Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester recently put out a press release claiming that more than 75,000 veterans are now accessing assistance through DVA’s on-line MyService facility.
CONTACT didn’t publish this press release because, aside from it being a ‘PR puff piece’, we also had this nagging doubt about the minister’s figures.
Reading it more closely today, we think we know what was bugging us…
…the minister said 75,000 veterans registered with MyService, but only 50,000 claims have been submitted.
That means more than more than one-third of those who registered have not made any claim – and maybe closer to half if you consider that many veterans make more than one claim.
So, why have so many veterans registered without lodging a claim?
Probably because “You must register with DVA to get the Veteran Lapel Pin“.
Which, in the world of ‘lies, damn lies and statistics’ means that if more than 25,000 veterans registered with MyService just to get the lapel pin, then claiming that all of them are now “accessing assistance” is quite simply a damn lie.
Earlier, DVA told CONTACT “Veterans who register with MyService do not have to use the support and services available. The Department will use learnings from MyService use to guide policy and develop programs to better serve the needs of the evolving veteran community“…
…and lie about the number of people “accessing assistance“, apparently.
And, if they are promulgating such spurious statistics already, what hope for the quality of policies and programs guided by those statistics?
On separate note – and I guess this is part of a now-ongoing CONTACT information campaign…
when the minister says (below) “Claims for treatment for mental health conditions are among those that are available for immediate approval” – we would like him to add a caveat along the lines “Not all service providers are willing to accept DVA-funded veterans as clients” – see related stories “Veteran refused care – because DVA is paying“, “Follow-up to Veteran refused care – because DVA is paying” and “My personal anguish over DVA-funded mental health“.
Minister Chester’s press release (of 19 June 2019) in full…
MORE than 75,000 veterans are now accessing assistance through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) online claiming platform, MyService.
The Department is currently undergoing the most significant reform in its history, to ensure veterans and their families have faster and easier access to the services they need, when they need them.
Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel, Darren Chester, said the Department’s transformation and initiatives like MyService are delivering real benefits for veterans and their families by reducing the red tape and making the claiming process simpler.
“MyService is a great example of how this Government is putting veterans and their families first, and moving forward to ensure they can access the support they need, with less paperwork and faster processing,” Mr Chester said.
“Moving to an online platform has allowed veterans to submit claims by answering as few as three to seven questions, compared to the 40 questions on some paper forms. In some cases, claims for common conditions are being approved almost instantly.
“The number of people using MyService continues to grow as more services become available on the platform. MyService now has more than 75,000 users managing their business with DVA online, who have submitted nearly 50,000 claims.
“Claims for treatment for mental health conditions are among those that are available for immediate approval.
“The Department is working closely with the veteran community to ensure that veterans and their families can connect with DVA and access services and support when, where and how they want.
“Significant improvements to the Department’s telephone system and face-to-face services have also been vital to support a holistic approach in delivering services to veterans and their families.
“The Government is committed to ensuring DVA continues to improve to better serve our veterans and their families. We are focused on putting veterans and their families first and have provided funding through to 2021 for the transformation program.”