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20.18 Clients establishing residence far from labour market

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Last amended 
17 May 2016

In some cases a client may decide, after onset of incapacity, to move residence to a small country town, a coastal holiday shack or remote rural area. The significance of this relocation, is that a vocational rehabilitation program may be difficult or impossible to implement in such places. Furthermore, the job market is likely to be small, or oriented only towards able-bodied pursuits (i.e. farm labouring). It is unlikely that any rehabilitation program could return the client to employment in such places.

In some cases, delegates may reasonably form the impression that the client has chosen to 'retire' to that district, and the client also expects incapacity payments to continue indefinitely, i.e. on the basis of the difficulty in obtaining treatment, training or in identifying and obtaining long term employment. 

This does not of course apply to clients who were already living in that locality immediately before becoming incapacitated, or who after incapacity are returning to the family home, to a supportive family network within that district or who are accompanying an employed partner to a remote posting etc. Nor does this instruction apply to a person whose rehabilitation assessment has disclosed nil or minimal capacity for any employment.

Given all of these factors, delegates should not pay a new or renewed period of weekly incapacity to clients who change from an urban to rural address, until after an investigation of the circumstances.