Medical Evidence – Statement, TPs and Background

Statement from Liz Cosson AM CSC Secretary Department of Veterans’ Affairs 

Liz Cossons

“In response to today’s media reporting claiming DVA is outsourcing its compensation claim process, I offer the following statement, attached talking points and background to why we have placed a forward notice on the AusTender site. This is a public site.

Contrary to media reports, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) is not and will not be outsourcing the decision-making process for veterans’ claims.

The proposed tender, details of which are available on the AusTender website, addresses a number of recommendations including the need to assist veterans who submit claims by securing medical evidence in a way that assists in getting faster decisions.

These recommendations have come from:

• Senate Inquiry – The Constant Battle: Suicide by Veteran

• 2017-18 Australian National Audit Office – Efficiency of Veterans Service Delivery

  • The 2019 Productivity Commission report.

Through the proposed tender, DVA is seeking to identify a more efficient and effective way to gather this medical evidence, in order to facilitate the timely determination of compensation and rehabilitation claims. In some circumstances, DVA may need to approach a medico-legal provider for an assessment and report. This may occur if:
• the veteran does not have a treating doctor, or where there is insufficient or conflicting information
• the treating doctor cannot or will not provide the required evidence or cannot provide it in a timely manner
• a subsequent report still does not meet the diagnostic criteria
• a report is deficient in some aspect and a report from a further medical professional is required for the purpose specified in the referral.

This department is committed to putting veterans and their families first, including by changing the processes within DVA to drive more effective and timely claims processing, greater support through the claims process, and more positive outcomes for our veterans and their families.

The forward notice of the proposed tender, published on 29 July 2019, requests interested parties complete a survey and provide a range of information including, but not limited to, information about their organisation, their approach to the tender, and what information they would need from DVA to complete the tender.”


  1. Howard Vandervord says

    Some of the “Second Opinion” DVA referred doctors were good. When I was having my TPI assessment done 20 odd years ago I was sent to a doctor in Redfern NSW for review. He had qualified the year I was born (1947) and I thought “Here we go” but he looked at my back X-rays and ripped the Specialist report apart for the things he had missed.
    The thing that annoyed me most about DVA was the demolition of the Veterans’ Affairs Network Offices which have been replaced by Centrelink Staff who have to ring around to get a satisfactory answer to a simple question besides having to wait until other clients have been attended to. A mate of mine waited 45 minutes the other day to enquire about his Service Pension variation.

  2. IF the NEW CHIEF is really wanting to do some good,she should read these comments from us. The whole problem is with the claims departments.(VEA MRCA.DRCA) there is no consistency with the Delegates and applicants. It is also a fact that some are learning and make mistakes. I have dealt with other departments in DVA ,ie Education ,travel, benefits for children) they are excellent. I heard a pollie on SKY, voicing the stats on successors of claims.The stats sound like CLAIMS are being met… All I say is get into the workings and systems and also the regulations. These are mindboggling. They are all on the computer. These need re writing ,modernizing and made more simple and user friendly.

  3. Oink Digger says

    Medico-legal MD; does this mean referal to a “tame” dva focused MD. Or an independent MD; not dependent on the payment from dva for their living/top of the range sports car?

    Having to see one of these people, not related to my case, many years ago, I was fortunate enough to end up with a MD that had just returned from the UK working with soldiers dealing with ptsd. I got a fair report; but then again it was not for dva!

    The role of INFANTRY is to seek out and kill the enemy, in ALL weather, day or night, regardless of terrain.
    And you expect us to be normal?
    MORONS ?????

    • Jim Parsons says

      Oink Digger, how can you expect some shiny arse flying a desk to comprehend what is expected and required from an Infantry soldier.
      All they have to do is read the DVA’s own description of the duties ( I have a copy somewhere) and it doesn’t take a genius to work out that fulfilling those duties would cause heaps of problems.

  4. Smoke and mirrors, so you will be referred to a DVA Medico/Legal Doctor. So the DVA can write a report for DVA

  5. Colin "Tiny" Russell says

    Hmmm! Recently had to see a Dr that Vet Affairs had arranged for a check up as part of my claim, as they [The Department] had alienated my GP to the point where he refused to have further Vet Affairs documentation. He was my GP for about 8 years and is a lovely bloke. When I was in the Dr’s rooms and he was on the phone to “some one in the Department” he actually swore. That was the first time in 8 years that I heard him raise his voice and verbalize his frustration. I’ve yet to hear back about any decision the other Dr has made. When I rang the Department to enquire about the medical report I was told if I wanted to see it I would have to go via freedom of information. That takes a while and I’m not sure if that time frame would fit in with any appeal that I will [probably] have to make. This is no way to instill confidence in the Departments handling of any claims Ms Liz Cosson. Sigh!!!!

  6. another complicated,waffle statement by DVA?
    how about cleaning and clearing out all your old culture women employees in your claim sections(VEA .DRCA MRCA)
    Start believing your veteran applicants instead of treating them all as liars!! It is a great pity that all DVA are being blamed ,most departments in the DVA are very good.

  7. Ken Stone says

    The action needs to take place before not after separation. Instead of 10 minutes with a GP, A FULL PROFESSIONAL SPECIALIST ASSESSMENT by medical, psychiatric and vocational specialists. Veterans need to be securely and formally engaged with DVA support before the fact not long after. The hiatus of protracted process for DVA support must be broken to ensure a seamless transition from the ADF back to civilian status. DEFENCE SPENDS MILLIONS TRAINING THE ADF FOR WAR AND DEVOTES NOTHING INTO PREPARING VETERANS FOR PEACE.

  8. This all nothing but lip service