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Tate hates Vietnam Vets like the War Protestors Did
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| | |-+  Good DVA? Bad DVA? For TPIs living O/S or thinking about it.
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Author Topic: Good DVA? Bad DVA? For TPIs living O/S or thinking about it.  (Read 6464 times)
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« Reply #1 on: Thursday30April2009 »


A little off the tread BUT if they stopped sending the payments to the 130 year olds, then maybe we could get our back pay?

Veterans' data riddled with errors, says,25197,25395062-15306,00.html
Andew Colley | April 28, 2009
THE national auditor has questioned the integrity of Department of
Veterans' Affairs income support payments as a result of its record
management system modification stalling.
The Australian National Audit Office in a report last week recommended
major improvements to the department's IT governance practices after
identifying thousands of incomplete or inaccurate client records on its
The report finds also that the agency's IT modernisation program, which
involved moving its records from legacy mainframes to newer systems and
software, had stalled, with no changeover date in sight.
The department distributed about $45 million in pension income-support
payments to veterans and their surviving dependents last financial
It has about 1.5 million clients on its books, of which only about
317,000 are active.
A spokesman for Veterans' Affairs Minister Alan Griffin said the office
had found no evidence that veterans or their dependants had been paid
incorrectly or denied payments. The department was, however, unable to
provide a spokesperson prepared to make more detailed official comments
about the ANAO report.
The report questions the department's ability to make reliable
It also discovered what it describes as "data anomalies".
An example is 438 clients older than 130 on the department's books,
with no recorded date of death.
Among other problems with client records, the ANAO found 24,820 clients
had been assigned multiple identification numbers.
That was an increase from about 16,983 multiple numbers discovered in a
2004 audit by the ANAO.
According to the office, most of the problem identification numbers
related to inactive client records but "the results highlight the
potential for poor data to affect the efficiency and reliability of
DVA's decision-making".
The office was particularly critical of the department's management of
2500 active records missing crucial information about relatives.
At least part of the problem with the department's records relate to
its troubled IT modernisation program, called oneDVA, which began in
2005. In 2006 the department began migrating data from its heritage
system (known as the Ad Hoc Inquiry System 2000 or AIS 2000) to a newer
system called Curam.
It had intended to switch to the new system and make it the
authoritative source of information under oneDVA.
It is understood the department paid $15 million for Curam and services
to migrate data to it, but the process struck problems and in April
2007 a $90 million contract was signed with IBM to maintain its
heritage systems alongside Curam.
"Despite DVA's considerable project planning, data testing and
cleansing to prepare the heritage data for transfer into Curam,
unanticipated data incompatibility and integration issues emerged
during the migration of the data," the ANAO report says.
"To enable the transfer of the data into Curam, heritage records with
blank date-of-birth fields were populated by DVA with dummy data."
The department is yet to provide the ANAO with a date when the
migration process will be complete.
« on: Wednesday29April2009 »

Wives of TPIs get the War Widow's pension automatically regardless of her nationality and/or country of residence.
Three expat vets here in VN and I got some crook info from Tassie DVA's Karen Baker and unfortunately believed her.
First we were led to understand that our wives only had to set up local bank accounts to be paid. WRONG.
Then we were told that our wives had to set up ONLY Aust bank accounts ONLY in Aust to be eligible. WRONG.

I asked for a definite ruling from someone higher up the DVA pecking order than Karen Baker. Conflicting and apparently true info then appeared.

Here's the latest info which I shall be checking on again this year and I suggest anyone in the same situation do likewise.

I've lined up the emails from earliest date.

-----Original Message-----
From: Bud Cramer [mailto:bud]
Sent: Sunday, July 24, 2005 3:59 PM
To: Karen Baker
Cc: Bud Cramer; EM
Subject: War Widows Pension

Dear Karen. Could you please advise who, within DVA, I should ask for information regarding foreign national wives who live outside Australia and the War Widows Pension entitlements and requirements.
Please send EM a CC of your reply.
Kindest regards.
Bud Cramer.[/color]

Baker, Karen wrote:
Hi Mr Cramer,
That person would be me!!!!
Ok......where do we are a TPI veteran therefore Ward Widow  (WW) pension is automatic for the wife.  There is no Gold Card entitlement for overseas veterans or WW's.
HOWEVER....the WW pension must be paid into an Austraian bank account in your wife's name.  You may wish to put this in place at your convenience to save the hassles of your wife trying to arrange it at a later date, as I know some people have an awful lot of trouble trying to open bank accounts whilst overseas.
Besides that I hope all is well with you and Mr M.


