GRANT FUNDING TO HELP GYMPIE VETERANS
Gympie RSL Sub-Branch has achieved a $23,513 Federal Government grant to help veterans get support, Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien MP said today.
“The Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) program provides funding and resources to ex-service organisation practitioners for compensation and welfare advocacy,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Gympie Sub-Branch RSL has successfully obtained this funding to support our veterans in making claims to the Department of Veterans Affairs. I congratulate them for their tireless work to ensure our veterans are supported through the arduous claims process.”
The funding comes days after the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicides Interim Report gave a scathing review of the DVA claim backlog, citing an “unacceptable” 42,000 claims still awaiting processing as of May 2022.
“The Commission heard the long wait to receive entitlements can seriously and detrimentally impact veterans’ mental health,” Mr O’Brien said.
“I fully endorse the Commission’s urgent recommendation that this backlog is dealt with as quickly as possible.
“For every unassessed claim, a veteran may not be getting the support they need and are entitled to.”
The Commission has recommended the DVA be given until 31 March 2024 to eliminate the claims backlog.
Gympie RSL Sub-Branch president John Herlihy said the ex-service organisation was happy to have achieved the grant.
“We have many veterans who need to put forward claims and simply do not have enough advocates to help them,” Mr Herlihy said.
“This funding will help our advocates assist ex-service women and men in preparing paperwork to give them the best chances of success.”