Largest-ever Veterans’ Health Week
Veterans’ Health Week 2015 is set to be the largest yet, with more than 200 events to be staged around Australia.
From 10-18 October, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, ex-service groups and community organisations will come together to promote positive changes to live healthier, happier lives.
To find out what events are happening in your area, check the detailed listings of events at www.dva.gov.au/health-and-wellbeing/health-events/veterans-health-week-2015, call 133 254 or, for regional callers, 1800 555 254 or contact the VHW team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The theme for Veterans’ Health Week 2015 is mental wellness. DVA has a range of programmes and initiatives that promote the health and wellbeing of the veteran community, particularly mental health. These include: The Right Mix, to help you find the right balance of alcohol, diet and exercise for a healthy lifestyle; Operation Life Online, to help those at risk of suicide; and High Res, to help serving and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families manage stress and build resilience. You can find out more at www.at-ease.dva.gov.au/
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Recently a Blueprint was endorsed proposing an Advocacy, Training and Development Programme (ATDP) featuring:
- Improved DVA and ESO partnership arrangements;
- A Capability Management Framework which is the centrepiece of the learning and development programme. This includes clear training and development pathways and the application of accreditation and adult learning principles across the whole spectrum of the programme;
- A significant role for contracted expert assistance from a Registered Training Organisation; and
- A three-tiered governance structure representing the ESO community, Defence and DVA.
The vision of the ATDP is to train and develop selected practitioners to provide high quality advocacy services to current and former ADF members, and their dependants, covering rehabilitation, compensation, appeals and welfare.
A Working Party, made up of members from the ESO community (with nominees provided by the ESORT), TIP, Defence and DVA, including Brigadier Rolfe, held its initial meeting in March 2015 and from their deliberations the Blueprint for the ATDP was developed.
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Pensions and allowances rise
Veterans’ pensions were increased from 20 September 2015 following the latest round of indexation adjustments.
As pension rates are calculated on a daily basis, the pension paid on payday 1 October 2015 will be paid partly at the old rate and partly at the new rate. The first full payment at the new rates of pension will be payday 15 October 2015.
Increases apply to single and couples service pensions, disability pensions, Extreme Disablement Adjustment, General Rate of disability pension, war widow(er)s pension and benefits under MRCA.
The deeming rates and thresholds remain unchanged. The lower deeming rate is currently 1.75% and is applied to financial assets below $48,600 (single) or $80,600 (couple combined). The higher deeming rate is currently 3.25% and applies to financial assets in excess of those amounts.
The indexation factor used to index pensions each March and September can be based on either the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI) or Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE). For 20 September 2015, the CPI and PBLCI both produced a 0.8% increase over the six months.
More information on the new pension rates is available from DVA on 133 254 or from regional Australia free call 1800 555 254 or visit www.dva.gov.au