Page 1 of 2

The DVA Bereavement Team

Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:59 pm
by stones
What a fuckin' joke! Must be one of the better jobs in Australia.

Mum passed away at 0215 02JUL2018. At 0800 that same morning I rang the DVA and advised them. Mum was a War Widow receiving a War Widows Pension from DVA. Her Pension was due on the 5h July. The Public Tyrant on the end of the phone informed me this would be passed on to the 'Bereavement Team'. Wow! That sounded good.

However their tardiness to act meant Mum's full Pension went into her bank account anyway. Then very shortly (approx 30mins) after the direct deposit, in a separate transaction almost HALF of the full amount of her pension was ripped back out. A letter was received from the CBA informing me of the amount ripped back out and informing me that this was done by a 'Statutory Authority'.

That's it.

No contact, no explanation, nor breakdown of deductions from the DVA. ZIP.

In fact. I have not heard from anyone from the DVA abvout anything, especially from their so-called 'Bereavement Team. Can someone tell me just what the fuck they do? Apart from fuck things up.


As big government gets even bigger and they hire more bludging Public Tyrants, all their work is being outsourced to the internet.

Just what is it that they do? Apart from just turning up. Sometimes.

Re: The DVA Bereavement Team

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:45 pm
by Furious
Yeah Russ, that was nearly the same scenario for my Mum when she passed away....except we never knew about a Bereavement Team....
I will be most interested in the comments on this one?

Re: The DVA Bereavement Team

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:43 pm
by stones
I hark back to 1977 when my father suffered his first stroke and was invalided out of work. Mum reached out for some assistance from the DVA/Welfare System at the time. A Public Tyrant on the other end of the phone asked Mum if she was working full time. When Mum replied, yes, she was working full time. The voice on the other end said. 'Good, then you keep him Mrs Graystone'.

That's a fact. And she did. Until he died. No help or assistance was given then either.

fuck the lot of them.

Bereavement Team? It's probably a Netball Team in Canberra.

Re: The DVA Bereavement Team

Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:40 pm
by stones
Update - Got a letter from the 'Bereavement Team' the other day. Standard Gov Issue template type.

In short, the 'Bereavement Team' exist solely to cancel pension payments to the deceased and to examine and recover any outstanding monies or over payments. Plus, to seek out the Executor of the deceased estate for the purpose thereof.

(No mention of, or a breakdown of the calculation used for the money they 'recovered').

That's it. Period.

Silly me.

Re: The DVA Bereavement Team

Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:49 pm
by Joe
Tell them any 'over payment' was spent on floral tributes and they can pick the remain up at the cemetry or whereever. If no burial maybe it will be empty grog bottles.
Understand your frustration.

Re: The DVA Bereavement Team

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:15 am
by stones
Bereavement Team is a feel-good misnomer. It is a 'Recovery Team', and who knows why you would need a 'team' of people to do that. Especially if you didn't fuck it up in the first instance. They were given sufficient time to get it right.

Of course when they (government) have unfettered access to, and control of your bank account, they can do anything they like. And they don't have to tell you fuck all. Which they don't. I was alerted to the 'recovery' by a no name 'Statutory Authority' via snail mail in a letter from the Commonwealth Bank, not the DVA.

Mum died 3 days prior to Pension Day but they 'recovered' just over 50% of her fortnightly pension payment. I am sure they could explain this - If they wanted to. But I sense an attitude in keeping with the creed of the Public Tyrants who run peoples lives.

I deduce, from the correspondence I received, that The Bereavement Team are now filling their super productive days forensicly searching for anything thing they can get.

Re: The DVA Bereavement Team

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:34 am
by windy1
Your mums’ estate may be entitled to payments for bereavement or expenses related to her funeral? ... meone-dies

Re: The DVA Bereavement Team

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:26 am
by stones
FYI - The Public Tyrants strike again! Deep Disappointment? Yeah, sure.

Poor record keeping, quality assurance and internal review processes. "While each isolated event may appear to be limited, the sustained and continued errors and resulting actions had a profound negative impact on Mr A’s financial, physical, psychological and emotional state," the ombudsman wrote. In her response to the report, Veterans' Affairs secretary Liz Cosson apologised to Mr A. She expressed "deep disappointment for the long-term stress and hardship that this situation has caused".

Ombudsman slams Veterans' Affairs over Navy vet's incorrect debt
By Sally Whyte
16 July 2018 — 10:00pm

The federal ombudsman has lashed the Department of Veterans' Affairs for both chasing a Navy veteran for more than $100,000 in debts and under-paying him more than $500,000.