(think about how much that single purpose trip to Aust would have cost, BC)

-----Original Message-----
From: Bud Cramer [mailto:bud]
Sent: Monday, July 25, 2005 3:09 PM
To: Baker, Karen
Cc: Bud Cramer
Subject: Re: War Widows Pension

Many thanks for this Karen. My wife must have a bank account under her name in Australia...all clear.
Foreign national widows in what countries would require this Aust bank account? All countries or just some?
Would there be WW Pension payments made to Philippine banks for Filipina widows of deceased TPIs? This is a story that's doing the rounds.


Baker, Karen wrote:

----- Original Message -----
From: Baker, Karen
To: 'Bud Cramer'
Sent: Monday, July 25, 2005 12:16 PM
Subject: RE: War Widows Pension

Hi Mr Cramer,
ALL overseas pensions regardless of veteran's pensions or war widows MUST be paid into an Australian bank account - regardless of what country you/they are living in.[/b]
Hope this answers your questions...

-----Original Message-----
From: Bud Cramer [mailto:bud]
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2005 1:28 PM
To: Baker, Karen;
Cc: Bud Cramer; Blue Ryan
Subject: Re: War Widows Pension

G'day Karen. Would you kindly re-check the information you supplied in your replies below.[/color] (now above, BC)

(Uh-oh...a problem, crook info was dished out, BC)
Baker, Karen wrote:
 Hi Mr Cramer,
 Dale Emery, Manager of Compensation, will reply to your email.

Emery, Dale wrote: (16 Aug 05)
 Mr Cramer,
Thank you for your email query.  As Karen Baker said in her reply, all pensions must be paid into an Australian bank account.  At this time the Department cannot pay pensions into foreign bank accounts.  Some Australian banks with branches in other countries allow non-Australian citizens to open Australian bank accounts from that country.
If, for whatever reason, the recipient is unable to open an Australian bank account, the Department will pay the fortnightly pension by cheque.  This payment can be made (in Australian dollars) to either the pension recipient or to their nominated bank for deposit into their account.  Note that any fees associated with this payment are the responsibility of the receipient.
Please let me know if you have any further queries on this matter.
Thank you,

Dale Emery
Manager Compensation
Department of Veterans' Affairs
Tasmania State Office
Tel : (03) 6221 6711
Fax : (03) 6221 6742

(Another vet got this, BC)

Overseas War Widows Entitlements
"Emery, Dale" <>
Tue, 9 Aug 2005 15:11:33 +1000

Mr J,

This email is in reply to your question regarding entitlements for overseas
War Widows.  If a Totally and Permanently Incapacitated (TPI) Veteran dies
and they have a spouse, then the spouse - once we establish their identity -
is entitled to a War Widows Pension, whether they live in Australia or

If, for whatever reason, that widow is unable to open an Australian bank
account, then the Department will send a cheque by mail every fortnight.
Please note that this cheque is in Australian dollars.[/b]  Any fees associated
with banking or converting this cheque to foreign currency is the
responsiblity of the recipient.

If you have any further questions on this topic please contact me.

