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1.2 What are the aims of rehabilitation?

Last amended 
14 December 2016

The aim of rehabilitation is to help a person adapt to, and wherever possible, recover from an injury or illness that is related to their Australian Defence Force (ADF) service.

This is explained in the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) as:

"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."

The main focus of rehabilitation is on:

  • achieving as full a physical and psychological recovery as possible;
  • improving quality of life through gaining life management skills, a sense of direction for the future and resilience;
  • rebuilding social connectedness to family and community;
  • finding a new valued role within the community;
  • learning to understand and self-manage physical and mental health conditions to the best of the person's ability;
  • assisting the person to return to safe and meaningful work at the earliest possible time to minimise further harm to physical and mental health and wellbeing through long term absence from employment; and
  • reducing the human and economic cost of disability for ADF members, former members, their families and the broader community.

Goal Attainment Scaling is central to achieving the aims of a DVA rehabilitation program. This is because the Goal Attainment Scaling process provides an opportunity for veterans to reflect on their life satisfaction and identify goals and objectives to help them start to make life changes, or set a new direction, after a service injury or disease. The support of a rehabiiltation provider in helping the veteran to set, work towards and achieve rehabilitation goals helps to build confidence and a sense of hope for the future.

DVA's whole-of-person rehabilitation focus is underpinned by research into the health benefits of good work. More information about the health benefits of good work can be found in section 9.1 of this library.