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RSL DefenceCare Quarterly Update: April-June 2021

Over the last three months a lot has happened for the veteran community, and Australia as a whole. In April, we were fortunate to be able to return to large scale, in-person commemorative services for ANZAC Day. Unfortunately, COVID-19 outbreaks have once again led to restrictions on how we can travel, gather and connect as a community.

During this time, our partner charity RSL DefenceCare has continued to support Australian veterans and their families in need. They are focused on the lifetime wellbeing of veterans and provide free welfare support and services to veterans and their families. They offer help with Department of Veterans’ Affairs claims, advocacy at Veterans’ Review Board hearings, housing assistance, employment support and financial assistance.

Between April and June 2021, RSL DefenceCare was able to:

  • Provide $80,590 in financial assistance including $45,000 in disaster assistance.
  • Assist 35 veterans experiencing homelessness.
  • Help 166 veterans to lodge 693 DVA claims.
  • Make 88 virtual or socially distanced visits to veterans and family members at homes, hospitals or nursing homes.
  • Lodge 34 new VRB appeals, complete 57 Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mediation discussions and represent 9 full VRB Board Hearings.

Wellbeing support

Over the last three months, RSL DefenceCare has continued to provide wellbeing support to veterans and their families across New South Wales. Two new Veteran Support Coordinators joined their Wellbeing Team and they are continuing to build networks to better support veterans in need.

One of their clients, Wayne, and Housing Project Officer, Mamour, were also featured in an article for the June edition of RSL NSW’s Reveille magazine.

“The support meant that I am no longer struggling, not only financially, but mentally too. Since working with Mamour and the RSL DefenceCare team, I feel more positive and am continuing my studies to see what happens. Also, I know that if I require any help in the future, help is only a phone call away.” – Mark, an Army veteran and housing assistance client

DVA claims and appeals

RSL DefenceCare’s professionally trained and accredited claims advisors and advocates continued to support veterans and their families over the last three months, assisting with claims to DVA that help provide clients with financial security. The team’s compassionate approach provides our clients with a better understanding of DVA’s processes, while also reducing stress and anxiety.

These services, like all of those offered by RSL DefenceCare, are free of charge.

“I think RSL defence care advocates are an incredible resource.” – A grateful client.

Always there

In light of tightening COVID-19 restrictions across NSW, they understand this can be a stressful and isolating time for many. It is important we all remain connected and supportive. On behalf of all the team at RSL DefenceCare, our thoughts are with you and your families.

Below are some support services if you need someone to talk to:

  • Open Arms – 1800 011 046
  • All-hours Support Line – 1800 628 036
  • Defence Family Helpline – 1800 624 608
  • ADR Chaplains – 1300 333 362
  • Lifeline – 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue – 1300 224 634
  • 1800 Respect – 1800 737 732
  • Your local RSL sub-Branch (please note this is not a crisis support service)

RSL DefenceCare efforts are proudly supported by funds from RSL NSW and RSL sub-Branches, and the services provided would not be possible without the generous support of donors.

If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, don’t hesitate to get in touch with RSL DefenceCare.

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