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A plan for veteran centric reform

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The service and sacrifice of our veterans resonates deeply in the Australian community. That gratitude creates a strong but simple expectation – that the community will look after veterans and their families long after their service ends.

Caring for veterans and their families is the proud duty of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA). The Department exists for the entire veteran community, which includes anyone who has served or is serving, and their families. Its goal is to provide support, when needed, to ensure veterans can lead healthy and productive lives. Some just want to know they can rely on DVA if they ever need it. For others who are suffering with acute issues, its support is critical and urgent. 

DVA’s staff are passionate and dedicated. But they recognise that the Department’s complex systems and outdated manual processes have been getting in the way. The hard truth is that some veterans have been suffering unnecessarily because of how DVA operates. The Australian Government is investing in a program of Veteran Centric Reform to energise and accelerate the transformation of DVA. This transformation will improve the way DVA supports the veterans who have served our country, helping the Department to know, support, connect and respect.  

Transformation will ensure there are dramatic improvements in the way DVA connects with veterans. At the moment, the Department does not know most veterans and relies on veterans reaching out to it. In many cases, seeing the whole picture of a veteran and their family’s circumstances requires staff to request paper files from a warehouse, and look at eight computer systems. 

The reform process will allow DVA to provide a seamless transition experience. The Department will aim to know about everyone who is serving and to use sophisticated analytics to connect them to the services they’re most likely to need based on their unique history and circumstances. In some cases, this will allow DVA to completely bypass the complexity of legacy systems, so that veterans and their families need only tell us things once. 

Those who need help will get it quicker. At the moment DVA often finds out about veterans and families in need too late. Challenges that could have been managed early become chronic issues, leading to long periods in rehabilitation and treatment.

The Department’s transformation will seek to drive early and proactive interventions as the new norm. DVA will work with veterans, their families and the community to better identify the causes of long-term issues. It will design support programs that prevent and reduce the length of time veterans and their families have to undergo treatment.

Improved systems and processes will make access easy through any channel. At the moment this can be hard. There’s no fast or easy way to get help. There are an array of different phone lines that confuse veterans and their families, and online support systems are not designed clearly or simply. To make a claim, veterans need to spend hours answering around 40 questions in a hard copy form, then wait months for an answer. 

As part of the reform process, DVA will work to provide veterans and veteran families with a range of simple channels to contact the Department. They don’t always have to make a claim to get assistance, but if they do so post-transformation, simple claims will take less than ten minutes to complete online, and they’ll usually get an answer within a matter of days. 

While most ADF members will transition into civilian life successfully, the DVA transformation will ensure the Department has the modern processes and capability required to serve those veterans and their families who need it most. 

See our centrespread poster setting out DVA’s transformation vision timeline (PDF 214 KB).

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