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20.20.2 Exceptions require proven nexus between resignation and injury


Some clients who discharged voluntarily assert that their 'choice' to leave the military was in fact not in accordance with their true wishes but dictated by their deteriorating medical condition, e.g. by alleged pain or difficulties in continuing with their ADF duties and notwithstanding the official medical status. Clearly such an assertion can not be accepted on its face value. Fitness for work is a professional medical decision. Note also, that even where the client's assertions of difficulty are apparently supported by service medical documents confirming the continuation of symptoms, it is still only a MECRB which has the expertise and authority to decide whether the member is incapacitated for ADF employment.

Sometimes clients refer to a perception that their preferred career path and future promotion was blocked by the effects of injury. However lack of medical fitness for future promotion does not turn a voluntary resignation (i.e. due to disappointed ambition) into a medical discharge. Clearly the prospects of future promotion or transfer is irrelevant to questions of continued fitness for employment, which is the focus of the Act.

Thus, neither of the above assertions can form any basis for finding that:

  • the client was incapacitated for all work prior to discharge, or
  • the voluntary discharge should be regarded as an involuntary medical discharge.