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3.12.3 Requirement to participate in Rehabilitation
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Once DVA’s Income Support team has determined that the client will receive the Veteran Payment (VP), there is a rehabilitation requirement, which means that the person must undertake a whole of person rehabilitation assessment to assess their capacity for rehabilitation.
While the intent of this requirement is to provide a person with a vocational program, in reality a whole of person approach, prioritising medical management and psychosocial activities will ensure essential assistance is obtained before progressing to a vocational goal. While either return-to-work or non-return-to-work plans can be implemented for VP recipients, it will be important to ensure the client is clear that there will not be pressure to commence a vocational goal until other aspects of their lives are stable. It is also important to be clear that not being able to participate in vocational activities is not a reason to refuse to participate in a whole-of-person rehabilitation plan. DVA’s rehabilitation program is intended to provide flexibility to account for each client’s individual situation. VP recipients will have financial concerns and be awaiting determination on a mental health claim with the Department, which in all likelihood may mean there are concerns around accommodation, relationships and support, access to health treatment, substance abuse and inability to know how to access services. Addressing these issues should be the initial rehabilitation priority.
In the case that the person already has a rehabilitation plan open and linked to an existing accepted condition, then the existing plan would remain in place and operate as business as usual. If there is an existing plan under the Accelerated Access to Rehabilitation (AAR) pilot, then the plan will continue as is, but compliance will be required for continued access to the VP. The person will have been advised this in the VP determination letter, but verbal confirmation is also recommended.
Where a partner is also a veteran, who has also lodged a claim for a mental health condition and is in receipt of the Veterans Payment, then both veterans must particiapte in a rehabilitation program, if capable.