Sunday, February 19, 2017

Australia: Veteran Denied Service Dog Because His Wife Could Do It?

Veterans’ office ‘feudal, chaotic’
The Australian
February 20, 2017
Minister for Veterans Affairs Dan Tehan. Picture Kym Smith
One veteran was refused a mental health assistance dog because “his wife could do everything a dog could”.

Another was told her post traum­atic stress disorder claim was false because she was pregnant and was suffering from depres­sion related to that instead.

A third had to get his wife to secretl­y record his commander abusing him. The abuse related to his claim over being wrongly investi­gated and disciplined for alleged­ marijuana use in Afghanistan. He was also told he would end up as a “trolley pusher at Coles” if he didn’t follow directives from a Veterans’ Affairs staffer.

These accounts, from veterans’ advocate Rod Thomp­son, are contained in one of more than 500 submissions lodged with an inquiry­ by the Senate standing committee on defence into suicide by veterans and ex-service personnel. They give a devastating insight into the mindset of, and difficulties facing, veterans trying to navigate assistance and compensation claims after they leave the Australian Defence Force.
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