Defence force veterans copping a raw deal from Government

Calls for Government to address inequity in compensation payments to veterans.

Outrage at veterans’ compensation

As Australians commemorate ANZAC Day, the Totally and Permanently Incapacitated (TPI) Federation of Australia has called on the Government to recognise and address a glaring inequity in compensation payments to defence force veterans who are left unable to work or provide for their families as a result of their service.  

TPI veterans – including WWII veterans now in their 90s, as well as disabled veterans from a range of other conflicts – are only receiving 63 per cent of the gross minimum wage as compensation for not being able to work, due to their service-related incapacities.

The TPI payment is made up of two compensation components – pain and suffering, and economic loss.

While the pain and suffering component has remained stable, the economic loss compensation component has eroded to such an extent that it only rates at approximately 63 per cent of the gross minimum wage. 

TPI Federation president Pat McCabe met with Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier this year to discuss economic loss compensation, but could not get a commitment from the prime minister to restore payments to at least match the gross minimum wage.

The government did announce on Wednesday that it will exempt veterans who are totally and permanently incapacitated from a new limit of 12 sessions with allied health providers such as physiotherapists.

Ms McCabe, however, said that the TPIs have proudly served their country, paid a massive price for that service and deserved to be on the same footing as those on the barest minimum standard of living.

“TPI veterans have been left permanently disabled as a result of their service for Australia, yet by no fault of their own, they find themselves receiving well below the minimum wage for their economic loss compensation while trying to live a normal life for themselves and their families,” Ms McCabe said. 

“The TPI Federation not only welcomes a recognition of the service that veterans have rendered, but concrete actions that support the restoration of the ‘economic loss’ compensation for our most disabled veterans – thereby providing a basic community recognised benchmark for a TPI’s ‘economic loss’ that is commensurate to that of the gross minimum wage.”

Ms McCabe said this erosion and shortfall was very difficult for veterans who had served their country, and suffered as a result, along with the burden equally shared by their supportive families.

“TPI veterans and their families should not have to bear the financial burden of years of Government mismanagement and failures,” Ms McCabe said. 

“The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) and the Department of Finance are required to maintain the value of the veteran’s compensation. They failed!

“The nation’s 28,000 TPIs urgently require a restoration in compensation to restore a veterans’ minimum standard of living. That is only fair and is the right thing to do.” 

Do you think veterans with service-related disabilities should at least be earning the gross minimum wage? Is treatment of our war veterans unfair?

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    COMMENTS

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    25th Apr 2019
    10:37am
    Absolutely disgusting; yet so typical of the penny-pinching heartlessness of the LNP.
    bob menzies
    25th Apr 2019
    10:43am
    The labor party are NO better. I am a TPI and for years both parties have accepted the case is valid but can't find the money to fund this.
    What annoys me is that today you'll have all these politicians saying wonderful things about Veterans but actually not doing very much - hypocrites the lot of them.
    If I have a criticism of the LNP on a fiscal front is that they have not been penny pinching enough over past 6 years. Labor will be much worse though.
    MICK
    25th Apr 2019
    11:04am
    Not been penny pinching enough? Have you had a look at the almost tripling of the debt when they claimed they'd be having a surplus (several times) whilst ticking up debt like there was no tomorrow.
    At the very least Labor produced something other than Royal Commissions directed against their political opponents whilst governing in the toughest of times.
    This lot have no excuses and no morals of any kind and you support them like they are street angels Bob. What does that say about you?
    Karl Marx
    25th Apr 2019
    11:41am
    Mick, his name says it all doesn't it
    MICK
    25th Apr 2019
    1:41pm
    Yeah. Been following the posts of this rusted on right wing mouthpiece for some years. Never any different.
    Would love to know WHO some of our rusted ons are. I suspect none of us would be too surprised when you throw up past job and residential address.
    bob menzies
    25th Apr 2019
    2:43pm
    what is a fact is that I have served my country, my community in a volunteer fashion and my church.
    I have been a conservative for the best part of 50 years - I believe in smaller government, lower taxes, freedom of speech and the individual and all things that value our customs, traditions and values.
    Never said libs are angels and they have disappointed me many many times - but in my opinion and half the population or for 46 or my 69 years libs have formed government and so a majority of people agree with me.
    Rusted on - no I research a lot and as a post graduate degree qualified person I am not rusted on but rather believe in the tenet set down by Bob Menzies PM in 1940s
    I came from a working class family got a scholarship got educated and served in military entering Academy then rose to high levels in our top companies.
    I will respectifully disagree with your political views.
    MICK
    25th Apr 2019
    4:51pm
    I agree with your sentiments bob but your support of a wicked government with some of the most malicious lying hooligans in the game does concern me. If you were the real McCoy then you'd spit the current lot out rather than feed on them and support the unsupportable.