The case started as "minor unchecked oversights," the report said, but "the negative impact on the life of this veteran cannot be overstated". He had considered suicide and experienced the breakdown of relationships while dealing with the department.

Poor record keeping, quality assurance and internal review processes led to more than a decade of struggle for the veteran as he tried to claim a benefit from Veterans' Affairs. Commonwealth Ombudsman Michael Manthorpe said the veteran, identified only as Mr A, "lives in constant fear that tomorrow there may be no payment in his account, or that payments may be recovered in the future and he may not be able to meet his basic needs".

Mr A served in the navy from the 1970s to 1997 and again from 2000 to 2007, during which he completed war-like service, the ombudsman said. Upon his first discharge in 1997, Mr A was paid a lump sum under the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Act. When he moved from permanent Navy to the Navy reserves in 2007, Mr A was paid another commuted portion of his payment under that legislation. He then went on to apply for and receive an incapacity payment from Veterans' Affairs. This was calculated incorrectly because the Commonwealth Superannuation Commission didn't notify Veterans' Affairs about both of the lump sum payments.

"On multiple occasions, CSC failed to provide complete information to DVA regarding the lump sum payments provided to Mr A. Each failure resulted in the incorrect calculation of the entitlement," the ombudsman wrote.

Veterans' Affairs didn't identify the overpayment until 2013, and didn't act on it until 2015, sending Mr A a debt notice of more than $50,000.

Between May and June 2016, the veteran tried to lodge a review of the debt, but due to issues with uploading documents to MyGov and the subsequent manual processing of the application, he ran out of time for the review, and the debt was pursued.

In September 2016, the department told Mr A the debt was incorrectly raised, and that he was in fact owed more than $500,000 because the department had not acknowledged his service in the Navy reserves from 2007 to 2016. This was paid in a lump payment, causing a $200,000 tax liability in the 2016-17 financial year.

In May 2017, the department raised a new debt against Mr A, this time of $28,000, which was reduced to $17,000 when the tax component was removed. The tax implications of both the debts and the under payments "results in harsh impacts to individuals," the ombudsman wrote, committing to raise the issue with the Treasury secretary and the Inspector-General of Taxation.

"While each isolated event may appear to be limited, the sustained and continued errors and resulting actions had a profound negative impact on Mr A’s financial, physical, psychological and emotional state," the ombudsman wrote.

The ombudsman made six recommendations regarding Veterans' Affairs' practices, including improving quality assurance when raising debts and interacting with the Commonwealth Superannuation Commission and the Defence force. The report also recommended the department look for other members who could have been affected in the same way, as well as apologise to Mr A, waiving his current debt of $17,000 and committing to not raising any more debts against him.

In her response to the report, Veterans' Affairs secretary Liz Cosson apologised to Mr A. She expressed "deep disappointment for the long-term stress and hardship that this situation has caused".

Ms Cosson said Mr A had been offered a special rate disability pension in May this year and he had 12 months to accept the offer.

Veterans' Affairs has changed the way it explains how payments are calculated in letters to veterans, and how it communicates with the Department of Defence and the Commonwealth Superannuation Commission. In the response, the department said the debt raised against Mr A had been waived, but that it could not commit to not raise debts against him again in future.

Re: The DVA Bereavement Team

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:52 am
by stones
windy1 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:34 am
Your mums’ estate may be entitled to payments for bereavement or expenses related to her funeral? ... meone-dies
Thanks Windy, but I already knew about these internet Fuct Sheets. I have read it. However prior to reading it, when I spoke to the Public Tyrant on the end of the phone informing them of Mum's death she told me she would pass the news on to the Bereavement Team. That sounded impressive. So I, incorrectly, assumed 'The Team' would probably contact me and maybe advise of these things. Like I said silly me. Besides I still don't have online access - they fucked that up too and like it was my fault they hung up on me the last time.

There will be nothing left in Mum's estate basically, after everyone has their go. The elderly in Australia are ripe for the picking.

They can shove it. We'll look after ourselves. I am not jumping through hoops for these c---s

here's the letter - Which I received only a few days ago.

Re: The DVA Bereavement Team

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:42 pm
by stones
More Swamp Draining at the VA. In Australia we have had what? About 5 or 6 Ministers within a couple of years.

Trump will be making his speech RE: VA Leadership and Direction during the VA National Convention in Kansas tomorrow. The Public Tyrants have not been doing their jobs and the VA in the US has been going downhill for many years.

