Service standards for claims advocacy

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Find out about the new service standards and how to meet them.

The 2021-22 Federal Budget included $4.7 million over 4 years to support veterans’ advocacy services. As part of this work, the government is improving the Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) grants program by setting service standards for claims advocacy.

The new standards will help make sure veterans and families receive high quality claims advocacy services. The standards support the work of the Advocacy Training and Development Program (ATDP) and reflect the existing expectations of BEST grant recipients.

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What this means for veterans and families

The standards set a minimum standard for ESOs who offer claims advocacy services. When ESOs meet the standards, veterans and families can be confident that:

  • the quality of claims advocacy services provided by ESOs is high quality and is nationally consistent
  • BEST funding is going to organisations that provide high quality services (benefiting veterans and families) and that those organisations help DVA to process claims efficiently (by providing valid and complete claims from advocates).
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What this means for ESOs and advocates

The guidelines for the BEST program have been updated to include the new service standards and all successful ESO recipients of a BEST grant must meet them.

ESOs and advocates who are not BEST grant recipients are encouraged to voluntarily adopt the standards to make sure veterans receive consistent and high quality claims advocacy advice and services.

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The service standards for claims advocacy

There are 4 service standards for claims advocacy:

  1. Responsiveness of claims advocacy services
  2. Reliability and accuracy of claims advocacy services
  3. Ease and safety of access of claims advocacy services
  4. Management of claims advocacy services

You can also download the service standards for claims advocacy poster.

Standard 1. Responsiveness of claims advocacy services

Veteran and families are able to access claims advocacy services quickly and the advocacy process and timeframes are transparent.

Standard 1. Responsiveness of claims advocacy services
1 Standard
1.1 The ESO is able to assist veterans and families with claims advocacy assistance within a reasonable timeframe of initial request.
1.2 The ESO will also assess the wellbeing needs of the veteran/their family at the initial request for claims advocacy assistance.
1.3 The ESO keeps veterans and families informed throughout the claims advocacy process.

Standard 2. Reliability and accuracy of claims advocacy services

Veterans and families receives a high standard of claims advocacy advice and assistance to access services and support from DVA.

Standard 2. Reliability and accuracy of claims advocacy services
2 Standard
2.1 The ESO providing claims advocacy services ensures advocates are suitably trained and qualified.
2.2 The ESO submits claims on behalf of veterans and families (or assists) that are of a high standard (valid and complete).
2.3 The ESO submits claims electronically.

Standard 3. Ease and safety of access of claims advocacy services

Claims advocacy services are accessible to veterans and their families and safe for them and the ESO advocate.

Standard 3. Ease and safety of access to claims advocacy services
3 Standard
3.1 The ESO is able to offer claims advocacy services to veterans and families across a range of channels and regardless of location.
3.2 While accessing claims advocacy assistance veterans and families are physically and mentally safe.
3.3 While providing claims advocacy assistance the advocate is physically and mentally safe. This includes the ESO setting and communicating expectations of the advocate role.

Standard 4. Management of claims advocacy services

ESO claims advocacy services are managed effectively and efficiently, and veterans and families are supported by well-managed ESOs who are continuing to learn and improve.

Standard 4. Management of claims advocacy services
4 Standard
4.1 ESOs have good record keeping-practices that includes recording claims advocacy case notes and numbers of claims/clients assisted.
4.2 The ESO has professional indemnity insurance.
4.3 Advocates have the following checks and registrations (if applicable):
  • Working with Children
  • Working with Vulnerable People.
4.4 The ESO participants in, and supports advocates with, continuing professional development.
4.5 Veterans and families are able to provide feedback or make a complaint with the ESO about the service they received. The ESO will take reasonable action to resolve a complaint.
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