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2.7.6 Managing the Deeming Process
From the outset, the rehabilitation process should be a managed closely, with the client. A clear understanding of entitlements, processes, rights and obligations must be communicated to the client. Before initiating any rehabilitation plan activities, the client must acknowledge their understanding of their rights and obligations by signing the relevant rights and obligations document provided by their rehabilitation provider. A signed copy of this document must be uploaded as an attachment to R&C ISH.
Any rehabilitation support that is provided must consider the whole-of-person, addressing medical management and psychosocial needs the client may have which could impact on recovery and return to work activities.
A return to work or job in jeopardy component of a rehabilitation program may include the following:
- identification of an agreed 'suitable work/adjustment' objective;
- training or retraining for the client to upgrade skills for the work regarded to be suitable;
- recognition of prior learning, qualifications and experience gained in the ADF;
- job preparation/adjustment activities to assist in organising the client for a successful re-entry to the workforce or maintenance in a job;
- work hardening activities to ensure the client's capacity to perform duties;
- psychosocial support to assist a person to overcome barriers to them gaining and sustaining employment;
- a work trial program or series of programs to allow the client to gradually apply their new skills and test their functional capacity;
- job placement/seeking assistance activities conducted over a reasonable time period; and
- whether the client is eligible and suitable for the Streamlined Access to Incapacity Payments initiative, as set out in Section 9.13.
Throughout the rehabilitation program the client must be reminded that at the end of the program they will be expected to find suitable employment or resume work, with assistance provided by service providers.
Prior to commencing the job seeking/placement/re-entry phase of the program, all parties involved in case management including the client must undertake a case review or case conference where it is stressed that:
- the client must be able to demonstrate their commitment throughout the process, and
- the rehabilitation case managers and coordinators must demonstrate they have taken all reasonable steps to support the client to find or secure their existing work.
A further review of the rehabilitation program should be undertaken where a client is:
- experiencing genuine difficulties;
- failing to seek work (using all appropriate means – applying by telephone, written applications, door knocking, etc); or
- fails to accept, begin or continue in work.
The review will provide an opportunity to identify issues identified by the rehabilitation provider, Rehabilitation Coordinator, or others involved in the rehabilitation process (e.g. feedback from job placement agencies), clarify the client rights and responsibilities and agree that a more intensive period of activities be undertaken for an agreed period of time.
During this agreed period, progress reports must be provided by the Rehabilitation Provider on a very regular basis (for example, weekly, or more frequently, if required) and case reviews involving all key stakeholders, undertaken monthly. Clients are expected to maintain and submit accurate records of their job seeking activities to their Rehabilitation Provider. All relevant documentation must be uploaded as an attachment to R&C ISH and case notes should be used which adequately reflect activities/discussions and events which occurred throughout the entire process.
As a last resort, only after all of the above steps have been undertaken, should the Rehabilitation Coordinator consider deeming a person with an ability to earn. Detailed instructions for the deeming process in R&C ISH can be found in the Rehabilitation Delegates Step by Step Guide to using the deeming function.