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Factsheet MRC52 – Family Support Package for Veterans and their Families

Purpose

This Factsheet explains the services that might be available to you if you are eligible for the Family Support Package under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA). 

What is the Family Support Package?

The Family Support Package for MRCA veterans and their families, has been developed to address recommendations from the Senate Inquiry into Suicide by Veterans and Ex-Service Personnel, The Constant Battle: Suicide by Veterans.

The package will provide MRCA veterans:

  • child care support in specific circumstances; and
  • counselling support for family members.

This support is targeted to assist MRCA veteran’s participating in a rehabilitation program and reflects the key role a veteran’s family plays in supporting the veteran to achieve their rehabilitation goals.

Assistance is also available to widowed partners and spouses under this package. For more information, please see DVA Factsheet MRC53.

Child care

Who can access child care funding?

To be considered for child care funding, you will:

  • have undertaken ‘Warlike Service’ on or after 1 July 2004; and
  • be actively participating in a DVA Rehabilitation Program under MRCA;
  • be eligible for, or be in receipt of incapacity payments; and
  • have an identified need for the additional support.

For child care support, you will also need to have been assessed for eligibility of Commonwealth child care requirements and your child/ren meet the immunisation requirements for Commonwealth child care entitlements.

What about Commonwealth child care entitlements?

Child care funding under the Family Support Package is provided to complement, not replace or duplicate existing Commonwealth child care entitlements. Any child care funding provided by DVA is to cover the gap in fees after Commonwealth child care entitlements have been applied. In the event that the family income makes them ineligible for Commonwealth child care support, DVA will fund the fees owing. Coverage of this gap (partial or full fees) will be available up until the DVA child care funding has been exhausted.

Who can provide the child care?

Commonwealth approved child care providers can be used. Commonwealth approved providers can be found on Australia’s online child care portal: www.mychild.gov.au

Care cannot be provided through informal arrangements, such as care provided by family members or friends.

How do I seek assistance with child care funding?

You must be participating in a DVA approved Rehabilitation Program and have an identified and justified requirement for child care services to help you achieve your rehabilitation goals. Discuss your needs with your DVA Rehabilitation Provider. They will work with you and complete the required assessment form. 

Counselling Support

Who can access counselling?

For your family to access the counselling support, you must:

  • have undertaken ‘Warlike Service’ on or after 1 July 2004;
  • be actively participating in a DVA Rehabilitation Program under MRCA;
  • be eligible for, or be in receipt of incapacity payments; and
  • your family has an identified need for counselling support, to help you to achieve your rehabilitation goals.

Counselling is intended to provide your family members with assistance to manage challenging life circumstances that military service may have contributed to.

Family members who can access counselling include your children, partner, parents, siblings and grandparents.

What counselling support is available?

The support provided is in addition to any services offered by Open Arms - Veterans & Families Counselling. The types of counselling could include:

  • resilience training grief and loss counselling
  • drug and alcohol counselling
  • personal and relationship counselling
  • parenting skills and support counselling
  • Mental Health First Aid Training
  • financial counselling and financial management support
  • counselling for gambling

Who can provide the counselling? 

The counselling services need to be provided by a professional with the appropriate qualifications, and where applicable, membership with a professional or industry body.

How do I access counselling support?

You must be participating in a DVA-approved Rehabilitation Program and your family have an identified need for counselling support to help you achieve your rehabilitation goals. Discuss your needs with your DVA Rehabilitation Provider. They will work with you and complete the required assessment form.

How many counselling services can your family have?

Your family can be provided with up to four counselling sessions a year for five years, commencing the date of the first counselling session while you continue to participate in your rehabilitation program. This means that over the course of a five year rehabilitation program, your family can access up to 20 counselling sessions. 

Immediate assistance

Immediate counselling assistance can also be provided by Open Arms - Veterans & Families Counselling, which provides a free and confidential 24 hour counselling service for eligible veterans and their families on 1800 011 046.

More Information

DVA General Enquiries

Phone: 1800 555 254 *

Email: GeneralEnquiries@dva.gov.au

DVA Website: www.dva.gov.au

Factsheet Website: www.dva.gov.au/factsheets

* Calls from mobile phones and pay phones may incur additional charges.

For specific questions about the Family Support Package

Email: REHAB@dva.gov.au

Related Factsheets

Disclaimer

The information contained in this Factsheet is general in nature and does not take into account individual circumstances. You should not make important decisions, such as those that affect your financial or lifestyle position on the basis of information contained in this Factsheet. Where you are required to lodge a written claim for a benefit, you must take full responsibility for your decisions prior to the written claim being determined. You should seek confirmation in writing of any oral advice you receive from DVA.
 

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14 September 2018