Govt retreats on funding cut for vets

Veterans have got a funding boost for mental health services, including depression and PTSD. (AAP)

The government has used the budget to back away from a plan by former leader Tony Abbott to end the three-month backdating of veterans' disability claims.

The Turnbull government has used the federal budget to back away from a plan by former leader Tony Abbott to end the three-month backdating of veterans' disability claims.

Veterans also got a funding boost for mental health services, with the government pledging to expand eligibility criteria for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

The budget for the 2016/17 year includes $37.8 million over four years to reverse a plan announced by former treasurer Joe Hockey in the 2014/15 budget to end the three-month back-dating of veteran's disability claims.

Veterans Affairs Minister Dan Tehan said the plan had raised "considerable concern" in the veteran community.

"I am pleased that this measure will not proceed, allowing for veterans to receive a disability pension that is backdated three months from the receipt date of the claim" to the department, he said in a statement on Tuesday.

On mental health, the 2016/17 budget provides $37.9 million to expand the non-liability health care initiative, which impacts eligibility for treatment of mental health conditions.

The measure applies to all current and former permanent members of the Australian Defence Force.

Mr Tehan said this would streamline early access to mental health services for permanent ADF members.

"This means that anyone who has ever served in the ADF permanent forces will be eligible for treatment for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and alcohol and substance abuse," he said.

Source AAP

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