David Littlerpoud MP David Littlerpoud

Supporting our Veterans: 2021-22 Budget

May 20, 2021

They’re the men and women who put up their name to defend of our great nation and way of life so it’s only right we further support veterans with an additional $702.6 million in the 2021-22 Federal Budget, Maranoa MP David Littleproud said.

“On ANZAC Day, I attended commemorative services in Roma and Chinchilla and on this sacred day and every day, we pay respect to the service and sacrifice our Defence personal make for our nation and show how much veterans are rightly respected in our community,” Mr Littleproud said.

“That’s why this Budget puts a focus on wellness, support, suicide prevention and ensuring the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) is appropriately equipped.”

The Government invests over $11.5 billion each year to support 325,000 veterans and their families, and the 2021–22 Budget builds on this with an additional $702.6 million.

“In recent years, we’ve invested more than $500 million into significant reform of Australia’s veteran support system to make it easier for veterans and their families to engage with DVA,” he said.

“This Budget includes a further $55.1 million to build on these improvements, making it quicker and easier to for veterans and their family to access support. One of the biggest concerns I hear from veterans is about claim waiting times and we’re addressing this issue by providing an additional $98.5 million over the next two years.”

Suicide prevention continues to be a key Government focus and the Prime Minister recently established a Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide, with $28.9 million provided to enable DVA to support requests from the Royal Commission and from the National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention.

The Australian Government is investing $138.3 million over four years in further funding to support the lifetime wellbeing of veterans and their family by proving timely access to targeted services and support for their economic, physical and mental wellbeing. This includes:

  • $23.3 million to continue the successful Wellbeing and Support Program, which provides quality intensive case management for highly vulnerable veterans who are transitioning from the military to civilian life or who have complex care needs;
  • $16.9 million to extend the Provisional Access to Medical Treatment (PAMT) program for a further two years, enabling veterans to access treatment for 20 of the most common service-related conditions while their claim is being processed. PAMT is a critical program that has supported over 20,000 veterans since the Government introduced it in 2017;
  • $61.9 million for a one-off fee increase for occupational therapists and podiatrists when treating veteran clients, supporting increased availability and quality of care provided;
  • $2.3 million for a pilot program of vocational and psychosocial rehabilitation, without the requirement for any liability claim to be lodged. Evidence gathered from the pilot will inform future initiatives on removing barriers to veterans accessing rehabilitation to encourage early engagement with rehabilitation and voluntary participation;
  • $10.7 million to establish Veteran Wellbeing Centres in Tasmania and South East Queensland, which will connect veterans and their families with a range of core services including transition, employment, health and social connection and builds on the Veteran Wellbeing Centres we have already committed to in Townsville, Perth, Adelaide, Wodonga, Nowra and Darwin;
  • $6 million over four years for the provision of access to health care, rehabilitation and compensation for certain conditions for ADF firefighters who served at RAAF Base Point Cook between 1 January 1957 and 31 December 1986;
  • $5.1 million over four years to expand the Family Support Package to more veterans’ families and widowed partners and allowing them greater choice in how to use the services provided through the Package;
  • $7.4 million to bring forward access to rent assistance for eligible Totally and Permanently Incapacitated veterans who pay private rent, to commence on 1 January 2022 rather than 20 September 2022;
  • $4.7 million allocated to improve the Building Excellence in Support and Training Program (BEST) grants program by incorporating new service standards for claims advocacy.