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4.2 Interaction between the ADF rehabilitation programs and DVA

Last amended 
4 October 2017

At certain times throughout the case management process, DVA and Defence will need to exchange information about individual clients. These times may include:

  • When a serving member* approaches DVA for assistance and is referred to the ADF Rehabilitation Program (ADFRP) or the Rehabilitation for Reservists Program for rehabilitation assistance – refer to section 4.2.1 for specific information about referrals to the ADF Rehabilitation Programs;
  • when a claim for acceptance of liability or permanent impairment compensation is lodged by a serving member;
  • where a client is identified as being “at risk” because of their mental health issues, and in need of timely and appropriate treatment and rehabilitation services and support;
  • when a claim for liability or permanent impairment is determined for a serving member;
  • when a Needs Assessment has been completed for a serving member, which identifies a rehabilitation need;
  • where a delegate has determined that a serving member is eligible for incapacity payments and has identified that a rehabilitation assessment is required due to this incapacity; and
  • in the ADFRP Handover Report phase, when the serving member is being prepared for the final stage of discharge.

*Serving member includes full-time permanent force members, part-time permanent force members, Reservists on CFTS, Reservists not on CFTS including part-time reservists, inactive reservists, and standby reservists.


In communicating with Defence about individuals, DVA is bound by the Privacy Act 1988 (the Privacy Act) and the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). DVA’s Privacy Policy outlines how the Department manages the personal information of our clients.

When engaging in written communication with Defence regarding individuals, DVA Rehabilitation Coordinators must classify all correspondence, including emails, as ‘Sensitive - Personal’.

Transfer of rehabilitation authority

As outlined in section 4.3 of this Guide, there may be circumstances where it is more appropriate for a full transfer of rehabilitation authority, from the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) to DVA, to occur prior to the serving member’s separation from the ADF. This option should always be considered where a client has been identified as being likely to separate from the ADF for medical reasons, and it is likely that the client would benefit from the wider range of support that could be provided through a DVA rehabilitation program.

In accordance with Schedule 16 of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Defence and DVA, DVA can also provide specific assistance, such as household services and attendant care services to serving members while CDF remains the member’s rehabilitation authority. A transfer of rehabilitation authority is not required for these services to be provided. For further information please see section 4.5 of this Guide.