Thank you,

Dale Emery
Manager Compensation
Department of Veterans' Affairs
Tasmania State Office
Tel : (03) 6221 6711
Fax : (03) 6221 6742


-----Original Message-----
From: Bud Cramer [mailto:bud]
Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2005 3:40 PM
To: Emery, Dale
Subject: Re: War Widows Pension

Thank you Dale. Much appreciated.
So, I understand that the War Widows Pension cheque can be sent overseas directly to the Widow's home address.. Is this correct?
Please pass my thanks to Karen for forwarding my email to you.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject:    RE: War Widows Pension
Date:    Thu, 18 Aug 2005 10:24:32 +1000
From:    Emery, Dale <>
To:    'Bud Cramer' <bud>

Mr Cramer,
If the War Widow is unable to open an Australian bank account within their country, and we send a cheque each fortnight, the Department can send the cheque to whatever address is required. [/b] Please note however that the cheque will be made out in the name of the entitled person.
Thank you,
Dale Emery
Manager Compensation
Department of Veterans' Affairs
Tasmania State Office
Tel : (03) 6221 6711
Fax : (03) 6221 6742

That's the story, so far.
Married or contemplating marriage to a lady in another country? Make sure DVA has ALL the details. She should enlist  the services of either the Aust Consulate in Saigon or the Embassy in Hanoi in order to prove your demise. Once all is considered above board, she'll start getting cheques in the mail from DVA which she can then deposit in the bank of her choice. The bank will take about a month to clear the cheques and then start handing out the War Widows Pension to her and her alone on a hopefully fortnightly basis from then on.
DVA will send the cheqes to her bank BUT....the bank staff must have a full and complete understanding of what to do with them on arrival...That could cause big problems, even more problems than the DVA envelopes being recognised at Post Offices and "remittances" are suspected..PO staff will steal them and try to flog the cheques off on the black market at around a 5% discount.

One thing I'm not clear on and will check ASAP, is the 6 weeks or so TPI and maybe Ser Pen payments that continue after the TPI's demise. A TPI's wife in that situation would have to have foreign country access to his Aust bank account via debit card to do this. My wife knows my card pin numbers but other wives may not be so lucky...and that's entirely understandable.

Whatever you do, don't cop a reduction from Singles to Partner's Rate Ser Pen if you notify DVA of out-of-Aust marriage to a foreign citizen. It happened to me and at least one other vet here. See the DVA "Jo" email above, he was one other one for sure who had the decision overturned on appeal and there's the possibility DVA did it to another TPI as well.

If you're not sure about DVA rulings passed down, do not check with some vet who's set himself up as some sort of guru-knows-all-DVA shitwit.

Always DOUBLE CHECK every bit of info you get from DVA and don't accept the first reply as gospel...We have some damn fine advocates working for us to them.
Be aware though, at least one TIP4 trained advocate has passed on the personal file of a vet to ne'er-do-wells who were on a revenge trip against the veteran concerned. Choose your advocate carefully.

That's the most recent info I have from DVA but things may have changed....As I suggest to anyone contemplating dealing with DVA in even minute matters that vary slightly from the norm. CHECK EVERY DETAIL more than once.

One last suggestion, not advice, just a little story for any of you blokes contemplating hooking up with a lady in Vietnam. 
You might take note of the term "Mango Fever"
It's a very common condition encountered around the 3rd to 4th hour of wandering around Saigon or any other well populated centre...or not.
I can't count how many times I and other vets have chatted with newly arrived Aussie vets about how things are going in their second week or so here only to discover he has a "Sweetie" already.
First question.."How old is she?  It's always a rhetorical question because the "sweetie" is always 22 years old.  She's a seamstress, teacher, part-time accountant, or a loving daughter who looks after Mum and Dad at home. She very rarely has a 9 to 5 job so is available for trips to anywhere at the drop of a hat...All the family work and she's not interested in money or a ticket to Aust...She likes the 60 + yo vet because he's nice and not an arsehole like VN-ese males. Money is nothing when friendship and happiness abound.

If interested in hooking up with a VN-ese "sweetie" Read this true horror story.

Then name one (1) vet you know, or know of, who's still happily married to a SE Asian woman. There are some, but nowhere near the number I've seen leave VN. There are vets here looking for "sweetie" #2 and I think they'll do well after having been burned that first time..Old dogs can be taught new tricks if they have just a little CDF.

Apologies for the overly long rave...I could have gone on about all the dumb mistakes I've made here (except for a lucky choice of wife) but it would take me a month to line them all up in chronological order :-)

Cheers to all.


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