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3.3.1 Identifying Rehabilitation Clients
The aims of DVA’s whole-of-person rehabilitation approach are outlined in section 1.2 of this library.
DVA’s approach provides an opportunity to look at each client's whole of person needs as they adjust to a new normal after a service related injury or disease. As clients will not always present with “typical” rehabilitation needs, or may have a limited understanding of the range of services available in rehabilitation, it is recommended that a rehabilitation assessment be considered for most clients.
Potential rehabilitation clients are identified in a number of ways:
- following acceptance of liability for a service injury or disease, a needs assessment may identify whether a person should be referred for a rehabilitation assessment. The needs assessment must consider medical, psychosocial and vocational rehabilitation needs;
- an ADF Rehabilitation consultant may inform DVA that a currently serving member is likely to be medically separated from the ADF in the near future;
- clients with who have an accepted claim for a condition related to their ADF service may request a rehabilitation assessment, at any time;
- some clients with an accepted claim for liability may be participating in a state government rehabilitation program through their civilian employment conditions of service - this does not preclude a DVA rehabilitation assessment because the range of benefits available to assist the client could vary and the assessment should provide information on the range of services available through DVA;
- a person with eligible service (only) under the VEA may make an application for assistance under the VVRS;
- ESO advocates or other legal representatives may refer a client for rehabilitation assistance;
- where a person is an ADF Cadet under 18 years of age, a family member or guardian may refer a client for rehabilitation assistance;
- an activities of daily living/home assessment to investigate a need for household services, attendant care services or aids and appliances should also consider the broader rehabilitation needs of the person; and
- any claim for incapacity payments, or permanent impairment payments, whether an initial or subsequent claim, should trigger consideration of the need to refer for a rehabilitation assessment.
A medical certificate of total incapacity for work does not preclude a rehabilitation assessment. A rehabilitation assessment is an important tool to identify a client's whole of person needs, and can assist both incapacity and rehabilitation delegates to gain information about the support that the client requires.
A review of medical reports from treating doctors, or independent specialists assessing permanent impairment or incapacity for employment, may also identify rehabilitation needs. It is therefore important that rehabilitation and compensation delegates communicate well to ensure a client-centric focus and to promote sharing of information.
In each of these cases, a referral for a rehabilitation assessment should be made as soon as practical.