Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Social Work
Eligibility to Provide Services
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) recognises two provider categories for social workers: General Social Workers and Mental Health Social Workers. Different DVA registration requirements apply to these provider categories:
- General Social Workers must be a member of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), be a registered DVA provider at the time the service is provided, and meet other DVA specific registration requirements.
- Mental Health Social Workers must have a Medicare provider number. The AASW is the delegated assessing authority, on behalf of the Federal Government, for social workers interested in providing services through Medicare Australia. For further information and important documents for government funded programs or initiatives for which AMHSWs can provide services, please refer to the Mental Health page.
Depending on the program or initiative, there may be other requirements that the individual social worker may need to undertake. Please refer to the DVA’s ‘Notes for Allied Health Providers Section One: General’ for further information about DVA registration requirements.
June 2016: DVA has made changes to the registration requirements for general social workers seeking to provide services to DVA clients. DVA has written to the AASW so that members can be informed of these changes. This DVA communiqué can be accessed here.
For further information on government-funded programs or initiatives for which social workers and AMHSWs can provide services to the veteran community, see the following summary of the key DVA documents and the relevant links.
January 2020: Following on from the new Medicare items in response to the unprecedented bushfire crisis, the Australian Association of Social Workers has welcomed an announcement from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) it will mirror the MBS Bushfire Recovery Items and provide vital mental health support to the veteran community.
All of DVA’s usual mental health services remain in place, however, DVA will now also mirror new MBS mental health supports available under the Bushfire Recovery Access Initiative.
Bushfire affected clients are now able to access a maximum of 10 mental health services per calendar year without a GP referral. Clients do not require a diagnosed mental health condition to access these services and should self-identify as being impacted by the ongoing bushfire disaster. These sessions may be provided by accredited mental health social workers, and also a general practitioner, psychologist, clinical psychologist or mental health occupational therapist. The DVA treatment cycle arrangements do not apply to these services. However, after accessing 10 sessions, DVA clients who require ongoing mental health support may access further services through usual health card arrangements, including the usual treatment cycle referral arrangements.
The DVA has advised changes to the DVA Schedule of Fees relevant to the social work profession are effective from 17 January 2020. We will keep you updated as information and resources become available.
Notes for Allied Health Providers Section One: General
These ‘Notes for Providers’ (Notes) define the general requirements and parameters for providing health care services to the entitled to persons (see clause 10 of the Notes for definition) of the veteran community, and describe the relationship between the Department, the client and the provider. These Notes:
- apply to Social Workers (General), Social Workers (Mental Health) and Allied Health Providers;
- are to be read in conjunction with Notes for Allied Health Providers Section 2(a) (for Mental Health Social Workers and Allied Mental Health Care Providers) and Notes for Allied Health Providers Section 2(m) (for Social Workers General and Allied Mental Health Care Providers);
- set out the Treatment Principles and the circumstances under which financial responsibility is accepted for the health care treatment of entitled persons;
- in addition to the Treatment Principles, these Notes set out the conditions under which health care providers may provide treatment to entitled persons under DVA’s health care arrangements.
For information relating to the following areas, please refer to the following clauses within the Notes for Allied Health Providers Section One: General:
- Referrals: clauses 23–29;
- Care Plans: clauses 34–36;
- Prior financial authorisation: clauses 37–42;
- GST and ABNs: clauses 88–92;
- For financial matters, including financial responsibilities, schedule of fees, and billing procedures and claiming: clauses 93–128.
Click here to view: Notes for Allied Health Providers Section One: General
Notes for Allied Mental Health Care Providers Section 2(a)
These Notes outline the policy and procedures for the provision of allied mental health care services to entitled persons. These notes:
- apply to Social Workers (Mental Health) and Allied Health Care Professionals, and
- must be read in conjunction with the Notes for Allied Notes for Allied Mental Health Care Providers Section One: General, which set out the general requirements and parameters for providing health care treatment to the veteran community
Please click here for the DVA document: Notes for Allied Mental Health Care Providers Section 2(a)
Notes for Allied Health Providers Section 2(m) Social Workers (General)
These Notes outline the policy and procedures for the provision of allied health care services to entitled persons. These Notes:
- apply to Social Workers (General)
- must be read in conjunction with the Notes for Allied Health Providers Section One: General, which set out the general requirements and parameters for providing health care treatment to the veteran community
Please click here for the DVA document: Notes for Allied Health Providers Section 2(m) Social Workers (General)
Schedule of Fees
The following documents set out the DVA Schedule of Fees for Social Workers (General) and Social Workers (Mental Health)
Department of Veteran Affairs Fact Sheet HSV99 – Mental Health Support
This DVA Fact Sheet provides information about mental health services for the veteran and ex-service community, and outlines:
- When members of the veteran community may consider seeking mental health support
- How to take action
- How to access mental health treatment
- What is covered by DVA’s mental health treatment
- Who pays for treatment
- Information relating to queries about mental health conditions caused by service
- Related fact sheets
- Related forms
- DVA Contact Information
Click here to view: Department of Veteran Affairs Fact Sheet HSV99 – Mental Health Support
2016 Department of Veterans' Affairs: Dental and allied health arrangements review
|November 2015: DVA announces its Dental and allied health arrangements review||
February 2016: AASW makes a detailed submission to the review
|February 2016: DVA writes to AASW to seek nominations for clinical expert representatives to sit on the ‘Mental Health’ and ‘Other Clinical’ working groups advising the review.||
February/March 2016: AASW conducts an expression of interest process with members and nominates AASW member experts to sit on the working groups.
March/April 2016: First meetings of the review working groups held, with AASW representatives in attendance. Next meetings to be held in June 2016, with the final report expected to be released later in 2016.
February 2016: Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) writes to AASW to advise of changes to their fee schedule, including the introduction of a new payment type for 90 minute trauma sessions to be provided by psychologists only.
February 2016: AASW writes to the Minister for Veterans Affairs to request and strongly advocate for the urgent reversal of this decision.
Update May 2016: The AASW receives a response from the Minister with assurance that this issue is being considered as part of the current DVA Dental and allied health arrangements review. The AASW representatives on the working groups advising the review are advocating strongly in relation to this issue.