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