Access to the Defence, Veterans’ and Families Acute Support Package
Legislation was passed in Parliament late last year to enable the Defence, Veterans’ and Families’ Acute Support Package. This package expands the existing Family Support Package to provide more practical services and flexibility for families.
Requirements for veterans to have warlike service or be participating in rehabilitation have been removed. Eligibility has been expanded to working age families of veterans eligible for certain payments under all three Acts, who are at risk of or are in crisis. Working age widowed partners of veterans whose death was related to service, including suicide, under all three Acts are now also eligible. This eligibility expansion allows veteran families to access important support when they need it most.
Support for widowed partners will be improved by allowing them to access support for two years from the date of acceptance into the program, rather than the date of death of the veteran.
Financial limits for each service category of childcare, counselling and household services will be replaced with an overall yearly cap, providing families with greater flexibility. Additionally, a range of new practical supports will be available to help families build independence and resilience including but not limited to financial literacy, mental health first aid, academic and wellbeing support for children, resilience development and counselling.
Services that are available are:
- child care (including home based care, centre based care, family day care, occasional care and outside school hours care)
- counselling for adults and children (including clinical, financial and other life skills counselling where required)
- household assistance (including meal delivery and preparation, cleaning, and household and garden maintenance)
- services to build capacity (including financial literacy, relationship skills, cooking lessons and mental health first aid)
- wellbeing, academic and extra-curricular support for children (including tutoring, music lessons and sporting activities)
- transport for children to attend school and services provided through the program if required.
Access to the Defence, Veterans’ and Families’ Acute Support Package commenced 14 October 2022.
There is further information HERE.