What is an advocate?

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Learn about advocates and where to find them.

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Where to find an advocate

You can use the Advocacy Register to find an advocacy service in your area.

Find an advocate now

The Advocacy Register will give you a list of ex-service organisations (ESOs) with their address, contact details and services, such as the level of qualified advocates they have. The Advocacy Register does not list individual advocates.

Then, choose an ESO from the list and contact them to find out how their advocates can help you. All of the ESOs listed will try to assist you, even if you do not meet the requirements to become a member of that particular ESO.

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What is an advocate

Trained advocates are people who have undertaken nationally recognised training to assist you in accessing compensation and wellbeing services. These advocates have completed Units of Competency from the ‘Course in Military Advocacy’ through the Advocacy Training and Development Program (ATDP).

They are generally volunteers and work for one or more ESOs. They may be members of the veteran community such as veterans and partners of veterans. They are not DVA staff members.

ATDP trained advocates are covered by professional indemnity insurance. Professional indemnity insurance protects you.

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How advocates can help

Advocates can help you prepare and lodge:

  • claims using MyService or our paper forms
  • requests for a review of our decisions
  • appeals to the Veterans' Review Board (VRB) and Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

They can also represent you at VRB and AAT hearings.

Advocates can help you access information and referrals for services such as:

  • health and treatment
  • rehabilitation
  • housing
  • transport
  • support for transitioning to civilian life
  • medical, financial, legal and police matters
  • funeral arrangements and bereavement assistance.

If you need extra support, they can put you in touch with other government and community services.

You can expect quality advice and services from ATDP trained advocates. This is because they follow the claims advocacy service standards.

ATDP training is only available to advocates who work with ESOs that do not charge a fee for providing wellbeing and compensation advocacy services to veterans and their families. They may ask you to pay a small amount to cover incidental costs.

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How veterans' advocacy is supported

We fund and work with ESOs to deliver training for advocates under the ATDP.

We also provide financial support to ESOs under the Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) grants program.

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What other ways to get help

A friend or relative may be able to help you with your claims.

You may also consult a legal professional, although you would need to pay for their services.

Additionally, there are some small businesses that offer advocacy services for a fee. You will need to check that these advocates are adequately trained and hold professional indemnity insurance before you go ahead.

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