The Department wishes to alert ESORT members to an issue that we have recently become aware of, which you may also be receiving feedback from veterans about.
As you will be aware, as part of Veteran Centric Reform, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) is working to provide a single online portal to provide services for veterans and their families. This necessitates the transition of several MyAccount features to MyService.
The MyService transport bookings and reimbursement functions were released on 5 December 2020. To allow reasonable transition from MyAccount, the features were not disabled in MyAccount until 27 March 2021. A key change in the design of MyService allows for receipts to be uploaded against each expense item as a veteran lodges the claim. While this means an additional step up front, it alleviates the need for DVA having to confirm receipt information meaning that reimbursements can be made sooner.
Shortly after release in late March, DVA was alerted to an unforeseen system limitation which causes an error when veterans are attempting to claim multiple trips concurrently. This is an unintended outcome from the changes and DVA is working with Services Australia to correct it as soon as possible. A 10-expense limit has been put in place by DVA on 27 March 2021 to ensure veterans can submit their transport reimbursement claims in MyService without encountering the error. Please note there is no limit on the number of claims veterans can submit nor has there been any changes to the expenses that can be claimed including a range of transport types, parking, accommodation and where appropriate, tolls and meal allowances. Based on online claims data for the first three months of 2021, DVA estimates that around three percent of claims lodged involved more than 10 expenses.
Based on feedback from veterans and their families relating to transport related claims, several changes are expected to be rolled out over coming months including making it easier to add new providers; being able to save a draft claim; bringing back the free-text comments box; re-working the remittance advice; providing an improved view of claims history; and providing more contextual information to support a veteran through the claim process. Also, a user guide has been added to the MyService page on the DVA website to help veterans through how to complete a travel reimbursement claim.
MyService is designed to work seamlessly across different devices and browsers, something that MyAccount cannot provide. This means that veterans, their families and representatives can access DVA services using their mobile, tablet or computer and have a consistent online experience. MyService is also designed to meet whole of government guidelines for web content accessibility. Improving online services is a priority for DVA and we will continue to listen to feedback from the veteran community to ensure glitches such as this are corrected as quickly as possible.
If you identify anything else we can do while the issue is being addressed, we welcome your feedback.