Chester – support available to veterans affected by bushfires

Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel

OVER 50,000 Australian military veterans live in communities affected by this season’s unprecedented bushfires and there is support available to them through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester said today.

“While I’m in Gippsland supporting my electorate through this challenging time, I know many in the veteran community have also been affected by the bushfires,” Mr Chester said.
“In addition, many veterans have assisted in firefighting activities and are now using their unique skills to support bushfire recovery efforts. I thank them for the work they are doing and know it is greatly appreciated by local communities who are doing it tough.”
Mr Chester said veterans can access support by contacting the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, including financial, health and mental health, and home insurance support.
Veteran and defence communities can access a range of services, including the following:
  • Veterans and their families requiring emergency counselling support (24/7) should call Open Arms on 1800 011 046. There is also information on recovering from trauma or dealing with triggers on the Open Arms website.
  • For Defence Service Homes Insurance information and claims call 1300 552 662 or visit the website.
  • DVA clients eligible for income support and service pensions may be eligible for a one-off Crisis payments (see Factsheet IS121 – Crisis Payments).
  • The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment is a one-off payment managed by the Department of Human Services. For eligibility information and how to claim visit the website or call 180 22 66.
  • The Veterans’ Access Network (VAN)
/Public Release.