Veterans’ Services Update – April-June 2020
Recently, we shared the news that RSL DefenceCare is moving to new ownership under RSL LifeCare from 1 August 2020. This will allow RSL NSW to return to its original purpose of supporting veterans and their families’ through camaraderie and commemoration activities and by connecting them with support services.
Likewise, RSL LifeCare is well positioned to deliver RSL DefenceCare services as it has been providing welfare and other support services to veterans since 1911. This move will enable the expansion of RSL DefenceCare’s services across a larger footprint throughout New South Wales.
Earlier this year we published an update on how we had helped veterans through RSL DefenceCare in the first three months of the year. The situation surrounding COVID-19 developed rapidly around this time, so the RSL DefenceCare team have had to adapt their services to accommodate remote working. Likewise, because of the pandemic, services have been in high demand.
From April to June, through RSL DefenceCare, we:
- Provided $91,685 in financial assistance including $29,000 in disaster assistance.
- Assisted 15 veterans experiencing homelessness.
- Helped 114 veterans to lodge 382 DVA claims.
- Provided 103 counselling sessions.
- Made 224 virtual or socially distanced visits to veterans and family members at homes, hospitals or nursing homes.
This update was originally published on the RSL DefenceCare website. Read on below to find out how RSL NSW has supported veterans and their families through RSL DefenceCare.
Financial and Disaster Assistance
From April to June 2020, we provided $91,685 in financial assistance including $29,000 in disaster assistance through RSL DefenceCare. Throughout this time, we continued to support veterans and their families recovering from the impact of bushfires, floods and drought. Importantly, this assistance is still available to veterans as RSL DefenceCare moves to its new home.
Homelessness and Housing Support
In the last three months we helped 15 veterans who were experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless.
RSL DefenceCare’s Housing Project Officer helps veterans and their families at risk of homelessness to assess their options, and find a rental property or access subsidised rental and bond payments. One of the most important parts of this work is the continued support provided to veterans to prevent them from becoming at risk of homelessness once again.
DVA Claims and Appeals
Assistance with DVA claims and appeals is one of the core services provided by RSL DefenceCare. As the team moves under RSL LifeCare, they will continue to assist both current and new clients.
From April to June, we helped 114 veterans to lodge 382 DVA claims.
The team of claims advisors and advocates consistently receives positive feedback from veterans they have assisted due to their client-focus and the positive outcomes they achieve. This is one reason that RSL DefenceCare will continue to be RSL NSW’s recommended provider of services for veterans and their families.
Community Support and Outreach
Due to the restrictions associated with COVID-19, some RSL sub-Branches have been limited in the face-to-face support they can provide within their local communities. Likewise, RSL DefenceCare has needed to adapt its usual visits to hospitals, homes and care homes to adopt virtual or socially distanced “visits”.
Throughout this difficult time, RSL DefenceCare has been able to provide 103 counselling sessions and 224 virtual or socially distanced “visits” to veterans, widows and other family members.
Under RSL LifeCare, RSL DefenceCare will remain within the RSL family. We hope members and sub-Branches will continue to support the services provided by RSL DefenceCare by donating to RSL NSW. These donations will be passed onto RSL DefenceCare, as our recommended charity for the provision of services for veterans and their families in need.
RSL NSW recommends RSL DefenceCare for the quality of its services and its client-focus in understanding each veteran’s unique situation.
We are excited to work together with members, sub-Branches and RSL LifeCare to support the continued growth of RSL DefenceCare to meet the needs of veterans and their families.
RSL sub-Branches can find out how to donate here.