Aussie Vets Defrauding the Government with False Benefits Claims

The news.com.au headline shrieks Australian troops rorting mental illness and stress pension claims, says Naval Surgeon.

First, let’s go to Wikipedia and look at the word rort for the sake of all those people who reside in places outside of the land downunder.

Rort is a term used in Australia and New Zealand. It is commonly related to politics, or, more generally, a financial impropriety, particularly relating to a government programme. The term was first recorded in 1919 and is a derivative of the older “rorty” a 19th century London slang word—meaning “fine; splendid; jolly; or boisterous”. The term is also used as a verb to mean the action of defrauding, (e.g.: he rorted the system.).

I imagine this to be a big problem in the USA, too, but it’s a problem nobody is going to touch there. When you’ve got an extreme unemployment problem, and a tradition of disrespect for recent military ventures, those things happen.

In an unprecedented attack on the military compensation system, navy reservist Surgeon Commander Doug McKenzie said the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) epidemic sweeping the Defence ranks featured a plethora of fake illness claims – costing taxpayers millions of dollars, reported The Daily Telegraph.

The Commander estimates as much as 90 % of such claims false.

Cdr McKenzie said while there were some genuine PTSD cases, it defied belief that 20 per cent of a warship’s crew, for example, could suffer from the disorder when they had not been within 200km of any fighting. The navy has the highest incidence of PTSD.

Unfortunately, good soldiers (sailors, too) must be made as they are not born, and this making doesn’t always insure their “goodness”.

There are 337,000 surviving Australian veterans and 186,000 of them receive benefits. Cdr McKenzie, who served in East Timor and Iraq, said the fact there were more than 3000 claims, with some 600 accepted, from soldiers who served in East Timor alone attested to the extent of the problem.

The article goes on to say that in the past year 78% of 738 Australian veterans applying for PTSD under The Veterans Entitlement Act were accepted.

It is my feeling that this big burden is likely to grow, and that it’s not a problem that is restricted to the continent of Australia. There is a limit to the amount of a burden a national economy can bear. In Australia, at least, an officer has had the guts to indicate that the problem even exists.

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