3.3.2 Issues to Consider When Making the Referral | Rehabilitation Policy Library, 3 The Rehabilitation Process, 3.3 The Rehabilitation Referral Process

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3.3.2 Issues to Consider When Making the Referral

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Last amended 
26 May 2017

 Issues that must be considered when making a referral are outlined below.

The urgency of the assessed need/s:

Where needs are urgent and require immediate attention, or a client is at risk because of their service related conditions, this should be clearly communicated in the rehabilitation referral with a request that the assessment should occur as quickly as possible.

It is also expected that in these cases, psychosocial rehabilitation activities will be recommended, which will assist the client to focus on learning to manage their health and wellbeing as effectively as possible. It is important that as much targeted support as possible is provided for these client, and that any treatment needs are discussed with the Rehabilitation Coordinator, even though these needs cannot be met through a rehabilitation plan.

It is anticipated that a higher frequency of contact may occur between the Rehabilitation Coordinator and the rehabilitation provider in these cases.

Choosing a provider

It is expected that Rehabilitation Coordinator will consider the skills, qualifications and experience of rehabilitation providers, when choosing who to refer the client to. It is also important that consideration is given to the specific and individual needs of the clients. For example, the client’s service related condition(s), injury management requirements, whether specific assessments such as vocational assessments or testing, functional capacity assessments or psychosocial assessments have been requested, the client’s location, gender, age or cultural background are likely to influence the choice of provider.

Rehabilitation providers delivering whole-of-person rehabilitation services to clients must meet DVA’s requirements as specified in chapter 11 of this library .

Where referrals are being made for assessments for specific services such as household services, attendant care services, aids and appliances or assistance with motor vehicles, then the assessing providers must be Comcare accredited, but does not need to meet the other DVA requirements.

Where a person has been undertaking an ADFRP or R4R rehabilitation program, while still serving with the ADF, it is preferred that wherever possible, they continue to receive rehabilitation services from the same provider once DVA becomes the rehabilitation authority. This is because this helps to ensure a more seamless transition from Defence to DVA. The client’s preferences will also help to guide this decision. 

Once a referral is made to a rehabilitation provider using R&C ISH processing, it is assumed that the provider will accept the referral, unless they contact the Rehabilitation Coordinator and confirm that they are unable to do so.

Issues for Reservists not on Continuous Full Time Service (CFTS)

The Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) is the rehabilitation authority for all Reservists not on CFTS. Rehabilitation services are delivered through the R4R (Rehabilitation for Reservists) Program.

The following issues are important for Rehabilitation Coordinators to be aware of:

  • the ADF is responsible for acute health care for periods when the person is on active duty;
  • the person is expected and encouraged to lodge a claim for compensation as soon as possible after the injury or disease occurs;
  • once the person is identified by the CDF as “likely to be discharged” or a determination has been made that the person "has ceased to be a member for the purposes of the MRCA"  through a transfer of rehabilitation authority through section 10 of the MRCA, the MRCC becomes the rehabilitation authority from the date specified and agreed;
  • the person's civilian employment or education may be in jeopardy due to the person's injury or illness, so the person may have an immediate need for rehabilitation; and
  • there may be a need to liaise with the person's civilian employer or education provider to support the person to manage their condition in a work or education environment, or to facilitate their involvement in a vocational rehabilitation program.

Issues for ADF Cadets, Officers of Cadets and Instructors of Cadets

DVA is the Rehabilitation Authority for ADF Cadets, Officers of Cadets and Instructors of Cadets.

Rehabilitation Coordinators must be aware of the following issues:

  • the ADF has no responsibility for health care (other than emergency health care/first aid at the time of illness or injury) or rehabilitation;
  • the person, or if the person is an ADF Cadet under the age of 18, their parent/foster parent/step parent/guardian, is expected and encouraged to lodge a claim for compensation as soon as possible after the injury or illness;
  • once liability for an injury or illness is accepted, a rehabilitation assessment should be conducted as quickly as possible;
  • the rehabilitation assessment may need to be specifically tailored to take account of the person's age, as they may have a limited understanding of the rehabilitation process and their rights and responsibilities;
  • the person's civilian education or employment may in jeopardy due to their injury or illness;
  • there may be a need to liaise with the person's school or other education provider to support the person to manage their condition or to facilitate their involvement in a rehabilitation program; and
  • the person may need additional support to manage their rehabilitation program.