Pension Officers / Advocates

Pension Officers / Advocates for this Generation of Veterans, Serving and Ex-Serving Members of the Australian Defence Force

There are NOW 61,000 young veterans (1999 onwards) and Serving and Ex Serving members of the ADF that need your help with claims.

The Vietnam Vets of the RSL's Sub-Branches have done a magnificent job with Pensions and Advocacy for many many years. But time has finally taken its toll of them (55.000 Vietnam Veterans, 1965-1972 may be aged 65 Years plus?) And are finally retiring (to be with families and loved ones) from the Pension / Advocacy positions,

So you may soon find that there will be NOBODY available to help you ALL? So what you can do about this future situation? "Get your Members (Veteran and ADM recipients alike) to APPLY to become TIP Trained Pension Officers / Advocates to HELP your members in the future to handle the inevitable pension / advocacy enquiries"?

Good Luck!


TIP provides training for Pensions officers nominated by their ESO to enable them to provide the best possible advice to veterans and former serving members of the defence forces seeking their services. This training is available to all pension officers and covers the key legislation relevant to veterans, including those veterans that served in Iran, East Timor and Iraq.

Pension's officer training develops skills to assist claims under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986. Military compensation courses cover entitlements under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004.

TIP is a joint DVA and ESO program, but it is the responsibility of each ESO to recruit and support their pension officers. Many ESOs have recognised the need to recruit pension officers from those who have served in later conflicts, but the reality is that most of these veterans are still relatively young; the major priority is to obtain work and to support their families.

Attached is a link to DVA's Training and Information Program (TIP) webpage - http://www.dva.gov.au/ex-service_organisations/tip/Pages/index.aspx

This provides advice in regards to what the program is, who conducts the training, how to participate and who to obtain further information from in each State or Territory (click on each State or Territory listed in the blue box on the left hand side of the screen).

The TIP Coordinator in each State or Territory can provide local advice as to how to become involved.

ESOs who provide pensions, advocacy and/or welfare assistance to veterans, past and present members of the ADF and/or their dependants, can apply for a Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) grant. ESOs must be incorporated under the relevant State or Territory legislation. Attached is a link to the DVA BEST webpage: http://www.dva.gov.au/ex-service_organisations/best/Pages/BEST.aspx

Of interest - DVA has recently commenced work on an 'Advocacy Training Review'. Brigadier William Rolfe AO (Ret'd) has been engaged as the Lead Reviewer to review and scope options for strengthening the advocacy training framework. This review is the first step in ensuring that the learning and support framework which assists advocates continues to meet the needs of clients and it is expected to be completed by the end of the current financial year.

So IF your ESO does NOTHING! Your members may suffer badly in the future when it comes to Pensions, Compensation, and Advocacy, advice etc when they most need it to get it RIGHT?

Bill Hudnott

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