your possible entitlements. Your entitlements can change based on your circumstances and you should request DVA to review your entitlements should your circumstances change.