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20.8.5 Injured recruits discharged with category 'Untrainable'

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Recruits, specifically RAAF, are sometimes discharged before completing recruit training with a classification of 'Untrainable', i.e. rather than MEC4.

'Untrainable' covers a wide range of situations, including non-medical or non compensable factors such as lack of aptitude etc. and in general, no prima facie presumption should be drawn that a member discharged as 'Untrainable' is entitled to incapacity compensation.

However in some cases the circumstances of an 'Untrainable' discharge are almost indistinguishable from a medical discharge. For instance:

  • a recruit sustains relatively minor compensable injuries during recruit training and these are expected to eventually resolve completely
  • although expected to make a full recovery, the enforced inactivity and/or inability to participate in the program will be protracted enough so that the recruit will be unable to complete the training course
  • rather than disrupt the recruit training process the recruit's medical situation is stabilised and he or she is discharged as 'untrainable'.

A discharge classification of 'Untrainable' allows the recruit to rejoin once the medical rehabilitation process is complete, whereas a MEC4 classification confers a permanent unfitness for service and prevents re-enlistment.

In these circumstances, DVA policy is that these clients should be afforded the same four week period of payment before further medical certification is required, as is provided to those discharging MUFS.

  • Delegates should pay particularly close attention to the post-4 week certification since almost by definition, the injuries of 'Untrainable' clients are minor and this group is one to which the concept of 'cease effects' is most applicable.
  • As noted above, staff should also distinguish between the claims of those discharged as 'Untrainable' for compensable medical reasons and others also being discharged with the same description/category, but for other and non-compensable reasons (such as lack of aptitude, pre-existing conditions etc.).

Obviously, only those discharging due to the effects of compensable injuries will qualify for compensation.