AUSTRALIAN VETERAN MATTERS

AUSTRALIAN VETERAN MATTERS FORUM => THE MAD GALAHS FORUM--This forum does not necessarily reflect AVMs opinion. CLICK HERE FOR AVMS OPINION => Topic started by: Cav on Tuesday28April2009



Title: Disgusted Digger may return his war medals
Post by: Cav on Tuesday28April2009
http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2009/04/27/47555_ntnews.html

I'll try and find out some background to this story.

The issue is this:
An email to Mr Blewitt from Department of Veterans' Affairs deputy commissioner Tasmania, Scott Weston, said: "I believe you may already be aware that DVA is currently reviewing the policy as it relates to issuing cards to veterans who reside overseas. Issues caused by the current policy for providers and veterans has been made clear to the project team."


and
Department of Veterans' Affairs spokesman Lachlan Leslie said in a statement that the DVA is reviewing the policy.
"Mr Blewitt has been in contact with DVA today and we are attempting to resolve any issues he may be experiencing," he said.


Title: Re: Disgusted Digger may return his war medals
Post by: Zion on Tuesday28April2009
Boys this bloke has NOT taken personal responsibility for himself and his situation.

He had a responsibility to check the implications of living overseas BEFORE he moved overseas.

DVA and various Governments have had much to answer for over the years, but in this case the responsibility lays with Blewitt.

DVA can operate only within the Law. If we don't like the various Repatriation and compensations Laws we must lobby the Government to change them.


Title: Re: Disgusted Digger may return his war medals
Post by: BC on Tuesday28April2009
I was sent that article yesterday and asked to comment on Mr. Blewitt's situation from a long term expat's point of view ie mine.
This is close to what I wrote then.

To begin with....Mr, Blewitt is a whiner and is out of order...Any red tape he has become entangled in is of his own manufacture.

He should have checked with DVA before moving to Indonesia, presumably to live full time...Other blokes manage to do it, what's his problem? I know a bloke here who sends DVA an email every 6 months to say he's staying on and won't RTA as previously stated....no problem. DVA know I live in Vietnam full time, they write letters to me, they send me emails...no problem.

DVA require that all recipients of their payouts/benefits alert them if they're going to be out of Aust for longer than 6 months on a permanent basis...that's not too hard to understand. DVA  want to know how and where to contact us. One reason being that retirees of many nationalities on regular incomes have been known to be murdered by (especially) Asian wives who keep operating the joint  bank accounts as if stupid hubby was still kicking and she didn't really have a nog husband all those years.
I'm sometimes asked for proof that I'm still alive and my missus isn't grabbing the lot...it's a little intrusive but fair enough in my book.  That's DVA looking after their business and me, to my way of thinking..can't bitch about that.

The Gold Card isn't worth a cracker outside Aust...Why would it be??..It will be restored to Blewitt when he RTAs just like mine will...My driver's licence has greater value here as a means of ID.
There's absolutely no need to issue cards of any colour to any DVA benefits recipient vets living o/s.

DVA Tassie hold all files for expats, there aren't enough TPIs etc in Tassie to make the office viable otherwise...good idea.

TPI's living overseas have all medical costs covered by DVA for "Accepted Disabilities" only.
I usually go to my approved medical provider, which was easy to organise even in the pre-internet days here in Vietnam, for consultations and scripts.
I see the Doc...I need meds...I pay..I send the bills to DVA...no problem...the system works well even when I have to buy meds on the black market...
The personnel at that office understand our situations and while some fine details have to be discussed at various times, that Tassie office runs like a well oiled clock.

Mr. Blewitt should have made himself aware of what his responsibilities are/were before he shot through to Indon.
He needs a smack for being a whiner and drawing attention to a "problem"  which is only of his making and nothing DVA has created to make his life hard..

Here's a question for Mr. Blewitt.
All the while he was living in Indon, and I can't know how long that is, was he still getting all the lovely extras like pharmaceutical, rent, phone monies that we expats have to relinquish? In other words, was he on the bare bones TPI and Ser Pen or was he copping extras due to not notifying DVA as to his whereabouts until he got sprung.

Mr. Blewitt, "The Territory War Hero" is out of order, not DVA.

I'll toss in something else for free here too.
The current Min for DVA, Alan Griffin MP, is the best I've run across so far.  He and his personnel are working for us, not against us.

Anyone who wants to bitch and moan about the current DVA Admin should maybe look at themselves as being the problem, not the system. 

BC.



Title: Re: Disgusted Digger may return his war medals
Post by: 80s on Tuesday28April2009
On a tangent how does living OS affect DFRDB Med pensions etc? Anyone know? Any info will be appreciated.

80's


Title: Re: Disgusted Digger may return his war medals
Post by: Brutus on Tuesday28April2009
DFRDB gets paid into a bank account...if you have a credit card linked to your account you can still draw it from any ATM that has a link with the particular Australian  bank

I have lived overseas on and off for a number of years now and so far it has made no difference.  They would be well aware I imagine, because any movement through immigration is linked to numerous government agencies such as Centerlink etc..



Title: Re: Disgusted Digger may return his war medals
Post by: BC on Tuesday28April2009

"On a tangent how does living OS affect DFRDB Med pensions etc? Anyone know? Any info will be appreciated"

No idea on that one 80s, sorry...I was a Nasho, but I shouldn't think that would be affected..

Email the Tassie office for the correct info... "OSTREAT" <OverseasTreatment@dva.gov.au>,

Again, O/S residents don't get anything but the bare bones payments ie TPI-Ser Pen...if that helps.

