What is RSL Life Care? Find out
January 21, 2021

RSL DefenceCare – 2020 annual service update

For many, 2020 was a year of change, challenges and uncertainty – but it was also a year of resilience, adaptation and connection.

It was no different for the team at RSL DefenceCare as we continued to support Australian veterans and their families through bushfires, homelessness, COVID-19 and many other challenges.

While adapting to the new norms, we offered all of our services, including help with Department of Veterans’ Affairs claims, advocacy at Veterans’ Review Board hearings and financial assistance. We also provided counselling, housing assistance for veterans experiencing homelessness and social connection through phone calls and visits.

Throughout 2020, RSL DefenceCare was able to:

  • Provide $525,609 in financial assistance including $324,305 in disaster assistance.
  • Assist 107 veterans experiencing homelessness.
  • Help 505 veterans to lodge 1567 DVA claims.
  • Provide 310 counselling sessions.
  • Make 474 virtual or socially distanced visits to veterans and family members at homes, hospitals or nursing homes.
  • Lodge 173 new VRB appeals, complete 244 Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mediation discussions and represent 57 full VRB Board Hearings.

 

Financial assistance

Throughout 2020, we provided $525,609 in financial assistance including $324,305 in disaster assistance. The bushfires at the beginning of the year devastated regional communities, many where veterans and their families reside. Our disaster assistance fund was available to support those families during a traumatic period.

Our financial assistance service also helped veteran families find accommodation, keep the lights on, and stay connected with loved ones when the pandemic impacted employment and threatened people’s livelihoods.

The help we’ve had out of DefenceCare has been tremendous.” Glen, RSL DefenceCare client

 

Homelessness and housing support

Over the last twelve months, we helped 107 veterans experiencing homelessness, or at risk of becoming homeless.

RSL DefenceCare was also integral in providing feedback on the Rent Choice Veterans’ program, expanding access to affordable housing for even more veterans.

In addition, our transition into RSL LifeCare Veteran Services allows our team to work more closely than ever with the Homes for Heroes program – providing a more holistic and supportive service to even more veterans.

Through collaboration, Homes for Heroes was able to assist an at-risk veteran with transition accommodation while our housing project officer set about finding him a more permanent living situation. During this time, he was also referred on to his local veterans’ centre for mental health support. This work gave the veteran somewhere to call home, as well as the sense of security and self-empowerment he needed to embrace a more positive outlook for the future.

They not only treated me as human, but as an ex-serviceman in need. I cannot recommend them more highly.”an RSL DefenceCare client

 

DVA claims and appeals

During 2020, we helped 505 veterans to lodge 1567 DVA claims.

We also lodged 173 new VRB appeals, completed 244 Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mediation discussions and represented 57 full VRB Board Hearings.

The pandemic meant a shift in how our claims advisors met and worked with clients; face-to-face visits have always been the norm.

The team were able to adapt to the challenges of 2020, and successfully transitioned to virtual appointments using videoconferencing and phone calls, while maintaining a professional and compassionate connection to their clients.

Successfully accessing a white card, gold card, or other benefits from DVA can be very helpful in providing security after service. Our specialist team, many who are veterans themselves, are here to help you understand the claims process and access the benefits you are entitled to.

These services, like all of those offered by RSL DefenceCare are free of charge.

 

RSL DefenceCare made a massive difference to both my experience in dealing with DVA and also the very positive outcome of my claim.” – an RSL DefenceCare client

 

Community support and outreach

Social connection was so vital in 2020. At a time when isolation and uncertainty became an issue for all Australians, having a support network and people to talk to made such a difference to our clients.

Throughout the year, we were able to provide 310 counselling sessions and make 474 virtual or socially distanced visits to veterans and family members at homes, hospitals or nursing homes.

A huge thank you to the team for their assistance.”An RSL DefenceCare client

 

Always there

Reflecting on 2020, we have all overcome some incredible challenges. The start of 2021 looks like having many of those same challenges. RSL DefenceCare, and the broader RSL LifeCare Veteran Services team will continue to grow and adapt to the needs of our clients.

We will always be there for veterans in need.   

Our efforts are proudly supported by funds from RSL NSW and RSL sub-Branches, and the services we provide would not be possible without the generous support of donors.

If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

 

*RSL DefenceCare is a program of RSL LifeCare Veteran Services.

Blog Posts

Help for Vets in Need

Veterans’ Services

Find out more

Latest News

array(2) { [0]=> int(175) [1]=> int(41) }

State-of-the-art Nowra Veteran Wellbeing Centre now open to veterans and their families

RSL LifeCare has officially opened its purpose built, state-of-the-art facility to permanently house the Nowra Veteran Wellbeing Centre, providing an expanded range of health and...

Read more

RSL LifeCare’s Response to Federal Budget

RSL LifeCare has welcomed the Australian Government’s commitment in additional support and funding across Aged Care and Veterans’ Services as part of the October 2022...

Read more

RSL LifeCare welcomes new CEO

Media Release 21 September 2022 RSL LifeCare has welcomed a new CEO this week, with the appointment of experienced and entrepreneurial business leader, Janet Muir. ...

Read more

Fee-free certified training for veterans or their partners across NSW with JobTrainer

In collaboration with Training Services NSW through their JobTrainer program, RSL LifeCare Veteran Services is providing access to four certification programs across hospitality, business, leadership...

Read more

Access to fee-free certified training with the JobTrainer pilot program

In collaboration with Training Services NSW through their JobTrainer program, RSL LifeCare Veteran Services are piloting access to three certification programs across business, leadership and...

Read more

Lakes of Cherrybrook

As a part-owner of ‘Lakes of Cherrybrook,’ RSL LifeCare is aware of some building and maintenance issues raised by a small number of Strata owners...

Read more
Wal Williams OAM, ANZAC Commemorative Service, 21st April 2022.

Vale Walter Williams OAM

RSL LifeCare staff and residents alike have been deeply saddened to learn of the passing of long - time ANZAC Village resident and respected RSL...

Read more

Giving our nurses a voice to lead

Today, on International Nurses Day (IND) we shine a light on our nursing staff and their vital work. Our nurses are a core part of RSL...

Read more

Hugh Cunningham Gardens welcomes Australian Defence Force support

RSL LifeCare has welcomed the support of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel at Hugh Cunningham Gardens residential aged care home at Tura Beach.  The 15-person...

Read more

Construction Begins on Permanent Nowra Veteran Wellbeing Centre

Construction has begun on a new purpose built, state-of-the-art facility to permanently house the Nowra Veteran Wellbeing Centre, providing an expanded range of health and...

Read more

Today we honour Rawdon Hume “Ron” Middleton, VC.

SEVENTY nine years ago today a bomber took off from an air base in Suffolk, England. It was one of more than 200 aircraft on...

Read more

Download a brochure

We'll never share your email address and you can opt out at any time, we promise

Career Application Single

  • Accepted file types: docx, doc, pdf, Max. file size: 50 MB.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Contact Veteran Services

Are you ready to explore a new operations role with extra benefits?

Take your career in a new direction RSL LifeCare.

Search for an operations role at an RSL LifeCare Residential Aged Care facility in the Southern NSW region. Take a look at all our current positions here.

1. 100% funding on participating certifications

Undertake a participating certification through the RSL LifeCare Earn and Learn Incentive Program1 and you could be eligible to have your learning fully funded.

2. Cash bonus of up to $1000 (less income tax).

Through the RSL LifeCare Sign-on Bonus, you could be eligible for two split payments of $500 (less income tax), when you start a new role with us.

Contact Homes for Heroes today