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Preface of the Repatriation Handbook
This handbook is designed to assist ex-service (ESO) practitioners such as pension officers, welfare officers, case officers and advocates. Its contents are intended to cater for the different degrees of knowledge that these people may possess.
The duties of an ESO practitioner require a wide range of skills. Such people must be able to:
- understand the Repatriation system;
- assist veterans and their dependants in their dealings with the Department of Veterans' Affairs, etc;
- present a veteran's case to the best of his or her ability, regardless of personal feelings in the matter;
- understand and interpret the relevant laws and regulations;
- elicit information from a veteran and from other witnesses, including experts; and
- evaluate factual evidence and medical opinion.
Few newcomers to the pension and welfare field have had much experience with the Repatriation system. Thus this handbook has been written to cater for the newcomer and in general terms, is designed to provide an easily assimilated description of the repatriation system as it affects a pension etc officer. Some of its information is of background interest only, while some is vital to the everyday performance of a practitioner's duties.
A handbook such as this can do no more than give an outline of the Repatriation system and make recommendations as to an approach to provide any necessary assistance. The information contained in this handbook will need to be supplemented by reading, observation and discussion if a practitioner is to bring to the performance of his or her duties, the skills that every veteran has earned the right to expect.
Every effort has been made to make sure the information in this handbook was correct at the time of printing. However, as the legislation changes, some information may become outdated. Before using the handbook, please check the currency of any section you may be using. The print (or reprint) date of each page is at the top corner.
It is vital that each practitioner ensures that they remain on the State TIP Handbook Maintenance List. Practitioners should contact the relevant State TIP Committee to report any handbook errors or change requests.