    True Christians do not support wickedness on steroids. Morrison's so called church should shut its doors tomorrow and its behaviour is not uncommon in other churches. I've seen the same BS in the local Uniting and Catholic churches where parishioners swarm all over candidates who might win the seat.

    And you wonder why churches are on the way out. True Christians are not like that!
    The Care Bear.
    26th Apr 2019
    12:01pm
    When will you people realise that the 2 party system is broken and deserves to be shunned at all costs. Use your vote carefully and vote below the line to nullify the preferential system we are saddled with.
    MICK
    25th Apr 2019
    11:00am
    But we can apparently afford tens of billions of dollars to give already wealthy Australians generous tax cuts?
    This is a part of the class war being waged by the worst government in our history. Nothing less.
    MrsB
    25th Apr 2019
    11:35am
    That’s an absolute disgrace not to give our returned soldiers the recognition they need. They went to war to protect us, and this is the way the government honors them, hold your heads in shame.
    Be a broken record and keep on their back and make them see it’s the least our country can do for them.
    We salute our soldiers with pride. Thank you!! Xx
    Nerk
    25th Apr 2019
    11:36am
    Get them at the ballot box.
    Karl Marx
    25th Apr 2019
    11:43am
    Veterans, pensions, the disabled should ALL be on a basic livable pension. About time that universal pension was introduced. The sooner the better for all
    TREBOR
    25th Apr 2019
    1:33pm
    I've long advocated that Active Service Returnees should have a minimum guaranteed income for life. Many find it difficult to even find work etc, most have families, and it can be a very desperate business. Rambo movies don't help, with their false representation of PTSD and such and the assumption on the part of many that Veterans are crazy.
    GeorgeM
    25th Apr 2019
    1:45pm
    Absolutely correct, SFR. All those you mention need it (universal age pension) at a decent rate far more than the tax cuts being handed out with much more on the way especially for the rich and big business.

    Totally wrong priorities from BOTH side of politics - Liberal, Labor and Greens current MPs must be voted OUT by all retirees in particular.
    HDRider
    25th Apr 2019
    12:31pm
    As a veteran with a war service pension from UK (pittance) and a UK age pension, apparently, according to government scum and Centre link I am earning too much! So, in their wisdom they are taking some off of me, I guess to pay for politicians perks!
    I served two countries, albeit in Australia in what is known as a protected trade.
    Now to add insult to injury, they take some of my overseas age pension and war service pension, even though I now have cancer! It really doesn't heery more cruel does it?
    TREBOR
    25th Apr 2019
    1:35pm
    Veteran Pensions should be asset and income test free...
    bob menzies
    25th Apr 2019
    2:45pm
    your situation is a national disgrace
    TREBOR
    25th Apr 2019
    1:29pm
    DVA had a budget for TPIs and then with the advent of PTSD as a permanent disability, found its budget blowing out. John Howard's government brought in a few rules that made it harder for initial claims and then TPI award. I warned, in a letter to the VVAA, that this as coming.

    TPI, added to Service Pension, is not so bad, though TPI in isolation is 63% of minimum as stated. My primary concern is the continuing lack of genuine support, apart from some Veteran organisations, and the often indifference of a community to the plight of some of its Veterans and ex-Service people.

    The suicide rate among younger Vets needs a serious look at, since 'wars' such as Afghanistan are very confused and often bewildering and morally incomprehensible to young men and women. Often, during contacts, they are aware that those they are shooting at are civilians and not strictly Taliban etc.... and even in the event of 'snatch' jobs, where a high value target is captured, such a one is often a friend or relative of the province governor or similar, and is back on the streets in a week or so after being handed over to the ANA or province troops. Also ground is (still) not retained after fighting and endless patrolling is the norm. Moral suffers as a result - people can be killed for this kind of corruption, so it is no wonder many young Diggers suffer inordinately.

    Our nation chooses people who are essentially intelligent and non-violent by nature... then sends them into harm's way in many ways, and does not adequately support them later.

