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3.11 Non-Liability Rehabilitation Pilot

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Last amended 
12 September 2022

Policy Statement

Through a two-year pilot, DVA is providing eligible veterans with access to targeted rehabilitation assistance under medical management, social wellbeing and employment support, without the need for liability to have been accepted for any service-related conditions.

Authority

Authority is provided under:

Intent

The Non-Liability Rehabilitation Pilot intends to provide eligible veterans with timely access to the support they need, steering the focus away from liability and compensation towards awareness of, and early engagement with rehabilitation.

Background

Non-Liability Rehabilitation was announced as part of the 2021-22 Budget as a two‑year pilot program to provide access to vocational and psychosocial rehabilitation, for eligible veterans without the requirement for any liability. The Pilot builds on the outcomes and lessons learnt from the Accelerated Access to Rehabilitation Pilot, a 2017 Budget measure which provided early access to veterans pending determination of their liability claim for certain medical conditions. 

The Pilot serves as a response (in part) to Recommendation 6.3 of the Productivity Commission report, A Better Way to Support Veterans, which proposed that consideration be given to providing rehabilitation on a non-liability basis across the interval from leaving Australian Defence Force (ADF) service to the determination of claims post-service.

Eligibility

Current and former members of the ADF are considered for participation in the pilot if they meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • have served on or after 1 Dec 1988;
  • have a self-identified need for rehabilitation;
  • have separated from the ADF or in the process of transitioning;
  • reside in Australia;
  • yet to have liability accepted; and
  • are not already participating in a DVA rehabilitation program.

Participation in the pilot is voluntary. 

Overview

The Pilot commenced on 1 January 2022 and will run for two years.

Under Non-Liability Rehabilitation, participants have access to support services from three activity categories:

  • Medical Management activities
  • Social Wellbeing activities
  • Employment Support

Participants work with a DVA rehabilitation service provider to develop their personalised Non-Liability Rehabilitation plan. Each plan is expected to take between three and six months to complete.

Scope

In scope

The Non-Liability Rehabilitation Pilot draws on voluntary participation, providing short-term support to build the knowledge and capacity of individuals, to prepare them for their next steps in self-managing their wellbeing.

Participants have access to the following types of support and assistance services to help create or strengthen their connections and social capabilities:

Activities category

Assistance and support

1. Medical Management - assistance to access the civilian health system

  • obtaining a Medicare card
  • engaging with a suitable General Practitioner (GP)

 

As Non-Liability Rehabilitation participants have no accepted service-related conditions, this category of support is light-touch, rather than being focussed on recovery or restoring functional capacity to pre-injury status.

 

2. Social Wellbeing - assistance to build or enhance social connections and participation in a local community

Identifying opportunities and facilitating:

  • participation in sporting clubs
  • engagement with new hobbies
  • experiences to improve personal health and well-being, such as short programs for weight loss or learning calming/relaxing techniques to reduce social anxiety and stress

 

This offer recognises that individuals may choose to interact socially in many different ways, and provides some flexibility in the scope of activities that would be supported.

 

For additional guidance, delegates should refer to the decision making framework at CLIK Rehabilitation Policy Library 6.6 How to determine if a psychosocial activity is reasonable.

 

3. Employment Support - for participants who are unemployed,  underemployed, need assistance to change careers, or seek support to adjust to the civilian workplace

  • Developing/reviewing civilian career goals
  • Personality profiling 
  • Job search skills - including skills translation
  • Personal branding and marketing
  • Interview skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Support to adjust to the civilian workplace
  • Competency and capability mapping
  • Workplace communication
  • Support to break out of long term unemployment
  • Navigating civilian workplace issues
  • Job advancement and career advice

 

This offer mirrors what is available through the Support for Employment (SFE) program.  Individuals may be referred to, or from SFE, depending on their eligibility and support needs.

 

Out-of-scope

To align with program length and the principle of encouraging and empowering clients to self-manage, there are certain costs or activities that cannot be funded under a Non-Liability Rehabilitation plan:

  • Clinical treatment
  • Equipment such as tools, office furniture or supplies, sporting equipment, clothing, etc.
  • Travel, meals and accommodation expenses
  • Childcare
  • Certificates and licences courses; higher education courses
  • Existing activities where the person is already actively self-engaged (for example, for a Pilot participant who is currently a member of their local basketball club, the costs for this activity cannot be included on the plan.)
  • Duplication such as
    • Courses already offered through Open Arms Counselling Services
    • Any course previously paid for on a Non-Liability Rehabilitation plan
  • Where participation is not considered appropriate by community standards, such as being associated with violence, racial or gender hatred, or posing a threat of harm or injury to the participant or others.

The dot points listed are illustrative and not exhaustive.

Requirements

Applying for Non-Liability Rehabilitation

Eligible veterans may be referred to Non-Liability Rehabilitation by Defence, or through their engagement with DVA. Veterans may also self-refer by emailing NLR@dva.gov.au to test their eligibility. 

All interested individuals are required to provide their consent to participate and complete a commencement questionnaire. The questionnaire will establish the person’s goals, and inform the pre-approved package of support, which will vary for each participant. The types of pre-approved support with financial limits have been sourced from current practices and rehabilitation experiences. The suite of activities and services are considered likely to benefit participants, progressing them towards their goals under the three categories of assistance.

Plan development and approval

Once the pre-approved package of support under the activity categories of medical management, social wellbeing and employment support is identified by a DVA delegate, the participant is referred to a rehabilitation consultant (service provider) to develop an individually tailored rehabilitation plan.

Rehabilitation service providers are to take into account the participant’s individual circumstances and capacity, and select from the pre-approved financial Package of Support activities. The maximum amounts payable are set out in the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation (Non-liability Rehabilitation Pilot) Determination 2021.  Any activities that fall outside of the package of support and financial limits may be considered as an exception on a case-by-case basis, and will require the service provider to liaise with a DVA Delegate to seek approval.

Plan Closure

Rehabilitation plans will close after three months for plans containing medical management assistance only, or six months for all other plans. Participants can withdraw from the pilot at any time and are welcome to return to the pilot should their needs change.

Interaction With Other Benefits and Payments

Individuals who are yet to have liability accepted may participate in the Pilot, while awaiting the outcome of their claim. 

A person who is receiving Veteran Payment, and has capacity for rehabilitation, will access rehabilitation through a standard rehabilitation plan.  If a person is participating in a Non‑Liability Rehabilitation plan before commencing on Veteran Payment, they should be transferred to a standard rehabilitation plan (as Veteran Payment eligibility requires participation in rehabilitation, subject to capacity to participate). 

Where a Pilot participant’s liability claim is accepted and they begin to receive incapacity payments, they must transfer to a standard rehabilitation plan (subject to capacity to participate).  If they are not receiving incapacity payments, they may continue with their Non-Liability Rehabilitation plan to its completion.  Alternatively, if they choose to transfer to standard rehabilitation to access a broader range of support, their Non-Liability Rehabilitation plan will be closed.

If a Pilot participant’s liability claim is not accepted, they may continue participating in the Non-liability Rehabilitation plan until its completion.  

 

Related Policies, Legislation and Information

Policy

Internal Guidelines

  • Non-Liability Rehabilitation Program Provider Handbook

Website