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12.1.2 Objectives and Principles of the Scheme
This topic relates to section 1.2 of the VVRS Instrument.
The objective of the Veterans' Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme (VVRS) is to support veterans to find or retain employment through the provision of a comprehensive range of vocational, psychosocial and medical management services.
When the VVRS was implemented, any disincentives to rehabilitation for veterans in receipt of the special or intermediate rate disability pensions, or invalidity service pension were considered and a financial safety net system was created for this veteran group. From 20 March 2016 the financial safety net was further improved to provide an added financial incentive for this veteran group to engage with the VVRS and the workforce.
Veterans cannot receive VVRS services concurrently with services from other rehabilitation programs. Also, if a client has eligible service under the VEA and has submitted a claim under the SRCA or MRCA, a program could be commenced under the VVRS and then transferred to a SRCA or MRCA rehabilitation program, if appropriate, when the client's claim has been accepted, e.g. if they commence receiving incapacity payments. Veterans should be provided with information that will ensure they are able to make an informed choice between rehabilitation offered under each of these Acts. For VVRS transfers to MRCA, see the discussion at section 2.5 of this manual.
Veterans who have received vocational rehabilitation through the SRCA or MRCA are not precluded from participating in the VVRS, but must meet the criteria for the VVRS. If a veteran has been unsuccessful in achieving a vocational outcome through a SRCA or MRCA rehabilitation program, an application for assistance through the VVRS would need to be particularly closely evaluated.
Once DVA has established that an applicant for the VVRS is a veteran, the DVA action officer will check Defcare/VIEW to see if the veteran is a client under the SRCA or MRCA. If they are, the DVA VVRS Coordinator will determine which Act they would be best placed to receive rehabilitation services under, based on various issues such as incapacity payments and level of disability pension. In making this decision, the DVA VVRS Coordinator will keep the client informed of the relevant issues and advise them of their most beneficial option for accessing rehabilitation services.
The VVRS does not remove the normal obligations people have to protect their employment, for example, keeping themselves up to date in their field of employment. Many employees have rights and access to grievance procedures, occupational health and safety mechanisms and internal counselling services. These should be used by veterans where possible, although VVRS assistance may be provided where these avenues prove unsuitable. Unsuccessful attempts to utilise these services may require the Rehabilitation Service Provider to act in an advocacy role to ensure that veterans receive the services to which they are entitled.
The Scheme is open to veterans of all ages.