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1.2 What are the aims of rehabilitation?

Last amended 
29 June 2023

DVA rehabilitation helps a person adapt to, and wherever possible, recover from an injury or accepted condition that is related to their Australian Defence Force (ADF) service. 

Section 38 of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) defines this 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."

DVA rehabilitation aims to assist veterans to build skills to enable them to maximise their wellbeing.

Wellbeing is underpinned by a combination of factors relating to a person’s physical, mental, emotional and social health. DVA provides clients with the skills to maximise their capacity and functioning in all of those areas so that the client can optimise their wellbeing.

DVA provides assistance with skill and capacity development in multiple areas of a client’s life, which may be impacting on a client’s ability to achieve their rehabilitation goals, not just factors relating to their accepted conditions. Whilst rehabilitation can provide assistance with whole of person factors this does not extend to the client being able to access treatment and other DVA benefits in relation to all aspects of their life.

Support under DVA rehabilitation is broken down into three areas – medical management, psychosocial and vocational. Veterans should only access support in the areas where they have a genuine need.

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 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 rehabilitation 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.