Department of Veterans’ Affairs services during the Christmas- New Year period

I am writing to inform you that all DVA offices will be closed from close of business Friday 23 December 2011 to Monday 2 January 2012. The offices will re-open for normal business on Tuesday 3 January 2012.

As in previous years, DVA services over the Christmas-New Year period will be provided through the Department’s after-hours arrangements, such as those in place for the Easter break, public holidays and weekends. Under these arrangements, key DVA services are available, including:

• transport – while our transport booking service will be closed, transport remains available if it is booked prior to the Christmas period. Alternatively, it can be paid for up-front and reimbursement sought from DVA at a later date

• hospital admissions – doctors can admit DVA patients into hospital without admissions approval over this period, and can seek any relevant approvals when DVA re-opens

• crisis counselling – VVCS–Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service offers 24-hour crisis counselling through Veterans’ Line. This service is available toll free on 1800 011 046 to veterans of all conflicts and their families, including members of peace operations, and

• Defence Service Homes Insurance – help with policy and claim enquiries is available 24-hours a day on 1300 552 662, while payments can be made on 1300 304 989, for the cost of a local call.

People who require Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP) supplies are advised to ensure they have enough supplies to last them through the Christmas-New Year period. RAP suppliers will be closed on weekends as well as 28-30 December and 2 January during the Christmas-New Year period. In case of emergency, people should contact their Local Medical Officer or health care professional.

Pension payment dates will not be affected by the closure of DVA offices.

I would appreciate it if you would circulate this information among your members.