Pensions, Advocacy, Welfare and Support
Contact Jeff Jackson,
Manager Pensions Advocacy & Welfare Support
What is included
RSL Victoria supports the well-being and support of all Serving and Ex-Serving personnel from the Australian Defence Force.
A broad description of welfare could be:
The provision of a minimal level of well-being and social support for all members of the ex-service community and their dependents sometimes referred to as aid. In most developed countries, welfare is largely provided by the government, in addition to charities, informal social groups, religious groups, and inter-governmental organizations.
Social support is the perception and actuality that one is cared for, has assistance available from other people, and that one is part of a larger supportive social network. These supportive resources can be emotional (e.g., nurturance), tangible (e.g., financial assistance), informational (e.g., providing suggestions or alternatives), or companionship (e.g., sense of belonging). Social support can be measured as the perception that one has assistance available, the actual received assistance, or the degree to which a person is integrated into a social network. Support can come from many sources, such as family, friends, pets, organizations, co-workers
Welfare can take a variety of forms, such as monetary payments, subsidies and vouchers, or housing assistance. Welfare systems differ from organization to organization, but Welfare is commonly provided to individuals who are unemployed, those with illness or disability, the elderly, to those with dependent children, and veterans. A person's eligibility for welfare may be constrained by means testing or other conditions.
In terms of support to the ex-service community in Victoria, financial assistance is provided by the RSL Victorian Branch Inc through what is called the General Appeals Patriotic Trust Fund. The fund provides financial grants to help eligible persons who are in needy or necessitous circumstances brought about by financial hardship due to illness, injury, disability, unemployment or death.
The fund does not as a rule provide cash payments. The fund does pay providers or suppliers for services rendered. Some examples of the types of financial assistance the fund can provide are:
- Funeral assistance;
- A mortgage or rental payment;
- Assistance with child care;
- Assistance with transport;
- Payment of quarterly or yearly insurance premiums;
- House cleaning and lawn mowing services for families where illness or injuries prevent them from doing it themselves and no other avenue of assistance is available.
- essential medications;
- emergency pendants for the infirmed or elderly in the home;
- furniture and household appliances such as Televisions, whitegoods and brown goods;
- essentials, like food and clothing;
- mobility devices;
- rehabilitation aids and equipment;
- Emergency short term accommodation;
- Motor vehicle repairs (only if the motor vehicle is required to transport children to school or used to get to medical appointments where public transport does not exist or cannot be accessed.
- Children's primary and secondary school education expenses, where no government or other support is available;
- Adaptations to a home for a person with a disability;
- Help getting into rented accommodation, such as removal costs, bond and/or rent-in-advance;
- Organized sub-branch outings;
- Payment of volunteer expenses.
The RSL is a registered charity organization. Therefore, evidence of financial hardship needs to be established for assistance to be provided. The Fund will carefully consider all individual requests for assistance. For further information and to ascertain if you are eligible for assistance,
Please contact Jeff Jackson, Manager Pensions Advocacy & Welfare Support
Disasters can occur at any time, however in Victoria, November through to March is traditionally our biggest threat of a natural disaster where we all need to be prepared for devastating fires or floods.
The RSL Victorian Branch Inc can work closely with Sub-Branches across Victoria to provide financial assistance and counseling to their members and to other members of the Defence community and their families in Victoria affected by disasters of one kind or another.
You can apply for RSL Disaster Relief Assistance at any time. The RSL Victorian Branch Inc can make available emergency household assistance grants of up to $1,500 immediately to those who have lost their belongings or suffered damage to their homes as a result of fire or flood.
The RSL Victorian Branch Inc has also in the past donated to disasters in other States through their RSL State Disaster Appeal or to State headquarters.
Other contacts during times of disaster:
- Australian Government Disaster Assistance Hotline: 180 2266
- Department of Veterans’ Affairs: 133 254
- Veterans’ & Veterans Families Counseling Service: 1800 011 046
- Defence Service Homes Insurance: 1300 552 662
- VICSES: 132 500
- VICSES Emergency Information: 1300 842 737
- Insurance Council of Australia: 1300 728 228
- State Government Disaster Welfare Assistance: 1800 180 213
Every military veteran, regardless of branch of service or rank, lived a story that should not be forgotten by their passing.
They shall grow not old
As we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them
Nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun
And in the morning
We will remember them
The RSL Victorian Branch can offer the following assistance to eligible persons in times of family bereavement:
- Providing counseling and support.
- Providing information about RSL funeral rituals.
- Providing funeral assistance.
- Provision of laurel and poppies for a funeral service.
- Providing advice on Department of Veterans’ Affairs entitlements.
- Providing advice on war grave entitlements.
- Assisting with war widow’s claims to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
In terms of funeral assistance, the RSL Victorian Branch may be able to assist widows and immediate family members through this difficult time by contributing towards funeral expenses.
As the RSL is a registered charity there are hardship criteria that must be satisfied before receiving financial assistance with funeral expenses.
To find out if you are eligible and how we can help, please contact us for more details.
Jeff Jackson - Manager Pensions Advocacy & Welfare Support
Assistance with DVA Entitlements
Service in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is unique and is an inherently dangerous occupation. Accidents happen and this can result in personal injury or the onset of a medical condition. When you do lodge a claim for compensation or benefits to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs it is advisable that you seek the assistance of an ex-service organisation Pension Officer to assist you through the process.
RSL Pension Officers understand the unique nature of military service. Most RSL Sub Branches throughout Victoria have trained volunteer Pension Officers who have experience in one or more of the following compensation jurisdictions:
• Military Rehabilitation & Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA)
• Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA)
• Safety, Rehabilitation & Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA)
RSL Victoria also provides support to serving personnel on base and has a number of Pension Officers or Advocates visiting military bases throughout Victoria as required, such as, HMAS CERBERUS, Puckapunyal Military Area (PMA) and RAAF Base East Sale and Bandiana.
There are also a number of Veterans’ Support Centres located around Victoria who have volunteer Pension Officers who are able to assist serving and former serving members lodge claims for compensation.
For more information on the closest Pension Officer to you, please contact us.
Advocacy is the act of making represenatations on behalf of another to ensure that they recieve a fair hearing of their case or an outcome which they seek. In the context of the RSL this means providing support to veterans who are seeking entitlements, based on their service, from the Department of Veteran Affairs.
RSL Victoria has four very experienced full time Advocates on staff. They have given years of service to the RSL in Victoria and have successfully argued 1000’s of cases before the Veterans’ Review Board (VRB).
If you are dissatisfied with a decision relating to your claim made by a delegate for the Repatriation Commission, RSL Victoria Advocates can investigate the case and provide advice on the merits of an appeal and provide you with representation to the Veterans’ Review Board.
RSL Victoria Advocates are very experienced at conducting case appraisals and determining the need for additional evidence. During the case appraisal, they will also be checking for any errors or omissions.
If you are unhappy with a decision in regard to your claim and you would like to enquire about the merits of an appeal to the Veterans’ Review Board please follow the below link.
Please contact Jeff Jackson, Manager Pensions Advocacy & Welfare Support