By Graeme Bland
The Covenant and Veterans’ card
The Australian Government recently passed the Australian Veterans’ Recognition Bill 2019 putting veterans and their families first. As an aside to this Bill the Government undertook to develop an Australian Defence Covenant (Covenant) which has now become legislation, recognising the unique nature of Military Service and to support Veterans and their families. As part of the recognition package a lapel pin, a copy of the Ode and the Covenant will be available to each and every veteran.
A veteran is now classed as any person who served one day’s continuous service in the Australian Defence Force.
There are two pins available, one being for Permanent Members and the other for Reservists. The pin assists the Australian public and business community, many of whom have signed up, to identify and assist veterans in recognition of their unique service to their country.
To eliminate mistakes in existing records, all veterans will need to register to receive a new Veterans Card, lapel pin, Ode and the Covenant. Application is made via DVA’s “MyService” portal or by calling DVA on 1800 838 372 or visiting your nearest DVA Office. Even if you currently hold a superseded DVA card you will need to register. So get to it!
When it comes to separation within a partnership, previously a de facto would miss out. On or after 20 September 2019 this situation has been revised and now, eligible de facto partners of veterans may be able to continue receiving the Partner Service Pension (PSP) from DVA for a further 12 months after separation.
Where the former partner has experienced domestic violence in the relationship they may be able to continue receiving the PSP indefinitely.
In all instances PSP eligibility ends when the former partner enters into a relationship with another person. For further information contact DVA on 1800 555 254.
A timely reminder that Open Arms, formerly the Vietnam Veterans Counselling Service, has extended its services to include all veterans and now their wives, partners and children.
This service may help families of veterans understand why their husbands/partners/fathers have changed in comparison to before they joined the Australian Defence Force.
All contact with Open Arms is confidential and sessions can include the whole family or may be individual. If in doubt, check it out.
Contact 1800 011 046 for an appointment, or simply to make an enquiry into how to receive help or improve the mental health and wellness of veterans and/ or their families.