Robert Wilkie confirmed as VA secretary.

phpBB [media]

Former Navy Corpsman Nominated as Head of VA Accountability Office 23 Jul 2018 By Richard Sisk

Two things happened Friday that will greatly affect hiring, firing and the monitoring of union activities at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate Tamara Bonzanto of New Jersey, a Navy veteran and registered nurse, to head the VA's Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection.

The VA also announced it is putting into effect Trump's executive order aimed at cracking down on union activities while on the clock in the federal workforce.

The nomination of Bonzanto, now a health care investigator for the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight, came more than a year after Trump signed the Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act on June 23, 2017, which he said would weed out poor performers at the VA.

Congress wrote into the bill that the head of the accountability office must be nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. But the office has been run by interim managers in the ongoing shuffle of VA leadership, raising bipartisan concerns in the House and Senate.

The White House announcement of Trump's intent to nominate Bonzanto said she served in the Navy from 2001 to 2006 as a hospital corpsman. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and then served as a nurse case manager for the Army Reserves from 2012 to 2015, the White House said.

Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, said Bonzanto's nomination should bring needed improvements to the accountability office.

In a statement, he said Bonzanto's experience in the House and as a "health care coordinator between the U.S. armed forces and the VA give her the unique experience to navigate the challenging role of ensuring our veterans are best served by the VA and its employees."

"Our committee is working to ensure the new Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection meets its responsibility to manage senior executive discipline and protect the rights of whistleblowers," Isakson said.

Current VA Acting Secretary Peter O'Rourke, an Air Force and Navy veteran and former Trump campaign worker, was the first executive director of the accountability office.

He later became chief of staff in February when Vivieca Wright Simpson retired from that post amid the scandal over the travel expenses of then-VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin, who was ousted by Trump in March.

The current executive director is Kirk Nicholas, a retired Marine colonel who previously worked in the Army's Office of Business Transformation.
Nicholas and O'Rourke testified last week before the House Veterans Affairs Committee on the implementation of the accountability act more than a year after Trump signed it into law.

At the signing ceremony, Trump said, "Outdated laws kept the government from holding those who failed our veterans accountable. Today, we are finally changing those laws -- wasn't easy, but we did have some fantastic help -- to make sure that the scandal of what we suffered so recently never, ever happens again, and that our veterans can get the care they so richly deserve."

He referred to the 2014 wait-times scandal at the Phoenix VA, in which managers were accused of keeping secret lists to hide poor performance.
At the hearing, Rep. Mark Takano, D-California, cited VA accountability office data in charging that in the first five months of 2018 only 15 managers were among the 1,506 VA employees removed.

The VA's data also showed a marked increase in firings since Trump took office. The VA said that a total of 2,537 people from a workforce of more than 360,000 were fired in 2017, including 1,443 removals and another 1,094 probationary removals during training periods.

That was an increase of 536 firings over the previous year. In 2016, the VA fired 2,001 people, including 983 removals and 1,018 probationary removals, according to VA data.

The House hearing included several testy exchanges between Republicans on the committee and J. David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, the civil service union representing about 240,000 workers at the VA.

Reps. Jodey Arrington, R-Texas, and Neal Dunn, R-Florida, renewed charges that veterans were badly served by union members at the VA spending 100 percent of their time on union activities.

Cox charged that the accountability act is creating a "climate of fear" at the VA that minor transgressions or disagreements with management could lead to firing.

"The accountability act has proven to be one of the most misguided and counterproductive VA laws ever enacted," Cox said.
Following O'Rourke's testimony, Isakson called on Senate leadership to move immediately on a full Senate vote to confirm Robert Wilkie, the former undersecretary for personnel and readiness at the Defense Department, as the next VA secretary.

In a statement, Isakson made no reference to O'Rourke but said, "It is of utmost importance that any policy changes that impact the future of the department be made by a confirmed VA secretary who can be held accountable by Congress and the American people."

On Friday, the VA announced that it had begun implementing Executive Order 13837, "Ensuring Transparency, Accountability, And Efficiency in Taxpayer Funded Union Time Use."

The order, signed by Trump on May 25 and now the target of lawsuits by civil service unions, is aimed at ensuring that "taxpayer-funded union time is used efficiently and authorized in amounts that are reasonable, necessary, and in the public interest," the VA said.

The executive order would limit union activities by VA workers to 25 percent of their official time.

In a statement, O'Rourke said, "This executive order ensures the proper stewardship of taxpayer dollars. The order offers reasonable standards for union representatives and makes clear that they should spend the majority of their duty hours on federal government work."

The VA said the executive order would "affect about 1,700 VA employees using taxpayer-funded union time."
phpBB [media]