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4.2.1 Rehabilitation referrals to the ADF Rehabilitation Programs
Rehabilitation support and services are provided to serving members through the following programs:
ADF Rehabilitation Program (ADRFP)
Rehabilitation for Reservists Program (R4R)
Provides rehabilitation services to:
irrespective of whether a member's injury or illness is related to work.
Provides rehabilitation services and early intervention treatment to:
for service related injuries only.
When a DVA delegate identifies that a serving member has a requirement for rehabilitation support and services, a referral must be made to the appropriate ADF Rehabilitation Program, using the standard letters developed for this process. A separate referral letter is required for each client - multiple clients cannot be covered in one determination. These letters available from the R&C ISH standard letters. Letters generated from R&C ISH will automatically attach to the client’s UIN folder in TRIM.
It is important to note that DVA can provide some specific services and support to serving members as outlined in section 4.5 of this chapter and section 10.8 of this Guide.
Referral following needs assessment
If the needs assessment delegate decides that it is appropriate to refer the serving member to the ADFRP or R4R Program the referral must include:
- a brief summary of the rehabilitation need identified through the needs assessment process;
- a summary of any available medical evidence related to this identified need; and
- any other relevant documentation such as medical reports.
The DVA Privacy Officer has advised that client consent is not required for a brief summary of a person’s rehabilitation needs and medical evidence to be included in the referral. However, if medical reports are included, then client consent is required before sharing this information with Defence. An email from the client confirming that they consent to the information to being shared and understand that it may be used to inform whether a transfer of rehabilitation authority may occur, is sufficient for this purpose.
Referral following receipt incapacity benefits
If the incapacity delegate decides that it is appropriate to refer the serving member to the ADFRP or R4R Program, where possible, the referral should include:
- the medical evidence of incapacity for the relevant period; and
- any medical reports relating to the incapacity.
Including medical documentation in the referral ensures that Defence can explore:
- whether the member is likely to be able to perform their ADF duties due to their incapacity;
- whether the member may require rehabilitation through the appropriate ADF rehabilitation program; and
- whether an early transfer of rehabilitation authority may be more appropriate.
However, the client’s consent is required for medical documentation to be shared with Defence. An email from the client confirming that they consent to the information being shared and understand that it may be used to inform whether a transfer of rehabilitation authority may occur, is sufficient for this purpose.
Protocols for all referrals
The standard referral letter in ISH must be used when a serving member is referred to the ADFRP or R4R Program. There are separate email addresses in this referral letter for the ADFRP or R4R Program. Delegates must send all referrals to the relevant email address, using a 'Sensitive - Personal' email classification.
Delegates who make a referral must ensure that:
- the client is informed that the referral to the ADFRP or R4R has been made;
- the rehabilitation team in their location is made aware that the referral has been made; and
- if medical or other sensitive information is being provided, ensure that client consent has been obtained.
Protocols for referrals of reservists
The R4R Program provides rehabilitation assistance for all non-CFTS reservists which includes:
- part-time reservists;
- inactive reservists; and
- standby reservists
If a non-CFTS reservist who has lodged a claim for liability approaches DVA directly for rehabilitation assistance it is important that a Needs Assessment is conducted, to identify any support and services that can be provided by DVA, prior to the client being referred to the R4R program. Support and services that can be provided by DVA to non-CFTS Reservists include:
- medical treatment for an accepted injury or disease;
- incapacity payments;
- permanent impairment payments;
- household or attendant care services;
- rehabilitation aids and appliances; and
- assistance under the motor vehicle assistance schemes.
If a rehabilitation need is identified during this process, a referral should be made to the R4R program using standard letters and processes outlined above.
The referral letter asks that the ADF Rehabilitation Programs inform the DVA Rehabilitation Coordinator of any determinations that are made in relation to the client's rehabilitation. The DVA Rehabilitation Coordinator will then need to liaise with the incapacity and/or permanent impairment delegate in that location, to ensure that the client continues to receive their correct entitlements from DVA while undertaking a ADF rehabilitation program.
If the Needs Assessment identifies that the Reservist is “at risk” because of mental health issues, it is important that this is brought to the attention of the R4R Program Regional Rehabilitation Manager and the client's R4R Case Manager as part of the referral process.