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Quarterly Update - January-March 2020

At RSL DefenceCare our mission is to meet the needs of Australian veterans and their families seeking help with claims, advocacy and wellbeing.

The start of 2020 has been difficult for all Australians, but veterans in particular, have been impacted by the bushfire crisis and now the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. These events have added financial strain and stress for veterans and their families.

Our services are more vital than ever, and despite these difficult circumstances, we’ve been able to provide significant support since the start of the year.

Between January and March 2020, RSL DefenceCare was able to:

  • Provide $317,916 in financial assistance including $286,305 in disaster assistance.
  • Assist 26 veterans experiencing homelessness.
  • Help 134 veterans to lodge 374 DVA claims.
  • Provide 47 counselling sessions to veterans and family members in need.
  • Make 64 visits to homes, hospitals and nursing homes.

Financial assistance including bushfires

In the first quarter of 2020, we provided $317,916 in financial assistance including $286,305 in disaster assistance, particularly to bushfire affected areas.

We are always there in times of crisis and our support proved critical to veterans who were impacted by the bushfires. We were proud to work alongside RSL sub-Branches to coordinate support in affected areas.

We received some very touching feedback throughout this time. You can read some of it on the RSL NSW website.

Homelessness and housing support

In the last three months, we helped 26 veterans who were experiencing homelessness, or at risk of becoming homeless.

Through this service, we help veterans to find a rental property or stay in their current accommodation. We can also help with access to subsidised bond and rent payments.

Our housing project officer works with veterans to assess their individual needs, alleviating immediate crisis and providing ongoing support to limit the risk of veterans becoming homeless again in the future.

DVA claims and appeals

One of our primary service areas is assistance with DVA claims and appeals.

From January to March 2020, we helped 134 veterans lodge 374 DVA claims.

Many of our claims and advocacy specialists are veterans or from Defence families. Their work is vital in supporting the lifetime wellbeing of veterans and their families. They are experts in their field and treat all clients with compassion and care when providing advice and support with lodging DVA claims or appealing rejected claims. All our services, including help with DVA claims, are free of charge.

Community support and outreach

While our outreach services have been limited recently due to social distancing restrictions associated with COVID-19, we’re still able to provide these services via telephone and video. Even with these restrictions, we were able to make 64 visits to veterans and family members in homes, nursing homes, and hospitals. We also provided 47 counselling sessions.

Now more than ever, there’s a need for us to talk and listen about the challenges we’re facing. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to speak to someone about your current situation.

Always there

It’s been an incredibly challenging start to the year for Australian veterans. We are working hard to adapt our services for the current environment, so that we are always there for veterans and their families in times of crisis.

The services we provide to veterans would not be possible without the generous support of donors and RSL sub-Branches.

We want to continue helping veterans and their families through the current crisis, and long into the future.

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