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Chat with Pat—Winter 2018

Pat Povey is a familiar reassuring face—or voice—to many who interact with Veterans’ Affairs.

Pat Povey, Manager Veterans’ Services

Starting off as a Case Manager, she later became a Case Management Team Leader. Pat is now the Manager Veterans’ Services and looks after the case management, enquiry line and rehabilitation teams. VA News sat down recently with Pat in the first of a new quarterly series—Chat with Pat.

VA News: It’s a busy time of year for you and your team Pat. Thank you for sitting down with us. As we reach the middle of the year, what’s the focus for you and your teams?

Pat: Our priority is to get support such as medical alarms in place as quickly as possible. We’re particularly mindful of this given the risk of falls during the winter months here in New Zealand.

VA News: What’s been one of common misconceptions you’ve heard recently?

Pat: I’ve been hearing a lot lately that you need to have a condition accepted as service-related to get support from us. This isn’t quite correct. While you need—in most situations— to have a service-related condition to receive impairment or income compensation from us, we have a number of other ways we can provide support. The Veterans’ Independence Programme provides a number of services to veterans with qualifying service, such as lawn and garden maintenance or medical alarms. The exact services a veteran can get depend on their unique circumstances, so it’s best to get in touch with us to talk about how we might be able to help. We’re also able to provide financial contributions to support veterans returning to their place of qualifying service. I always enjoy hearing stories and seeing pictures from veterans who have revisited the places where they’ve served New Zealand. It can really provide a sense of closure.

VA News: We’re now approaching the middle of winter here in New Zealand. During the winter months a lot of kiwis visit their local medical centre. What is your top tip for veterans to discuss with their health care professional?

Pat: Tell them you’re a veteran if you haven’t already. I’d really encourage veterans to talk to their doctor, community nurse or needs assessor. Let them know you are a veteran as there may be support we can provide over and above that available from their local District Health Board.

VA News: Great tip Pat—thanks. Any final thoughts for our readers?

Pat: While you need—in most situations—to have a service-related condition to receive impairment or income compensation from us, we have a number of other ways we can provide support. If you haven’t spoken to us in a while, please do not hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions or concerns.