Commonwealth Ombudsman – release of report into DVA’s communication with veterans making claims for compensation [SEC=OFFICIAL]

Attached for your information is the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s final report into its own motion investigation into DVA’s communication with veterans who make claims for compensation for injuries and conditions released on 20 January 2022.

The Commonwealth Ombudsman is best known for looking into individual complaints or requests to investigate specific matters.  They can also initiate their own investigations that are not necessarily based on any specific complaint.  These are referred to as an ‘own motion investigation’.

As you know from previous discussions, in recent years, the number of claims received by the Department has more than doubled, leading to a backlog of claims and long wait times.

The investigation considered the appropriateness of DVA’s policy and procedural framework for communicating with veterans during the claim process.  DVA welcomed the Ombudsman’s investigation at the time of instigation and worked closely with them.  The final report acknowledges the significant improvements the Department has made to improve the experience of veterans and families as part of Veteran Centric Reform and other initiatives.

There are eight recommendations in the final report.  The recommendations offer improvements aimed at strengthening the accessibility and transparency of information available to the veteran community, and internal guidance to support decision-makers.

DVA accepts all recommendations and notes that they will improve the veteran experience with the claims process.

The recommendations will be implemented across the course of 2022 and an update on their implementation will be provided to ESORT members as the work progresses.

Warm regards

Tara Hatzismalis

Assistant Secretary Processing & DHOAS

Deputy Commissioner QLD

Department of Veterans’ Affairs



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