How We Helped in 2019
Through the services provided by RSL DefenceCare, RSL NSW helps veterans and their families. In October 2019, we provided a quarterly update on how RSL DefenceCare is helping veterans.
Thanks to the generous support of sub-Branches and donations from members and the general public, RSL DefenceCare was able to provide a great deal of support in 2019.
In 2019, RSL DefenceCare:
- Provided $926,146 in financial assistance including $127,832 in disaster assistance.
- Assisted 101 veterans experiencing homelessness.
- Helped over 600 veterans to lodge 2028 claims with DVA.
- Provided 181 counselling sessions to veterans and family members in need.
- Made 230 visits to homes, hospitals and nursing homes.
This update was originally published on the RSL DefenceCare website. Read on below to find out how RSL NSW is supporting veterans and their families through RSL DefenceCare.
Financial and Disaster Assistance
Financial assistance is one of the core services provided by RSL NSW through RSL DefenceCare. It’s vital for veterans and their families who are experiencing financial hardship.
In 2019, $926,146 in financial assistance was provided to veterans and their families in need. This includes $127,832 of disaster assistance to areas affected by drought and bushfire.
The recent bushfire crisis has shown the devastation that these disasters can cause to communities. Financial support is critical in helping veterans who have been affected to get back on their feet.
One veteran in the Western Plains region said:
“You guys are the only ones who actually do get support to farmers. So thanks again, you should be proud of RSL DefenceCare’s work.”
Many RSL sub-Branches have generously supported the disaster assistance fund recently. If sub-Branches would like to contribute to this fund, please refer to the recent message from the CEO about how to do so.
If sub-Branches would like to contribute to general financial assistance, please get in contact and we will guide you through the process.
We help veterans and family members in a variety of situations. One example was a veteran struggling to pay for equipment needed to pursue further education to support a civilian career. RSL DefenceCare provided the assistance to pay for the equipment. The veteran was overwhelmed by the support.
“Oh wow! Thank you so much, I’m absolutely overwhelmed. This will be a massive help this year towards my studies and I would not have been able to start without your support. Thank you again.”
Homelessness and Housing Support
In 2019 we helped 101 veterans who were experiencing homelessness.
That’s 101 individuals who have had their lives immeasurably improved. Like you, we want to be able to help more and be there for veterans who have fallen on hard times.
Our housing project officer at RSL DefenceCare is funded by the NSW Department, Family and Community Services (FACS). This position allows us to help veterans and their families at risk of homelessness and in supporting veterans to find a rental property, and access subsidised rental and bond payments.
Working with veterans on an individual basis, our housing project officer can help to alleviate immediate crisis and assess ongoing needs. This continued support is vital in preventing veterans from becoming at risk of homelessness once again.
RSL NSW and RSL DefenceCare are always looking for ways to fund more housing project officer positions to increase this support.
DVA Claims and Appeals
Supporting veterans in the DVA claims and appeals process is one of RSL DefenceCare’s primary services.
In 2019, we helped over 600 veterans to lodge 2028 claims.
On average it takes 3 hours and $164 to help a veteran with one claim. If claims are successful, they can provide much needed medical cover and financial independence for veterans. Funding for our specialist claims advisors is vital in ensuring that veterans receive the ongoing support they need.
Community Support and Outreach
The League was founded on mateship and camaraderie. This is evidenced through our sub-Branches. RSL DefenceCare supports this work with visits to homes, hospitals and nursing homes, as well as counselling sessions for veterans and family members.
Throughout 2019, the team made 230 visits to homes, nursing homes, and hospitals and also provided 181 counselling sessions to veterans, widows, and family members.
Community outreach, including visiting people, requires “feet on the ground”. We currently have one full time and one part time staff member providing these services.
With more people performing these services we could extend these services to help more veterans and family members.
Our RSL DefenceCare colleagues at ANZAC House provided exceptional support throughout 2019. They couldn’t provide these services without ongoing and generous support. As an organisation and as individuals, we want to continue helping veterans and their families through these services.
If you’d like to support RSL DefenceCare’s work you can make a donation to RSL DefenceCare today.
If your sub-Branch would like to make a financial contribution, please contact us and we can provide guidance on the process.