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188.8.131.52 Financial Counselling
As those in receipt of the Veteran Payment have income and assets below the set thresholds, financial counselling needs to be discussed with the client. The purpose of financial counselling is to obtain advice on understanding and coping with their current situation, and finding ways to ensure basic needs can be afforded. Financial counselling is not intended to give advice on growing wealth or funding a project.
Financial counsellors can provide advice on:
- ways to improve a person’s current financial situation
- assistance in planning debt repayments
- complex financial issues like debt recovery and bankruptcy
- organising finances and preparing a budget
- future money management tips and skills
Financial counselling is general funded by either Commonwealth or State and Territory Governments. The rehabilitation provider is expected to assist the veteran and their family to find a counsellor in their area, and facilitate a face-to-face meeting. Accredited counsellors must be used, as per the MoneySmart list located at www.moneysmart.gov.au/investing/financial-advice/financial-advisers-register.
Should the veteran not be willing to participate in financial counselling, it will be sufficient for the rehabilitation service provider to show the veteran the MoneySmart website and point out the areas where assistance is available, to ensure the client knows how to access this information if required in the future. Regardless of whether or not there is a cost, this will need to be added to the plan as an activity and reported on in progress reports.