Home » Government reduces backlog of veterans claims

Government reduces backlog of veterans claims

Daniel Bouwmeester    April 5, 2024    2 min read   
Federal member for Blair Shayne Neumann sat at a roundtable with local veterans recently. Image: Shayne Neumann MP.

The Federal Government is on track 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.

As at 31 January 2024, the total number of claims yet to be allocated to a delegate had fallen to 3,697.

Blair MP Shayne Neumann said the government was elected on a platform of properly resourcing the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) and restoring frontline services for veterans and their families.

“When I was the Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, I announced Labor’s election commitment to boost DVA staffing to cut waiting times and end the backlog of claims that was creating cruel and unnecessary stress for veterans and families,” he said.

“I’m proud we are now delivering on this promise, and thanks to the Albanese Government’s investments in 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.

“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.

Mr Neumann said that thanks to the Albanese Government’s investments in 500 additional claims processing staff and in ICT, this target will be exceeded.

“Speeding up claims processing and eliminating the claims backlog is a huge step in the right direction, and the staff at 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 last year a record 9,800 claims determinations were made, which means veterans and families are receiving the support they need sooner,” Mr Neumann said.

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.

Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.