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3.10 The Plan Closure Process

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Last amended 
26 May 2017

Rehabilitation Plan Closure

A rehabilitation plan should normally be closed when:

  • all rehabilitation goals have been achieved;
  • a return to an optimum level of functioning has been achieved and the client does not require any further support or services;
  • a return to work to optimum hours/duties has been achieved;
  • the client has withdrawn from the program;
  • the client has ceased contact with their rehabilitation provider or Rehabilitation Coordinator;
  • the rehabilitation service provider advises that they consider that no further gains are likely;
  • the client is non-compliant with their rehabilitation program (please refer to section 13.3 in this Guide);
  • the rehabilitation service organisation can no longer continue to provide case management services for the client and they need to be transitioned to another provider;
  • rehabilitation is no longer considered appropriate (i.e. it is unlikely to provide any further value to the recovery process); or
  • a medical assessment indicates that further rehabilitation, at that point in time, is impractical or not appropriate.

The Rehabilitation Coordinator is to consider the closure of a client's plan based on information provided by the rehabilitation service provider, in relation to any or several of the above situations.

Plan closure report

The plan closure process must be undertaken in consultation with the client, rehabilitation service provider and the Rehabilitation Coordinator. The current version of the Rehabilitation Closure Report (DVA form D1335) is available through the DVA forms portal.

The Life Satisfaction Indicator (LSI) questionnaire must be completed as part of the plan closure process with scores recorded in the client’s  R&C ISH case.  Recording LSI information helps DVA to develop an understanding of what changes have occurred for the client through participating in a rehabilitation program. This information also assists DVA to collect data in order to evaluate our policy frameworks to ensure that we are providing the best possible support to our clients. Please refer to section 15.3.6 of the Rehabilitation Policy Library for more information about the plan closure process.

Goal Attainment Scaling must be used when the plan is closed, and goals are to be converted using the Conversion Table included in the rehabilitation closure report. GAS scores must be recorded in the client’s R&C ISH case. For specific details about this refer to section 15.3.6 of this Guide.

Where the person has obtained employment, information about the type of employment, industry, hours secured and rate per hour must be recorded in the client’s R&C ISH case.

In most circumstances, except where there are concerns about the client’s participation in their rehabilitation program, the rehabilitation service provider must discuss closing the plan with the client prior to doing so, and to ensure that the client is comfortable with the plan being closed.

It is essential that if the plan is being closed due to non-compliance, that it is the Rehabilitation Coordinator that discusses this with the client, and informs them that the plan will be closed, and the consequences of this occurring. At no time must a rehabilitation provider be asked to communicate closure of a plan due to non-compliance with rehabilitation obligations with a client.

Post closure monitoring

A decision about the most appropriate period of post closure monitoring must made with reference to each client’s individual needs and circumstances. The post closure monitoring period needs to be recorded against the client’s R&C ISH case.

In most cases, a longer period than four weeks is preferred, to ensure that the client has access to a suitable “safety net” provided through contact with the rehabilitation provider. It is essential that the client’s circumstances are monitored for an appropriate period, to enable a judgement to be made that a secure and sustainable outcome has been achieved.

Where a client has experienced many barriers to their rehabilitation, or has mental health issues, or substance/alcohol abuse issues, it is vital that the provider keeps in touch with the client for a longer period. 

Where a client is receiving incapacity payments, has episodic mental health conditions which may flare at any time, and has achieved their goal of returning to employment, consideration must be given to ongoing monitoring of the client, after the client has achieved their rehabilitation goals. This ongoing period of follow up will help to ensure that the client is able to access incapacity payments again, if they need to take time off work, or cease employment, due to their mental health issues or substance/alcohol use disorder.

Where the person has secured employment, there needs to be a follow-up at six months post closure, to see how the client is travelling and whether they require any support.

Clients should be advised that a closure report will be provided following the post-closure monitoring period as specified by the Rehabilitation Coordinator. This will provide the best opportunity to assess their sustained functioning at the achieved rehabilitation goal.

Signing the rehabiliation closure report

For information about signing a rehabilitation closure report, DVA delegates are asked to please refer to Chapter 3 of the Rehabilitation Procedures Guide.

Closure due to non-compliance

It is essential that if the plan is being closed due to non-compliance, that it is the Rehabilitation Coordinator that discusses this with the client, and informs them that the plan will be closed, and the consequences of this occurring. At no time must a rehabilitation provider be asked to communicate closure of a plan due to non-compliance with rehabilitation obligations with a client.

Determination to close a rehabilitation plan

DVA Rehabilitation Coordinators must issue a determination whenever a decision is made to close a rehabilitation program.

It is mandatory that R&C ISH standard letters are used when communicating with clients about the closure of their rehabilitation plan. Letters generated from R&C ISH will automatically attach to the client’s UIN folder in TRIM.

The determination letter together with the signed rehabilitation plan closure report constitute a formal determination under section 37 of SRCA, section 53 of MRCA, and the VVRS Instrument and as such is a reviewable decision.

It is however, important to note that a determination to close a rehabilitation plan due to non-compliance is not a reviewable decision. Further information about appeal rights and non-compliance can be found in section 13.4 of this Guide.

For further information about what needs to be provided to the client as part of determining that a rehabilitation plan is to be closed, DVA delegates are asked to please refer to Chapter 3 of the Rehabilitation Procedures Guide.

Rehabilitation providers who work with DVA clients may also be interested in information on the DVA website about the Goal Attainment Scaling process. This information includes a frequently asked questions section, which provides details about the process to follow if thee are barriers to a client completing the LSI questionnaire at the time the plan is closed.

Interaction with incapacity payments

The incapacity delegate will receive an alert through R&C ISH when a plan is closed. This is particularly important where the plan has been closed because the client has ceased contact with their rehabilitation provider or has become non-compliant with their rehabilitation plan, and where the client’s determination for incapacity has been made in-line with their participation in a rehabilitation program. Please see section 9.4 of this Guide for further information.

VVRS

For VVRS clients the plan closure letter will vary according to the conditions or reasons for the plan closure and the VVRS Rehabilitation Coordinator may use one of the standard letters. A copy of relevant correspondence will need to be uploaded as an attachment to the client's R&C ISH case.

For VVRS clients there is sight variance in the closure procedures for those who undertook rehabilitation under the MRCA or SRCA. These are that:

  • the rehabilitation service provider is to complete the closure documentation within 5 working days following instruction from the Rehabilitation Coordinator that the plan is to close; and
  • for those clients in employment, the rehabilitation service provider is to monitor client's progress and report to the Rehabilitation Coordinator at 9 and 12 months post closure.

Note: The Plan Closure and the accompanying determination are reviewable decisions under the VVRS Instrument.