DVA rehabilitation

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Find out how DVA rehabilitation can help you find medical providers and improve your social connections. If you’re able to work, it can also help you get job ready or stay in your job.

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What is DVA rehabilitation

DVA rehabilitation can help you adjust to life after service.

First we will assess your needs. If rehabilitation is suitable for you, we will then work with you to develop a plan that will help you reach your goals.

DVA rehabilitation does not include:

  • medical treatment
  • drug or alcohol rehabilitation.

Depending on your circumstances and medical capacity, you may start a rehabilitation plan that includes:

  • help to access health services
  • help to improve your social wellbeing
  • financial counselling
  • vocational support to help you find a job or keep working.

Go to Injury or health treatments if you are looking for:

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Who can get a rehabilitation plan

If you’re medically able to take part and you would benefit from rehabilitation, we may be able to help.

You need to have an injury or condition that we’ve accepted as related to your service under either of these Acts:

If you don’t have a condition accepted yet but you’re getting the Veteran Payment, you can also get a rehabilitation plan.

When you can get a plan

If you’re still serving, Defence will organise your rehabilitation through the Australian Defence Force Rehabilitation Program (ADFRP). Once you have separated from Defence, you can get a rehabilitation plan through us. If you’re beginning the separation process, you might start DVA rehabilitation before you discharge.

You can ask us for a rehabilitation plan no matter how long it has been since you served. If you had a plan in the past and your circumstances have changed, you can ask us for a new one. You might do this if an accepted condition has got worse.

Where else to get help

If you don’t qualify for a rehabilitation plan, there may be other ways we can help you.

If you served after 1 December 1988 and you don’t have any accepted service-related injuries or conditions, you may want to take part in Non-Liability Rehabilitation (NLR).

If you have certain service under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA), you can take part in the Veterans’ Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme (VVRS).

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What support you can get

Your plan may include 3 types of services and support.

Medical management

Medical management is not the same as medical treatment. Medical management can help you:

  • find health providers
  • manage your medicines and treatment
  • understand complex medical information.

Social support

Social support can help you:

  • improve your life management skills
  • engage with your family and community
  • enhance your social connections.

Vocational rehabilitation

If you have medical capacity, vocational rehabilitation can help you become job ready or stay in your current job.

It can give you opportunities to:

  • get your skills and prior learning assessed
  • engage in work preparation activities
  • take part in work trials
  • find and apply for jobs
  • learn new skills or do training courses.
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How it works

To get a rehabilitation plan, you need to have a rehabilitation assessment first.

1. Getting a rehabilitation assessment

You can ask us for an assessment by emailing rehabilitation [at] dva.gov.au or contacting us. You could also be referred to us by:

A rehabilitation consultant from a contracted provider will complete the assessment with you. They will meet with you to:

  • get to know you and your needs
  • discuss how a rehabilitation plan can help you
  • talk to you about your medical capacity.

2. Getting approved for a rehabilitation plan

Once the assessment is complete, you can get a plan if you:

  • are medically able to take part
  • would benefit from rehabilitation
  • agree to participate.

3. Creating your plan

Your consultant will ask your doctor to fill out a medical certificate so we can confirm your medical capacity.

You and your consultant will create a plan together. It will aim to improve your wellbeing and independence. Your plan will outline:

  • your rehabilitation goals
  • the activities that will help you achieve your goals
  • the time frame, which is usually 6 to 12 months.

Your consultant will submit the plan documents and medical certificate to a rehabilitation delegate so they can review and approve your plan.

4. Managing your plan

Your consultant will work closely with you to help you complete your activities and achieve your goals.

These goals and activities may change as your needs change. Your consultant will adapt your plan and get delegate approval when they need to.

5. Finishing your plan

Your plan will close when one of the following happens:

  • you complete your activities
  • your medical capacity changes
  • you stop participating.
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Who guides you through your rehabilitation plan

Your rehabilitation consultant is the main person who will work with you to achieve your goals. A DVA rehabilitation delegate checks on the progress and compliance of your plan. You may also be connected with other service providers who will support you.

A rehabilitation consultant

A qualified consultant from a contracted rehabilitation provider will be your main contact. Your consultant will:

  • conduct your rehabilitation assessment
  • work with you to develop your rehabilitation plan
  • find a health provider if you need one
  • find activities to help you reach your goals
  • consider your medical status and any barriers you may have
  • track your progress and help you along the way.

A rehabilitation delegate

A delegate will be one of our rehabilitation staff members. They will provide the financial approval for the services and activities in your plan. The delegate will:

  • introduce the rehabilitation program to you
  • answer your questions about your rights and obligations
  • refer you to a rehabilitation consultant
  • check that your plan complies with our rehabilitation policies
  • consider and approve changes
  • monitor your progress
  • send you written advice when your plan starts and ends.
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What we require you to do

You have certain obligations when you take part in DVA rehabilitation. It’s important that you understand and meet them.

How to meet your obligations

Your role requires you to:

  • participate and cooperate in your assessment
  • provide medical certificates or the status of your health conditions when you’re asked
  • work towards your goals and participate in all the activities on your plan
  • attend medical or other appointments when you’re asked
  • respond to contact from your consultant and us.

You also need to fulfill the obligations outlined in either:

When rehabilitation is compulsory

If you get incapacity payments or the Veteran Payment, you must take part in rehabilitation as long as you’re medically able.

If you don’t meet your obligations, we will give you a written warning, and may need to suspend your rehabilitation plan. Incapacity payments will stop when your rehabilitation plan is suspended.

When to contact your consultant

You must contact your consultant as soon as possible if:

  • you are unable to attend an appointment they make for you
  • your ability to participate in rehabilitation changes.

If you can’t contact your consultant, email us at rehabilitation [at] dva.gov.au or contact us.

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