DVA services during the holiday period
DVA will continue to provide support to veterans and their families during the holiday season. However, please be aware that some services will be impacted.
Counselling, mental health support and crisis accommodation
The Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling telephone line is available to support members of the current and ex-service community and their families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Phone 1800 011 046 toll-free.
Safe Zone Support is an anonymous counselling line and is available 24/7 to support members of the current and ex-service community and their families. Phone 1800 142 072 toll-free.
If you require urgent assistance, please call 000. If you are unwell, please contact your local doctor or go to your nearest hospital.
Short-term crisis accommodation is available for eligible people. Please phone 1800 011 046 or visit openarms.gov.au
For further mental health information and support, visit openarms.gov.au
Transport bookings for medical treatment
DVA staff will be available to process transport requests for medical treatment on 28, 29 and 30 December. Please call 1800 550 455.
The service will be closed on the weekends as well as 26 and 27 December and 2 January. If transport is required on these days and has not been pre-booked, you can pay for the travel and seek reimbursement when we re-open. Or, if you are an existing MyService user, you can make new transport bookings and review existing ones online (login.my.gov.au).
For travel in an emergency always dial 000.
VAN offices, General Enquiries and Open Arms centres
DVA offices and shopfronts, and general enquiry services will be closed for the Christmas / New Year period from 24 December 2022 to Monday 2 January 2023 inclusive.
DVA’s General Enquiries phone line and email services, DVA’s Veterans’ Access Network (VAN) offices booked interview service and Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling centres resume on Tuesday, 3 January 2023.
Defence Service Homes Insurance
DSH Insurance and its advisors will be available for support with any insurance needs outside of the national public holidays over the Christmas period.
For enquiries, or help with a policy or claim, phone 1300 552 662.
Outside of core business hours, and during national public holidays, calls will be diverted to DSH Insurance’s after-hours service partner, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
For DSHI’s automated payment service, phone 1300 304 989 for the cost of a local call. This service is also available 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Doctors can admit DVA patients into hospital over the holiday period and request retrospective approval for the admission, where required when DVA resumes full services.
There will be no reduction in services across the Christmas/New Year period. Providers seeking prior approval for pharmaceuticals can call the Veterans’ Affairs Pharmaceutical Advisory Centre (VAPAC) 24 hours a day on 1800 552 580.
Pension payments – from Christmas to late January
Pension paydays are not affected over this period. So the last payment in 2022 will be on Thursday 29 December 2022. The first payment of the New Year will be Thursday 12 January 2023.
Pension payday for 26 January 2023 will land on Australia Day, which is a public holiday. Therefore, pension payments that would normally be paid on that day will instead be paid into bank accounts the previous day – Wednesday 25 January 2023.
Incapacity payments will be paid as normal on Wednesday 21 December 2022. The next payment after this is due on Wednesday 4 January 2023.
However, because of differing arrangements by various banks during the holiday period, which are beyond DVA’s control, the precise day of the week you receive this payment may differ from usual. You may wish to make arrangements to ensure you have enough funds to cover any direct deposit payments.
Client Support Program
The Client Support Program (CSP) provides case management services tailored to the individual needs of clients and their families. This program will be affected by the DVA Christmas reduced activity arrangements. Staff will not be available from 24 December to 2 January 2023 inclusive.
CSP case managers will contact their clients prior to this period to discuss support arrangements during and make sure they’re aware of the assistance available from Open Arms.
Veteran Support Officers
The Veteran Support Officers (VSO) provide personalised DVA services to ADF members on Defence bases. VSOs will continue to provide support to ADF members during Defence’s Reduced Tempo Period over December – January. Support will mostly be delivered remotely via telephone or email.
However, staff will not be available from 24 December to 2 January 2023 inclusive.
ADF members can continue to book VSO appointments throughout Defence’s Reduced Tempo Period and DVA’s reduced activity period by emailing [email protected]