Federal Budget 2022-2023
The 2022-23 Federal Budget includes some welcome spending initiatives for veterans and their families including:
- An increase in Veteran Home Care Fee
- Additional Funding for Claims Processing
- An enhanced Family Support Package
- One-off Cost of Living Payment
Summary of Key Budget Items Affecting the Veteran Community
Veteran Home Care Fees
The Veterans’ Home Care program delivers services to support veterans and families to remain living in their own homes. From 1 July 2022, the base hourly rate for domestic assistance and personal care under the Veterans’ Home Care program will be increased as follows:
- domestic assistance by 25.38%,
- personal care (standard) by 20.53%, and
- personal care (exceptional) by 16.70%
Further Information: Veteran Home Care Information Sheet
Additional Funding for Claims Processing
The number of claims received by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) has more than doubled over the last three financial years.
The 2022-23 Budget has provided an initial $22.8 million in 2022-23 for the DVA to engage 90 public service staff for two years to reduce the backlog of unprocessed claims, commencing 1 July 2022.
This will be followed by a further investment by the Government at a later stage for additional staffing and to fund other measures to improve the veteran claims processing system and reduce waiting times.
Further Information: Additional Funding for Claims Processing Information Sheet
Enhanced Family Support Package
This program assists eligible VEA, DRCA and MRCA veteran families, including eligible widows, with assistance for household services, counselling for the family, and a range of other practical supports. This package was originally announced as part of last year’s budget for commencement in July 2022.
This year’s budget has increased the budget from $5.1 million to $36.8 million over four years. It is important to highlight that this measure is subject to the passage of legislation.
Further Information: Enhanced Family Support Package Information Sheet
Cost of Living Payment
Eligible Veterans’ Affairs payment recipients and Veteran Gold Card holders will receive a one-off $250 cost of living payment in April 2022.
Excerpt: Joint Ministerial Media Release – ‘Budget 2022-23 delivers record investment in Defence and supporting our veterans.’
The following excerpt is the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel, Andrew Gee’s statement regarding the Budget and what it means for the veteran community, taken from a joint media Defence and Veterans’ Affairs media release on Budget 2022-23:
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said as Australia’s military capability grows, so too will the support provided to the men and women who serve our nation, and their families.
“An initial $22.8 million will fund 90 extra Department of Veterans’ Affairs staff to cut the backlog of unprocessed claims, and this will be followed by a further $73.2 million for additional staff and other measures to further improve the veteran claims processing system and reduce waiting times,” Minister Gee said.
“This takes the total new spending to $96 million with 145 new staff, building on our significant investment in the 2021-22 Budget.
“We will increase the fees paid to providers in the Veterans’ Home Care program through a $70.5 million investment, further improving support for 37,000 Australian veterans.
“There is an additional $22 million to grow the life-changing Psychiatric Assistance Dogs Program, including support for veterans with privately-sourced assistance dogs.
“The successful Kookaburra Kids ‘Defence Kids’ program is being expanded to more regional areas and the service will now be available to Defence and veteran families in Tasmania for the first time.
“A $2 million injection will support the work of Bravery Trust in providing financial counselling to serving & ex-serving members of the ADF.
“We’re also backing in our Invictus Australia athletes participating at the 2023 Invictus Games and bi-annual Warrior Games with $9.0 million in new support.
“This Government continues to ensure those who have fought for our nation and our values are appropriately recognised, and this Budget includes $5.1 million to build a new pavilion at the Sandakan Memorial Park in Borneo to honour WWII Prisoners of War. There is also $4.9 million to create a Remembrance Trail on the Greek Island of Lemnos, in recognition of the Australian doctors, nurses and other service personnel who served there during the First World War.
“The women and men who serve this nation in uniform make incredible sacrifices for our country and we are ensuring that we repay our debt to them by providing the support they, and their families, need.”
Source: Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
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