DVA services during the holiday season
DVA will continue to provide support to veterans and their families during the holiday season. However, please be aware that some services will be impacted from Christmas Day to New Year’s Day inclusive.
Counselling, mental health support and crisis accommodation
The Open Arms — Veterans & Families Counselling line is available to support members of the current and ex-service community and their families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Phone 1800 011 046 (toll-free from landlines and most mobiles).
The Safe Zone Support is an anonymous counselling line available 24/7 to support members of the current and ex-service community and their families. Phone 1800 142 072 (toll-free from landlines and most mobiles).
If you require urgent assistance, please call 000. If you are unwell, please contact your local doctor or go to your nearest hospital.
For further mental health information and support, visit openarms.gov.au where you will also find a range of calming and coping strategies.
Transport bookings for medical treatment
DVA staff will be available to process transport requests for medical treatment on 29, 30 and 31 December. Please call 1800 550 455.
The service will be closed on 25, 26, 27 and 28 December and 1 January. If transport is required on these days and has not been pre-booked, you can pay for the travel and seek reimbursement when we reopen. Or, if you are an existing MyAccount or MyService user, you can make new transport bookings and review existing ones online.
For travel in an emergency, always dial 000.
Defence Service Homes Insurance
For enquiries, or help with a policy or claim, phone 1300 552 662 — 24 hours 7 days a week.
For payments, phone 1300 304 989 for the cost of a local call.
Doctors can admit DVA patients into hospital over the holiday period and request retrospective approval for the admission, where required, when DVA resumes full services.
There will be no reduction in services across the Christmas/New Year period. Providers seeking prior approval for pharmaceuticals can call the Veterans’ Affairs Pharmaceutical Advisory Centre (VAPAC) 24 hours a day on 1800 552 580.
Pension payments due to be paid on Thursday 17 December 2020 and Thursday 31 December 2020 are not affected over this period. Therefore, the first pension pay day of the New Year will be Thursday 14 January 2021.
Incapacity payments will be paid on Thursday, 24 December. Therefore, the first incapacity pay day of the New Year will be Thursday, 7 January 2021.
However, because of differing arrangements by various banks during the holiday period, which are beyond DVA’s control, the precise day of the week you receive this payment may differ from usual. You may wish to make arrangements to ensure you have enough funds to cover any direct deposit payments.
VAN offices, General Enquiries and Open Arms centres
As usual, DVA offices and shopfronts, and general enquiry services, will be closed for the Christmas / New Year period from 25 December 2020 through to 3 January 2021.
DVA’s Veterans’ Access Network (VAN) shopfronts (see article Connecting with DVA); DVA’s General Enquiries phone line and email services; and Open Arms — Veterans & Families Counselling centres and booked interview service re-open Monday, 4 January 2021.
Please remember, the Open Arms — Veterans & Families Counselling line is available to support members of the current and ex-service community and their families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Phone 1800 011 046 (toll-free from landlines and most mobiles).
Open Arms also offers a range of calming and coping strategies on their website.