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1.4.1 Principles guiding rehabilitation under the MRCA

(Italics are quotes from the Act)

1. "The aim of rehabilitation is to maximise the potential to restore a person who has an impairment, or an incapacity for service or work, as a result of a service injury or disease to at least the same physical and psychological state, and at least the same social, vocational and educational status, as he or she had before the injury or disease."  source: section 38 of MRCA.

2. A person can be considered for rehabilitation where the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (the Commission) has accepted liability for an injury or disease, which causes incapacity for work, or caused impairment that requires medical or social rehabilitation.

3. If the Commission has accepted liability for a person's injury or disease that person can request an assessment for suitability to undertake rehabilitation and that request must be complied with.

4. The Commission can determine that a person undertakes a rehabilitation program having regard to the following:

  • "any written report in respect of the person under subsection 46 (3) of MRCA;
  • any reduction in the future liability of the Commonwealth to pay or provide compensation if the program is undertaken;
  • the cost of the program;
  • any improvements in the person's opportunity to be engaged in work after completing the program;
  • the person's attitude to the program;
  • the relative merits of any alternative and appropriate rehabilitation program; and
  • any other matter the rehabilitation authority considers relevant."
    source: subsection 51 (2) of MRCA.

5. Any reference to written reports or relevant material in the Act, may include reports provided from the person's principal treating practitioner and any other report provided by the claimant in respect of both assessments of the person's capacity for rehabilitation and the development of the rehabilitation program.

6. The rehabilitation program can include vocational and social rehabilitation.

7. Persons with suitable qualifications or expertise in rehabilitation will assess a person's capacity for rehabilitation and where applicable provide guidance on the type of program the person should undertake.

8. If a person fails to undertake a rehabilitation assessment or program without reasonable excuse the Commission may suspend the person's right to compensation (but not treatment).

9. Rehabilitation will be coordinated, integrated and adequately resourced to achieve effective outcomes.

10. Relevant incapacity payments (income replacement) are payable whilst a person is undertaking a rehabilitation program and they are unfit for work.

11. All determinations relating to rehabilitation, with the exception of a determination relating to the suspension of compensation for refusing or failing to undergo a rehabilitation examination, or refusing or failing to undertake a rehabilitation program, are original decisions and subject to review and appeal.