Home' Vetaffairs : Autumn 2016 Contents 12 — Vetaffairs Autumn 2016
Getting the right decision
when you claim
Veterans frequently comment
about the outcome of appeals.
Why is it that some compensa-
tion claims are successful at
appeal but not at the primary
DVA is committed to pro-
viding a high quality, client
focused, responsive and con-
nected service. To help identify
ways that we can do things bet-
ter, DVA undertakes detailed
analysis of all cases where the
primary decision is changed by
either an internal DVA review,
the Veterans’ Review Board
(VRB) or the Administrative
Appeals Tribunal (AAT).
Our analysis has consistently
shown that only a small per-
centage of matters determined
by DVA are changed on appeal.
This shows that DVA is getting
the vast majority of decisions
right at the primary level.
Usually it is new evidence
being lodged that most often
results in a different decision
being made upon appeal.
Amongst other things, this
new evidence includes medical
reports and further informa-
tion to support the applicant’s
Knowing this, applicants for
DVA benefits can – with the
help of their advocates – make
the claims process quicker and
more satisfactory by taking
care to ensure that all relevant
information and evidence
is provided with their initial
claim. The better a DVA claims
assessor understands the con-
ditions of your service and the
effects of any related health
conditions, the more likely it is
that the right decision will be
made at the primary level and
in a timely manner.
As well as providing as much
information and evidence
as possible to help DVA link
each claimed injury or disease
to service, making good use
of resources available on the
DVA website at www.dva.gov.au
(including MyAccount, the
Entitlement Self Assessment
Tool and the DVA Rehabilita-
tion and Compensation Claim
Information Sheet) can also
assist in making the claims
process easier for you.
Where can I find out about
DVA issues the Pensioner Concession Card and
the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card to eli-
The Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) is
issued to service pensioners, social security age
pensioners (paid by DVA) and war widows and
widowers who receive the income support sup-
plement. The PCC entitles holders to a range of
concessions including prescription pharmaceu-
ticals at the concession rate; free hearing aids (a
maintenance and service fee applies); reduced
transport fares; discount rail travel, including
limited free travel in some states; council and
water board rebates (subject to local authori-
ties’ regulations); discounted car registration
and driving licences (subject to local authori-
ties’ regulations); and the Medicare Safety Net
The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
(CSHC) is issued to eligible veterans, partners,
war widows and widowers who are of pension
age or qualifying age and who fail to qualify
for an income support pension from DVA or a
pension or benefit from Centrelink due to the
excess income and/or assets. There is a separate
income test for the CSHC. The CSHC entitles the
holder to pharmaceuticals at a concessional rate
through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme;
concessions from state and local government
authorities (these may vary from state to state);
and the Medicare Safety net threshold.
For more information regarding Concession
Cards the following DVA factsheets which are
available on the DVA website at www.dva.gov.
au/factsheets may be useful:
Is125 Pensioner Concession Card; and
Is126 Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
DVA clients may also be entitled to a range
of concessions provided by state and territory
governments. It is important to remember that
DVA does not determine the eligibility criteria
or nature of these concessions.
Individual state and territories administer a
range of concessions which aim to improve the
affordability of essential services. Services may
include concessions for utilities, energy, medi-
cal appliances and public transport.
Concessions offered for the same product or
service may vary between states and territories.
For example, a common eligibility requirement
for a public transport concessions is for the
person to be a resident of the state or territory
providing the concession. As a result, conces-
sions provided to interstate residents while
travelling in another state are at the discretion
of the concession provider and may be refused.
DVA recommends that clients check their
relevant state or territory factsheets at:
Otherwise you can visit the individual state or
territory websites through:
Mansfield, Ian: Stepping Into a Minefield:
A life dedicated to landmine clearance around
Ian Mansfield was serving in the Australian Army when he was
selected to command a team of Australian combat engineers to go
to Pakistan to train Afghan refugees in mine-clearance procedures.
With millions of refugees expected to return to Afghanistan, the
United Nations saw a humanitarian crisis looming and requested
help from Western countries to tackle the landmine problem. In
September 1991, Ian, along with his wife and two young children,
left Australia on a one-year assignment ... and didn’t return home
for 20 years.
This highly personal account recalls Ian’s pioneering efforts to
set up a civilian program in Afghanistan to clear landmines for
humanitarian purposes, and then his decision to leave the Aus-
tralian Army and join the United Nations. He continued to work
in the mine-action sector, setting up programs in Laos and Bosnia,
and then working at the policy level at the United Nations head-
quarters in New York.
Stepping into a Minefield highlights the dangers and the tragedies
involved in landmine clearance, but also reveals the great human-
ity, dedication and humour of the thousands of brave men and
women clearing landmines today. It also outlines the political,
cultural and security ‘minefields’ that Ian had to navigate along
the way, which were often more difficult to deal with than the real
Full colour paperback, 262 pages. Available in bookshops or at Big
Sky Publishing www.bigskypublishing.com.au $29.99, e-book $8.83
Green, David John: Captured at the Imjin River: The
Korean War Memoirs of a Gloster.
The all-too-few memoirs that have emerged from this war have
on the whole been written by officers. This book’s author, Dave
Green, was a nineteen-year-old National serviceman. His story is
a remarkable one which he tells with both candour and humour.
Not only did he fight in two major battles but he was captured at
the Imjin River along with those of his fellow Gloster who were
not killed. They then endured extraordinary hardships for over
two years at the hands of his Chinese and North Korean captors
before being released at the conclusion of hostilities. Dave’s
account of the bitter fighting and his years of captivity demand
to be read.
Paperback, 192 pages. Available from Janet Green
Phillips, Kim: The Spirits of Gallipoli, A Centenary
of Anzacs - the stories of 100 Australian soldiers.
Tells the stories of 100 Australian soldiers who are commemo-
rated at Gallipoli, including:
the soldier who accidently killed his wife, felt he had nothing
more to live for
the fifteen year-old who ran away from home to enlist
the father and son who enlisted, landed and died together
the last Australian to die at Gallipoli
Accompanying the book is an interactive CD that includes all
7,249 Australian soldiers who are commemorated at Gallipoli.
Included are photos of two out of every three of the men, their
headstones, newspaper articles, and photos of their names on
memorials around Australia, NZ and UK. CD runs in your browser
on both PC and Mac and needs no additional software.
338 pages. Available from www.spiritsofgallipoli.com.au book and
CD $50 plus $15 P&H in Australia.
If you would like your book featured in
Off the Shelf, notices must not exceed 150 words
in length. You are not required to send a copy of
your book or extracts. Photos and book covers
will not be featured. Not all notices can be featured
due to space. Email email@example.com
or post your concisely written notice to GPO Box
9998 Canberra, ACT 2601.
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