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4.2.2 Managing referrals of non-CFTS reservists
From 1 July 2013, the Chief of the Defence Force is the Rehabilitation Authority for non-CFTS reservists, including those on the standby/inactive reserve lists. The ADF Rehabilitation for Reservists Program provides rehabilitation assistance for all non-CFTS reservists.
If a non-CFTS reservist approaches DVA directly for rehabilitation assistance it is important that a Needs Assessment is conducted to identify any rehabilitation needs prior to the client being referred to the Rehabilitation for Reservists Program. Conducting a Needs Assessment will also help to ensure that clients are able to access their correct entitlements from DVA. This may include medical treatment, incapacity payments, permanent impairment payments, services such as household or attendant care services, provision of aids and appliances or assistance under the motor vehicle assistance schemes.
It is important to note that it is a mandatory requirement under sections 325 and 326 of the MRCA that a Needs Assessment be conducted before any DVA compensation can be paid. Once the Needs Assessment has been conducted, and if a rehabilitation need has been identified, the delegate should:
- access the ADF Rehabilitation for Reservists Program referral letter from the needs assessment pages of the R&C support site;
- complete all relevant sections of the letter; and
- forward the completed letter to the following email address Rehab.Reservists@defence.gov.au with a 'Sensitive-personal ' email classification.
Where possible, the referral should include any relevant documentation, like medical reports, relating to the identified need. It is however important to note that if medical reports are included with the referral, then client consent is required before this occurs. An email from the client confirming that he/she is happy for the information to be shared and understand that it may be used to inform whether a transfer of rehabilitation authority may occur is sufficient for this purpose.
The referral letter asks that the Rehabilitation for Reservists Program inform the DVA Rehabilitation Coordinator of any determinations that are made in relation to the client's rehabilitation. The DVA Rehabilitation Coordinator is asked to liaise with the incapacity and/or permanent impairment delegate in that location, to ensure that the client continues to receive their correct entitlements from DVA while undertaking rehabilitation with the Rehabilitation for Reservists Program.
If the Needs Assessment identifies that the client is “at risk” because of mental health issues, it is important that this is brought to the attention of the Rehabilitation for Reservists Program Regional Rehabilitation Manager as part of the referral process. This is because Defence is responsible for providing medical treatment in these circumstances and they will need to ensure that the client has access to appropriate treatment.
If the client's claim has been accepted and therefore DVA is responsible for providing medical treatment, it is important, as part of DVA's duty of care, that the Rehabilitation for Reservists Program Regional Rehabilitation Manager, and if known, the client's Rehabilitation for Reservists Program Rehabilitation Consultant is informed that the client's mental health issues are such that they are “at risk”.
Further information about specific services and support that DVA can provide to serving members, including non-CFTS reservists, can be found in section 4.5 of this chapter and section 10.7 of this Guide.