A number of weeks ago, our Association was advised by Noel McLaughlin, Chair of the RAAC Corporation, that there was an issue with Aged Care that affects veterans with DVA entitlements. The issue also affects war widows – that is widows of veterans who were either TPI or EDA, and widows who may have been issued with Gold Cards.

Basically, when any person moves into Aged Care, they are required to sign a Deed of Agreement. This apparently extinguishes the rights of the person (veteran) to pursue medical and dental treatments under their entitlements provided by the DVA. Once a veteran signs an agreement to enter aged care, that veteran is bound by the terms and conditions to use all medical/pharmaceutical/psychological and any other treatment processes the company operating the aged care facility provides. This also applies to ‘war widows’!

It is important to note, that signing the Deed of Agreement does not affect a member’s pension entitlements. Veterans will continue to receive their fortnightly pension.

The Association had experienced this situation first-hand when transport had been requested for a senior officer – in a nursing home – to attend the 50th Commemorative event for the end of the Vietnam War. DVA indicated that it was not their problem as the person concerned was living in an aged care facility, and ‘My Aged Care’ (a Federal Government department) should provide the transport. My Aged Care denied the request.

This issue has been raised at the Ex-Service Organisations Round Table (ESORT) as a matter of significance as My Aged Care has no appreciation or understanding of the unique nature of military service and the physical, psychological and cognitive/neurological consequences of service to the nation. In essence, actions such as these remove the level of comfort and security blanket that veterans, including many of us, rely on as we enter our twilight years.

The RAAC Corporation has advised that this issue is being addressed by a number of ex-service organisations. DVA has been advised that Billy Hughes stated in 1917, that ‘when you come back, we will look after you’. Senator Millen, during the Second Reading speech of the Australian Soldiers’ Repatriation Bill 1917, stated ‘I have put before the honourable senators a proposition representing the duty we owe to these returned soldiers’.

We can only hope that DVA addresses this issue to ensure that the rights of veterans are not trampled.

Russ James Secretary
1st Armoured Regiment Association


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One comment

  • Kevin Erwin December 17, 2023   Reply →

    Thank you for bringing this important information to the attention of Veterans.

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