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Purpose 1: Compensation and Support

Maintain and enhance the quality of life of clients by improving their financial wellbeing and self-sufficiency.

Performance criteria and results

Key activities and their performance criteria are listed below.

Program 1.1: Deliver income support and allowances

Income support provides a regular means-tested payment for eligible veterans and their dependants with limited means. While the veteran population is reducing in size, the activities undertaken within Program 1.1 are becoming more complex due to the increasing sophistication of clients' personal financial arrangements and circumstances, which are reviewed regularly. Refer to page 41 in this report for further information on this program.

No. Performance criteria1 Target1 2015–16
Actual
result
2016–17
Actual
result
Achieved
1.1.1 Timeliness: Mean time to process new claims (days) 32 23 28
1.1.2 Timeliness: Mean time to process pensioner initiated reviews (days) 14 22 21
1.1.3 Price: Cost per income support clients $269 $267 $313
1.1.4 Quality: Critical error rate for income support processing <5% 4.3% 2.9%
1.1.5 Measurement: The number of days within which 50% of cases will be processed (days) Claims: 30 n/a2 9
PIRs: 10 n/a2 7
1.1.6 Quality: Correctness rate2 >95% n/a2 97.1%

PIRs = pensioner initiated reviews

  1. Source: DVA Portfolio Budget Statements 2016–17, page 34. DVA Corporate Plan 2016–2020, page 17.
  2. New measure for 2016–17. The new measures have been established to be more representative of the activity undertaken.

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Program 1.2: Deliver disability support

Provides compensation in the form of disability pensions and ancillary benefits to clients for the tangible effects of war or defence service. Refer to page 45 in this report for further information on this program.

No. Performance criteria1 Target1 2015–16
Actual
result
2016–17
Actual
result
Achieved
1.2.1 Timeliness: Mean number of days to process a primary claim (days)2 75 72 72
1.2.2 Timeliness: Mean number of days to prepare a s. 31 review (days) 40 18 31
1.2.3 Price: Average cost per disability pensioner $449 $427 $486
1.2.4 Quality: Critical errors <5% 4.2% 4.0%
1.2.5 Measurement: The number of days within which 50% of claims will be finalised (days)3 100 n/a 59
1.2.6 Quality: Correctness rate3 >95% n/a 96.0%
  1. Source: DVA Portfolio Budget Statements 2016–17, page 35. DVA Corporate Plan 2016–2020, page 18.
  2. A 'primary claim' is a Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 compensation claim.
  3. New measure for 2016–17. The new measures have been established to be more representative of the activity undertaken.

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Program 1.3: Deliver assistance to widow(er)s and dependants

The war widow(er)'s pension is part of a compensation package made in recognition of the special circumstances to compensate the widowed partner of a veteran, where there was a connection between the veteran's death and service, and eligible children are provided with financial support. Refer to page 49 in this report for further information on this program.

No. Performance criteria1 Target1 2015–16
Actual
result
2016–17
Actual
result
Achieved
1.3.1 Timeliness: Mean number of days to process a primary claim (days) 75 49 47
1.3.2 Timeliness: Mean number of days to prepare a s. 31 review (days) 40 8 14
1.3.3 Price: Cost per war widow(er) pensioner $164 $157 $181
1.3.4 Quality: Critical errors <5% 8.6% 6.7%
1.3.5 Measurement: The number of days within which 50% of claims will be finalised (days)2 30 n/a 24
1.3.6 Quality: Correctness rate2 >95% n/a 93.3%
  1. Source: DVA Portfolio Budget Statements 2016–17, page 36. DVA Corporate Plan 2016–2020, page 18.
  2. New measure for 2016–17. The new measures have been established to be more representative of the activity undertaken.

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Program 1.4: Deliver other compensation

Delivers other allowances and assistance to clients under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) and related legislation including home support loans, funeral benefits, prisoner of war ex gratia payments and payments on behalf of Commonwealth and allied countries. Assistance is also provided to the ex-service community via Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) grants and the Training and Information Program (TIP). Refer to page 50 in this report for further information on this program.

No. Performance criteria1 Target1 2015–16
Actual
result
2016–17
Actual
result
Achieved
Funeral benefits
1.4.1 Timeliness: Mean time to process funeral benefits claims (days) 10 8 7
1.4.2 Quality: Critical errors <5% 1.5% 0.8%
Defence Home Loans
1.4.3 Timeliness: Mean time to process subsidy (days) 18 5 4
1.4.4 Quality: Critical errors <5% 0.0% 0.0%
Funeral benefits
1.4.5 Measurement: The number of days within which 50% of claims will be processed (days)2 10 n/a 1
1.4.6 Quality: Correctness rate2 >95% n/a 99.2%
Defence Home Loans
1.4.7 Measurement: The number of days within which 50% of claims will be finalised (days)2 18 n/a 2
1.4.8 Quality: Correctness rate2 >95% n/a 100.0%
  1. Source: DVA Portfolio Budget Statements 2016–17, page 37. DVA Corporate Plan 2016–2020, page 19.
  2. New measure for 2016–17. The new measures have been established to be more representative of the activity undertaken.

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Program 1.5: Deliver the children's education scheme

Under the Veterans' Children Education Scheme and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme, education allowances are paid to eligible children of ADF members who have died or been severely injured as a result of service. The schemes also provide for special financial assistance, student support services, guidance and counselling for eligible students undertaking primary, secondary and tertiary full-time study within Australia. Refer to page 57 in this report for further information on this program.

