A veteran waves during a parade during Remembrance Day ceremonies at the National War Memorial in Ottawa
A veteran waves during a parade during Remembrance Day ceremonies at the National War Memorial in Ottawa November 11, 2014. Reuters/Chris Wattie

Veteran pension payments have increased in line with the biannual indexation, Australia’s minister for veterans' affairs has announced. The rise will reportedly cover pension recipients which include veterans, their partners, war widows and widowers.

According to a press release published at minister.dva.gov.au, the first pension paid after the indexation on payday September 28 will comprise a component of both the old and new rates. The calculation of pension rates is on a daily basis.

The new pension rates will fully apply from pension payday on October 12. Pensions are indexed twice every year, slated in March and September. Anyone is advised to visit www.dva.gov.au or call 133 254 or 1800 555 254 from regional Australia for a full list of pension rates.

$6 million research centre to support veterans with PTSD

Last week, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan said that a new research centre into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is designed to assist veterans and their families. The $6 million Centenary of Anzac Centre at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne was launched. Phoenix Australia - Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health is reportedly tasked to operate the centre.

According to Tehan, the new centre represented one of the most significant investments into the research of military-related PTSD in Australia. He said it also delivered a 2016 election commitment.

The minister notes that 30,000 Aussie veterans have an accepted service-related disability for PTSD. The Department of Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs spend over $244 million annually for providing mental health support to ADF members.

“In last year’s budget, the Government made the treatment of PTSD free for anyone who has served one day in the full-time ADF and this has led to encouraging results,” Tehan said. He added there is an increasing number of veterans who need help for their PTSD and are getting the assistance they need.

The government’s investment in the Centenary of Anzac Centre is expected to result to an improved treatment of mental health conditions, including PTSD. “The Anzac Centre will undertake pioneering research and provide expert advice to practitioners nationwide who are supporting veterans with PTSD,” Tehan stated.

Director of Phoenix Australia Professor David Forbes has welcomed the news, saying the Centenary of Anzac Centre provides a unique opportunity to establish a strong national collaboration of researchers, clinicians, ex-service organisations and agencies caring for veterans. He said they all can work together to improve care.