RSL DefenceCare Quarterly update: July-September 2021
The last three months have been difficult for all Australians. In many parts of New South Wales, almost the entire period was spent in lockdown. This has meant increased levels of stress and isolation. Fortunately, with lockdown ending and restrictions easing, there is a brighter outlook for the end of 2021.
During this period, our partner charities RSL LifeCare and RSL DefenceCare have continued to support Australian veterans and their families in need. In addition to their normal services, they officially launched a partnership with Right Management to deliver the RSL Veterans’ Employment Program in New South Wales, and the Homes for Heroes program returned to RSL LifeCare Veteran Services. RSL DefenceCare also continue to offer help with Department of Veterans’ Affairs claims, advocacy at Veterans’ Review Board hearings, housing assistance and financial assistance.
Between July and September 2021, RSL DefenceCare was able to:
- Provide $107,530 in financial assistance including $21,000 in disaster assistance.
- Assist 48 veterans experiencing homelessness.
- Help 254 veterans to lodge 810 DVA claims.
- Facilitated 17 veterans or partners receiving employment assistance.
- Make 101 virtual or socially distanced visits to veterans and family members at homes, hospitals or nursing homes.
- Lodge 58 new VRB appeals, complete 67 Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mediation discussions and represent 10 full VRB Board Hearings.
The biggest news in Wellbeing support was the return of the Homes for Heroes program to RSL LifeCare Veteran Services. The Homes for Heroes team provides support to veterans who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. It is a transitional program, with services designed to assist and support homeless veterans to access safe, secure and stable long-term accommodation in their chosen community.
The Housing Project Officer works closely with the team, and together RSL DefenceCare can offer more comprehensive and veteran-centred support than ever before. When working with RSL DefenceCare, you are working with a team that understands the particular needs of veterans.
On 17 August, RSL LifeCare officially announced its partnership with Right Management to deliver the RSL Veterans’ Employment Program in New South Wales. They are very excited to be partnering with Right Management on this program and are looking to help veterans and their spouses across the state find their next role with a company that understands the value of employing veterans. If you are interested in the program, visit the RSL Veterans’ Employment website and register.
If your business is interested in employing more veterans, contact RSL DefenceCare to find out how you can get involved.
The RSL Veterans’ Employment Program is funded by the Australian Government and supports veterans and their partners to find meaningful employment. Their team work with veterans and their partners to determine how they can best support their search for employment. Services within the program include:
- Career counselling and help translating skills for the civilian job market
- Help interpreting selection criteria
- Writing CVs and application letters and social media profiles
- Interview coaching
- Connections to employers
- Wellbeing support services
RSL LifeCare delivers the RSL Veterans’ Employment Program in New South Wales on behalf of RSL NSW.
DVA claims and appeals
Despite lockdowns across the state over the last three months, the RSL DefenceCare team are available over phone and videoconference. This means they can support veterans and their families no matter where they are in New South Wales. They have also recently employed a Claims Advisor in Ballina, providing a friendly and local face for veterans in the area.
DVA claims and the appeals process can be stressful for some veterans. Fortunately, their team of claims advisors and advocates understand the process well. They can help remove the stress and confusion for you and provide a better understanding of what you may be entitled to. In addition to RSL DefenceCare’s professional approach, most of the team are either veterans themselves or partners of veterans. They understand the unique needs of veterans and are here to support you through the process.
These services, like all of those offered by RSL DefenceCare, are free of charge.
As the state opens up following an extended period in lockdown, remember that some family and friends may take time to adapt to the world being open again. For some, returning to social gatherings, pubs and shopping will feel normal; others may find this stressful and remain cautious of social situations. The important thing is to do what feels comfortable for you and be mindful of how others are feeling.
For those in need, keep in mind that RSL DefenceCare’s services are available over the phone and via videoconference – no matter where you are in the state, they can help you.
Below are also 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
RSL DefenceCare’s efforts are proudly supported by funds from RSL NSW and its 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.