I use debit NAB debit/credit cards to access my Aust bank account..ATM machines all over Saigon, Hanoi and larger cities/towns eg Vung Tau..ANZ Bank Saigon allows the greatest amount of one time withdrawal eg 20 mill Dong, when they have enough large notes, in one hit which makes the fees a lot less than withdrawing 2 mill per time at other banks eg Commonwealth.
AUD$4 + 2% of AUD conversion amount + 20,000 VND charges apply to each withdrawal.

BC.


Title: Re: Disgusted Digger may return his war medals
Post by: PQ on Tuesday28April2009
I have to agree totally with BC above about Blewitt and his whinge about the Gold Card, and thanks BC in detailing the procedures involved if you are living outside Oz.

I have had nothing but good things to say about my dealings with the DVA for the last eight years. They have been unfailingly helpful, polite and respectful, and have bent over backwards to ensure I was being looked after.

Despite my experience, I keep hearing on various veterans forums about what a pack of mongrels the DVA are, and how they got shafted by the DVA. Blewitt threatens to return his medals, I bet they are trembling in their boots in the Minister's office.

You have to wonder whether these whingers are the architects of their own problems, like Mr Blewitt.
The DVA has its rules, and you only have to ask and they will tell you the answers, send you fact sheets and forms, phone you back to see how you are going etc.

In addition, some people should remember that DVA counter staff do not make Government policy. If you've got a bitch about policy write to the Minister, don't shout at the girl at reception.

I have never voted Labor in my life, but I also agree that Allan Griffin is doing a good job in the Veterans Affairs portfolio. Probably too good, he will most likely get moved upstairs and some union hack will take his place.


Title: Re: Disgusted Digger may return his war medals
Post by: 80s on Tuesday28April2009
I cannot agree with the overall sentiment on DVA, some may do a good job but the organisation as a whole will pretty much try any means, fair or foul, to NOT pay a claim. I have found the majority in the claims department to be rude and insulting, and generally think we are all a pack of rorters and bludgers. Thats just from my experience and I have TPI and DFRDB A class, so its not a case of sour grapes on my behalf.

80's


Title: Re: Disgusted Digger may return his war medals
Post by: grunter on Tuesday28April2009
G'DAY

Perhaps we should re-name the thread; "DVA good or bad"?
I too have a TPI and in the two years my case was being looked at i had mostly bad experiences.

Seemed to fall over many Navy who had a TPI and had so for many years?
But ironically when DVA sent me to one of their pet Docs, who routinely failed Vets (PTSD in the main) at the end of our interview; he went out of his way to shake my hand?

I equate some parts of DVA with Hardies; just waiting for us to die!

G.


Title: Re: Disgusted Digger may return his war medals
Post by: BC on Tuesday28April2009
I can only comment on the Tassie office as they are the only DVA personnel I've dealt with since 1994.
I had some problems with them, mainly the arbitrary manner in which they deal out "counter jumper" decisions that are easily overturned on appeal...An appeal isn't a hard thing to to arrange when in Aust but I was trying to do one via surface mail from Vietnam...2 weeks for my letter from here to Tassie, 2-3 weeks for them to read the letter, 2-3-4 weeks to get their reply. All the while having had my Ser Pen reduced to the Partner's Rate because I did the right thing in notifying DVA of my marriage.
My appeal was upheld with a return to Singles Rate and with back pay...Why Single's Rate? My wife doesn't get a zac from DVA and why should she? She's not an Aust citizen.

Having said that....
Since Alan Griffin arrived on the scene I have noticed a decided upgrade in service from Tassie.

I'm not trying to be dramatic but here's a fact...
Only rapid action and a decision made by a staff member in Tassie saved my life earlier this month...I was able to get expensive emergency treatment for a condition that would not let me fly anywhere for treatment and my Doc said I was 3 months past my "use by" date already. I'm flat broke at the moment so no hope of me paying for the treatment out of my own pocket..
Tassie office personnel bent over backwards to wade through a hospital insurance deal with locals who aren't really on the ball and had no idea of what DVA is/was...I'm sitting here typing this thanks to swift DVA action.
Min. Alan Griffin and his Tassie crew will do me until something better comes along.

BC


Title: Re: Disgusted Digger may return his war medals
Post by: grunter on Tuesday28April2009
OK At least there are some good stories/cases out there.

G.


Title: Re: Disgusted Digger may return his war medals
Post by: BC on Tuesday28April2009
We rarely get to hear them though, do we Grunter.  Nothing newsworthy in "good DVA" stories, people would obviously rather read about some whining twat who wants to hand his medals back to the Govt because "bad DVA" wrote him a letter.

BC.


Title: Re: Disgusted Digger may return his war medals
Post by: grunter on Tuesday28April2009
Roger That Mate.
bad news stories sell newspapers.
G.


Title: Re: Disgusted Digger may return his war medals
Post by: RMK on Wednesday29April2009
At last some thing I can comment on. As a TPI living over seas so far the Aust VA has been good to me. When we left Oz I had no dealing with the VA at all and no plans ever to do so. Then back in 2000 my health crashed big time and finaly after many E-mails and a few phone calls I was made a TPI. I must admit the SP would be very handy,very handy indeed and who knows one day we may be lucky. My bigest worry is that my long suffering wife gets her Widows P when the time comes. On a final note any body want some swine flue there seem to be plenty about at the moment  :'(


Title: Re: Disgusted Digger may return his war medals
Post by: CA on Thursday30April2009
I wonder what this Nasho Assn bigshot and wannabe vet, Ron Morse, will do with his phony operational service medals? Ebay?

http://www.anzmi.net/cases.html   leads to full story here  http://www.anzmi.net/morse/morse.html

CA