No. Performance criteria1 Target1 2015–16
Actual
result
2016–17
Actual
result
Achieved
1.5.1 Quality: Critical errors <5% 8.5% 1.9%
1.5.2 Measurement: The number of days within which 50% of claims will be finalised (days)2 28 n/a 9
1.5.3 Quality: Correctness rate2 >95% n/a 98.1%
1.5.4 Quality: (Client satisfaction): Percentage of responses to the annual Education Schemes Satisfaction Survey indicating that clients thought the support provided helped the student reach their academic potential2 >75% n/a 85.2%
1.5.5 Quality (Achieving the Schemes' Outcomes): Percentage of the Education Schemes' clients progressing through each level of their education or career training2 >85% n/a 99.0%
  1. Source: DVA Portfolio Budget Statements 2016–17, page 38. DVA Corporate Plan 2016–2020, page 19.
  2. New measure for 2016–17. The new measures have been established to be more representative of the activity undertaken.

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Program 1.6: Deliver income support and compensation under MRCA and SRCA

Provides compensation to clients under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA), the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) and related legislation. The SRCA (and MRCA for injuries since 1 July 2004) provides coverage for injured ADF members to support their return to health, work and independence. There is also compensation for eligible dependants, and MRCA health care and other ancillary benefits. Refer to page 58 in this report for further information on this program.

No. Performance criteria1 Target1 2015–16
Actual
result
2016–17
Actual
result
Achieved
1.6.1 Quality: Critical errors under SRCA <5% 6.8% 12.9%
1.6.2 Timeliness: Mean number of days to determine a liability under SRCA (days) 120 118 110
1.6.3 Quality: Critical errors under MRCA <5% 6.9% 8.7%
1.6.4 Timeliness: Mean number of days to determine a liability under MRCA (days) 120 117 107
1.6.5 Measurement: The number of days within which 50% of claims will be finalised (days)2—MRCA liability claims
  • SRCA liability claims
  • MRCA permanent impairment claims
  • SRCA permanent impairment claims
  • MRCA incapacity claims
  • SRCA incapacity claims
  •  

100
100
100
100
50
50

n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
93
88
152
137
49
57





1.6.6 Quality: Correctness rate2—All MRCA claims
  • All SRCA claims
>95%
>95%
n/a
n/a
91.3%
87.1%

MRCA = Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004, SRCA = Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988

  1. Source: DVA Portfolio Budget Statements 2016–17, page 39. DVA Corporate Plan 2016–2020, page 20.
  2. New measure for 2016–17. The new measures have been established to be more representative of the activity undertaken.

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Performance overview for Purpose 1

Timeliness

While DVA's client population is reducing in size, many activities undertaken within Compensation and Support program areas are becoming more administratively complicated, due to the increasing complexity of clients' circumstances.

In 2016–17, the Department continued its concerted effort to improve claims processing times, this is evidenced by the achievement of timeliness standards in relation to claims processing across Purpose 1 program areas.

The median time taken to process income support claims in 2016–17 was nine days which is below the target of 30 days (Program 1.1). This result continues to be supported by the electronic link between DVA and the Department of Defence, which greatly improved the processing times for qualifying service claims. Future digital reforms will further reduce administrative burdens, improve processing times and change the way we do business and interact with our clients.

All Defence Home Loans subsidies (Program 1.4) were processed well within the target of 18 days. This is an indication that clients are receiving an excellent level of service, which is reflected in that there were no complaints received in regard to processing. Half of the requests received were finalised within two days, which greatly assists the clients in proceeding with their housing needs.

Over the last two years, strategies have been in place to improve the timeliness of compensation claims processing: reducing work on hand; improving client communication and engagement; improving case management practices; and reviewing and improving business processes (programs 1.2, 1.3 and 1.6).

Under the Improving Processing Systems Program, DVA is building a single rehabilitation and compensation (R&C) processing system. This system will include the processing of all compensation claims and is expected to improve the timeliness of claims processing.

The Government is also investing $166.6 million in 2017–18 for its Veteran Centric Reform program. This program will transform DVA into a 21st century department with a 21st century service culture. This includes a significant investment in upgrading DVA's computer systems and processes.

One area where DVA did not meet its target was the processing time for permanent impairment claims. The median time taken to process permanent impairment claims in 2016–17 was 137 days under the SRCA and 152 days under the MRCA, against a target of 100 days. Strategies are in place to reduce the permanent impairment claims on hand. These impacted on the time taken to process as the older cases are being finalised (Program 1.6).

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Quality

DVA is working to improve on quality targets in the Purpose 1 program areas by reinforcing policy and procedures and refining and improving staff training. Under the Improving Processing Systems Program, DVA is building a single R&C processing system. This system will include the processing of all compensation claims and is expected to improve the quality of transactions (programs 1.2, 1.3 and 1.6).

The quality targets for Program 1.1 and Program 1.4 have been achieved. Low error rates have been maintained throughout the year. No critical errors occurred in 2016–17 for Defence Service Homes loans, which is reflective of a well-administered scheme, ensuring clients receive the highest standard of service. Clients can rest assured that they are receiving their correct entitlements under the Defence Service Homes loans scheme.

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Costs

Investment in upgrading DVA's computer systems and processes during 2016–17 has been attributed across the Department's programs. This investment is reflected in the changing cost per beneficiary (programs 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3).

Summary

While there is always room for continuous improvement, significant improvements have been achieved in relation to Purpose 1 performance areas. In particular, improving the timeliness of claims processing continues to be a key strategy in the Department's ongoing commitment to our clients to ensure more efficient service. Improved business practices will enable efficiencies to be gained in delivery of services, and the continued focus on meeting quality performance measures will confirm that clients are receiving the benefits and services to which they are entitled.

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