13 February 2024
The Albanese Government was elected on a commitment to properly resource the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) to eliminate the unacceptable backlog of veteran compensation claims.
In the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide’s Interim Report, serious concerns were raised about how the claims backlog - which was at 42,000 in mid-May 2022 – was detrimental to the mental health of veterans.
Thanks to the Albanese Government’s increased staffing and resources for DVA, all new initial liability and incapacity claims are now allocated for processing within a two week timeframe – effectively eliminating this part of the backlog and a return to business as usual levels.
As at 31 January 2024, the total number of claims yet to be allocated to a delegate has fallen to 3,697.
DVA is also on track to clear the remaining backlog of Permanent Impairment claims before the end of February so they too reach a business as usual rate of allocation.
The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide set a deadline to clear the backlog of compensation claims by 31 March 2024. Thanks to the Albanese Government’s investments in 500 additional claims processing staff and in ICT, this target will be exceeded.
Eliminating the claims backlog is a huge step in the right direction and the staff in DVA are to be commended for their tireless work.
DVA’s claims workforce is continuing to work on processing veterans’ claims as quickly as possible.
While more claims continue to be lodged every day, in November a record 9,800 claims determinations were made which means veterans and families are receiving the support they need, sooner.
DVA is now shifting to a new business as usual working model, aiming to allocate all claims to a processing officer within two weeks of receipt.
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