    My best advice to young Troopers is to get in touch with one of the Vet groups in your area, and if you are in trouble, say so. Older heads can sometimes help.
    MICK
    25th Apr 2019
    1:38pm
    I like your summary at the end TREBOR. Yes, wars are started by the political class but fought by the working class. I'd love to see the statistics on how many rich peoples children or those of politicians, current or past, dies on the front line.
    The irony is it NEVER ends up any different when the cannon fodder returns home. Promptly ignored and forgotten. Lest we forget indeed?
    bob menzies
    25th Apr 2019
    2:48pm
    Trebor excellent points and you know your stuff - as you'd be aware many TPIs do not get a service pension at time of TPI is granted. The ex service associations need to work closer together and there are a view reviews currently underway
    Bottle-O-Rum
    25th Apr 2019
    2:00pm
    Closely related are the Extreme Disabled (EDA) veterans who have a greater disability threshold but who delayed their application for assistance until after they left employment - this misjudgement makes the situation of the EDA pension recipient even more dire and at least equally deserving of review.
    MICK
    25th Apr 2019
    2:14pm
    Sounds like a nightmare. I'm so glad I missed the lottery and was never conscripted.
    Its totally outrageous that young men (boys) were sent to fight a war which had nothing to do with us for another country than our own. Then when these young men returned home, the ones who were not killed, broken in mind and/or body they were shafted by the very political system which caused their suffering and ongoing disability let alone loss of earning power for the rest of their lives.
    I see a good case for a slick lawyer to exploit. This is a classic case of the state involved in genocide and then refusing to do the right thing.
    You'll see I'm somewhat passionate about the dirt in society. Seems to exist at every level.
    bob menzies
    25th Apr 2019
    2:52pm
    Bottle-O-Rum - yes the cut off point is somewhat arbitrary for EDA but if TPI gets changed then EDA hopefully will be looked after.
    Mick - I volunteered and proud to do so
    MICK
    25th Apr 2019
    4:42pm
    Stand back, look at the form and how returned soldiers have been treated and see the system fir what it is.
    I congratulate you on having survived as well as not getting a life ending cancer. My brother in law was not so lucky.
    bob menzies
    25th Apr 2019
    6:00pm
    Mick, No lucky no cancer but broken back and heart disease but hanging in there
    MICK
    25th Apr 2019
    7:56pm
    You've done well for your country. The real country. The bastards in politics who used young Australians men and then spat them out when they got what they wanted are disgraceful but then this class have no soul.
    We might not agree with our respective politics but I do recognise your sacrifice.
    Hope your ailments do not stop you from living and take comfort in the fact that all older men have their issues. Hang in there.
    Cheers.
    McGroger
    25th Apr 2019
    3:05pm
    I think we’re trending back to the bad old days.

    My father-in-law and his wife were looked after reasonably after his WW2 service.

    But my father’s uncle who served in WW1 was very shabbily treated. In his early 20s, he was gassed, came home and regularly vomited up forever more. He’d also been rendered infertile. His army pay had been 6/- a day. He copped a pension of 15/- a fortnight (just over 1/- a day) because they determined he’d lost one sixth of his earning capacity… for a period of six months. But he could no longer hold down a job any better than he could hold down his breakfast, so he could neither support his wife nor give her any children. He left his wife - partly to look for work, partly so that she could divorce him, and partly because he was a mental mess (a complaint the army didn’t recognise).

    He ended up committing suicide.

    25th Apr 2019
    3:21pm
    ANZAC Day is a day of remembrance, to remember all those who lost their lives in service to their country, in all wars. Surely politics could have been laid aside on this one day of the year?
    MICK
    25th Apr 2019
    4:43pm
    There's an election on and a veracious media trying to milk it for all its worth. Your sentiments are noble but human life simply does not matter to some, as long its not theirs.
    HDRider
    25th Apr 2019
    5:32pm
    There's actually two days a year, NOV 11 is the other one Old Man.
    It was politics that caused this thread and your life choices published the treachery of govt's.
    cupoftea
    25th Apr 2019
    3:27pm
    As was said May 18 vote, it is disgusting the way you Veterans are being treated,I my self has never served but I did travel around for the first 16yrs of my life with someone who did
    HDRider
    25th Apr 2019
    5:33pm
    That's not an easy life either, we'll done you.
    cupoftea
    25th Apr 2019
    3:27pm
    As was said May 18 vote, it is disgusting the way you Veterans are being treated,I my self has never served but I did travel around for the first 16yrs of my life with someone who did

    26th Apr 2019
    6:40pm
    Take a look at United Australia's policies. To start with - gold cards for all who engaged in active service OR peace keeping missions AND FOR THEIR SPOUSES, and a $75 per week increase in all vets, disability and aged pensions. There's more to come. They are looking at a range of issues related to the way we treat our aged, vets and disabled and I believe are sincere about wanting to remedy the wrongs. I don't much like Clive Palmer, but I have to say I'm impressed with some of the UAP candidates and with UAP policies. I think they present a very valid alternative to two toxic major parties that have both totally lost the plot.
    GeorgeM
    27th Apr 2019
    12:03am
    I have to agree, OAW, almost all his policies sound good, noting even his opposition to Labor's FC policy which you must have noted. He has correctly picked out a full range of policies which most people want (good attacks on Chinese takeover of this country in particular, plan to process minerals here instead of overseas, vets, disability and aged pension increases, etc, etc) - hope he does really well, as we need to shake up the 2-party system and get some real change.

    BTW, I heard that 44 seats (out of 151) in the Lower House are on less than 5% margin for current incumbents! As I have repeatedly said, the 3 Million+ Retirees can really make a difference if they act together and turf OUT all sitting MPs of all Major Parties (Liberal, Labor & Greens) by putting them LAST (or just above the crazies).

    We need to give good thinking candidates, such as UAP, SAP, Independents, etc a chance to exercise some power to shake up the currently non-functioning parliament.


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