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12.1.3 Interpretation

Last amended 
9 November 2023

This topic relates to section 1.3 of the VVRS Instrument.

Income safety net

Income protection under the Veterans' Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme (VVRS) pertains to veterans who have pensions payable under sections 23 and 24.

There are two scenarios in which the reduction formula should be applied:

a) where the veteran is offered a job without provider assistance but needs to apply to the VVRS to avoid section 31(6A-6B) of the VEA being served (ie termination of pension) or

b) where the veteran obtains employment as a result of participating in a VVRS program.

Medical management service

A medical management service is an adjunct to medical treatment and is designed to monitor a person’s medical treatment with the aim of restoring or maximising the person’s physical or psychological function.

Examples of medical management services include, but are not limited to, coordination of medical providers to establish a treatment program and intensive case management to facilitate regular attendance at medical appointments.

Psychosocial service

A psychosocial service means a rehabilitative, skill-building or recovery-oriented service that aims to restore a person to his or her optimal level of independent functioning within the community.

Further information can be found in Chapter 12.4 ‘Psychosocial rehabilitation under the VVRS’.

Suitable paid employment outcome

“Suitable paid employment outcome” means employment in a job (full-time, part-time, casual, self-employment, traineeship or apprenticeship for weekly hours that meet the relevant industry standard for that occupation and that are appropriate to the veteran's circumstances and the veteran's reasonable requirements) at award rates. If the casual hours in an industry or occupation were below 8 hours per week, in the absence of special circumstances (for instance such as a very high probability of this leading to a substantial improvement of long term employment prospects) this would not be regarded as an employment outcome.

Suitable paid employment is employment that the veteran can sustain in the long term and which is not likely to worsen the veteran's health. A suitable paid employment outcome may not necessarily be the best or only job to which a veteran may aspire. For instance, a long distance truck driver whose health is being seriously affected by the job, and wishes to undertake university studies to obtain employment in the computer industry, might be assisted in obtaining employment as a storeman, while undertaking part-time study to pursue his ultimate goal of employment in the computer industry at his own expense.

Those eligible to apply

The VVRS is only open to veterans as defined in section 1.3.1 of the VVRS Instrument. Services cannot be provided to a person who is not a veteran, for instance a war widow or the child of a veteran.

Eligibility for the Scheme is not restricted to veterans who are receiving pensions and health treatment at DVA's expense. Also, whilst it is expected that many applicants will have a physical or mental disability, eligibility for the Scheme is not dependent on the existence of a disability. VVRS eligibility is determined by the assessed likelihood of vocational rehabilitation assistance leading to an outcome of suitable paid employment and that such assistance is considered to be a cost-effective intervention.

Most people with eligible service under the VEA can apply for assistance under the VVRS. This includes the following types of service:

  • Operational;
  • Peacekeeping;
  • Hazardous;
  • Eligible Defence Service (generally means at least three years continuous full-time service during the period 7 December 1972 to 6 April 1994) and
  • British Nuclear Test Defence service (between certain periods from 1952 to 1965).

Commonwealth veterans, allied veterans or allied mariners in receipt of invalidity service pension can also apply to the VVRS for assistance.

If there is any doubt whatsoever about eligibility, a check must be made with a claims assessor to verify the person's eligibility before the application is referred to a Rehabilitation Service Provider. For an experienced person, this should be able to be verified within minutes by an examination of the service records.

ADF transition program participants not disbarred from participating

Some applicants receiving assistance under the VVRS may have received assistance under ADF resettlement or transition programs. Recently discharged veterans who have been through the Career Transition Assistance Scheme (formerly the Defence Career Transition or ADF Resettlement Program) are not disbarred from participating if they meet the eligibility criteria.

When an application is taken to be made

Unless an official VVRS application is completed and submitted to the VVRS Coordinator by a veteran, a VVRS application will be deemed not to have occurred.