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12.1.4 Information to be obtained by Secretary
This topic relates to section 1.4 of the VVRS Instrument.
Assessment of a veteran for participation in the VVRS
VVRS rehabilitation services are provided on the basis of assessed need and are subject to the likelihood of a veteran obtaining suitable and sustainable employment. Applicants are required by legislation to undergo an initial assessment before any assistance is provided under the Veterans' Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme (VVRS).
Applicants are referred to a Rehabilitation Service Provider where they will be assigned to a Case Manager who will undertake an assessment to ascertain whether a VVRS program is likely to assist the veteran to obtain suitable and sustainable employment. Liaison with the veteran's Local Medical Officer, psychiatrist/counsellor or other allied health professional may be undertaken as part of the assessment process. The Case Manager will prepare an Assessment Report which will be forwarded to the DVA VVRS Coordinator.
If the Case Manager recommends that the veteran be accepted on the VVRS, a Rehabilitation Plan setting out assistance to be provided through the VVRS will be prepared by the Case Manager in consultation with the veteran. The Rehabilitation Plan will be forwarded to the DVA VVRS Coordinator for approval.
The Rehabilitation Plan may incorporate a Vocational Assessment to identify suitable employment options. If appropriate, a Functional Capacity Evaluation to be undertaken by an Occupational Therapist may also be included in the Rehabilitation Plan to determine a veteran's physical capacity to perform certain vocational tasks.
Copies of the initial Assessment Report, Vocational Assessment Report and Functional Capacity Evaluation Report can be provided to the veteran if requested.
Where a veteran is assessed as unsuitable and unlikely to obtain a suitable vocational outcome they will not be approved for assistance under the VVRS. However, should the veteran's condition or circumstances change in the future, they can reapply for assistance under the Scheme.
Where a veteran fails to complete or participate in the rehabilitation process from the initial application stage through to the rehabilitation program approval process ie complete the initial assessment, the veteran is to be deemed as a non-participant for program purposes. Veterans wishing to be considered for rehabilitation are obliged to comply with the initial assessment request.
Report from a service provider
If a veteran requests a copy of the Assessment Report, Vocational Assessment Report or Functional Capacity Evaluation Report from DVA or its contracted service provider for the VVRS, a copy of the relevant report will be provided to the veteran by the organisation which receives the request.
Report and other material to be provided to the Commission
A veteran who is assessed at the first meeting with the Rehabilitation Service Provider as being unlikely to obtain a suitable vocational outcome through participation on the VVRS should have VVRS services terminated at that point.
The report to the VVRS Coordinator will specify the reasons for the recommendation and recommend other services that the veteran may access, if this is appropriate, e.g. VVCS.
Once the recommendation is endorsed by the VVRS Coordinator, the veteran will be advised in writing of the decision. This will be done by DVA and will include advice of the veteran's right to a review of the decision (in accordance with clause 5.1 of the VVRS Instrument). The Rehabilitation Service Provider will speak to the veteran and discuss other services that may be appropriate, e.g. counselling from the VVCS.
The above would not prevent the veteran from obtaining assistance later if the veteran's condition or circumstances permitted.
Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling provides counselling and group programs to Australian veterans and peacekeepers and their families. It is a specialised, free and confidential Australia-wide service.
Open Arms staff are professionally qualified psychologists or social workers with experience in working with veterans and peacekeepers and their families. They can provide a wide range of programs and treatments for war and service-related mental health conditions including post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The following people can use Open Arms:
- Australian veterans of all conflicts and peace operations
- partners, and dependent children (under 26 years of age) of veterans with issues arising from the veteran's service and war widows/widowers
- ex-partners, within five years of separation
- all sons and daughters of Vietnam veterans, regardless of age, with psychological, emotional and social needs arising from the impact of their parent's operational or warlike service.
- ex-service personnel with a mental health condition as a DVA-accepted disability, and
- current serving members of the ADF who have been formally referred by the ADF under the Strategic Alliance (Memorandum Of Understanding) Fee for Service Arrangement.