Rehabilitation

Last updated: 
3 September 2019

If you need rehabilitation after your service we can create a plan to improve your health. A rehabilitation plan will address your overall wellbeing. We will help you set and achieve goals to help you get better.

How our rehabilitation works

If you have an accepted service-related injury or condition, we can create a rehabilitation plan to get you the support you need. We focus on improving your health and getting your independence back.

Your plan will assess your overall wellbeing, and it will look at your physical and social health. Health providers will work with you to manage your goals and progress.

What rehabilitation involves

Your rehabilitation plan can include 3 types of services and support.

Medical assistance

To help you manage treatment of your medical issues or severe disabilities. These support services may help you:

  • manage your medical appointments
  • manage your medicines and treatment
  • understand complex medical information
  • access aids and equipment

These services do not cover the costs of treatment. You can still get help with treatment costs through your

Social support

Social support can help you develop and improve:

  • life management skills
  • self-management of your health conditions
  • family functioning
  • social connections
  • engagement with your family and community

Vocational services

To help you to become job ready. They can also help you keep a meaningful job. These services may include:

  • assessment to find employment options
  • work preparation activities
  • work trials
  • help finding work
  • aids and appliances for your workplace
  • courses for training or learning new skills

Aids, equipment and modifications

The Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP) can help you access:

  • aids and equipment, such as a walking stick or wheelchair
  • home, vehicle and workplace modifications, such as a ramp or a railing

If the items you need are not available through RAP, you may be able to access them through your rehabilitation plan.

Eligibility

You may be eligible for rehabilitation assistance if you:

  • are incapacitated for service or work
  • have an accepted impairment as a result of a service injury or disease

How to claim

If you do not have an accepted service-related injury or condition you can lodge a claim via MyService. You can also make a claim under the appropriate act. You can:

How you can access rehabilitation

Current serving members

If you are still serving and get rehabilitation through Defence, you can continue to receive rehabilitation through us after you transition.

Your Australian Defence Force (ADF) rehabilitation consultant will refer you to us and one of our rehabilitation delegates will contact you.

If you have an accepted condition

You can contact us and ask for a rehabilitation assessment if you have an accepted injury or condition under:

You can contact us by sending an email to rehabilitation [at] dva.gov.au

Veterans' Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme

If you have a condition accepted under the Veterans’ Entitlement Act 1986 (VEA), you can access services through the Veterans' Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme. You can do this by filling out the following form:

You can email the form to rehabilitation [at] dva.gov.au

Who is involved in your rehabilitation

There are 3 groups of parties that will work with you during the rehabilitation process:

Rehabilitation providers

Rehabilitation providers are responsible for the day to day management of your plan. They will (or they may):

  • coordinate your assessment
  • work with you to develop and manage your rehabilitation plan
  • help you to access all approved services

Rehabilitation delegates

Once your rehabilitation plan starts, we will assign you a delegate who will work with you. A delegate is 1 of our staff members who will work with you and act as a link between you and others involved in your rehabilitation.

They will approve and track your rehabilitation to make it suited to you. They can also help you understand your rights and responsibilities.

They will also consider:

  • your level of functioning
  • medical status
  • any barriers to rehabilitation when approving and monitoring your plan

Other service providers

Other service providers may be involved in helping you reach your rehabilitation goals. These providers fall into three main categories:

Health and Allied Health service providers

These include:

  • general practitioners
  • medical specialists
  • dentists
  • psychologists
  • rehabilitation counsellors
  • occupational therapists
  • physiotherapists
  • osteopaths
  • podiatrists
  • prosthetists
  • orthotists
  • masseurs or chiropractors 
  • dieticians

Training providers

Accredited educational institutions or training providers at state or national levels.

Support service providers

These are agencies or individuals who can provide specific services that assist in:

  • job preparation
  • job seeking or job placement
  • altering residences and work or training environments
  • providing rehabilitation aids and appliances

Rehabilitation process

If your claim for a service related injury or illness has been accepted, the following process will generally apply:

1. Rehabilitation Referral

Your rehabilitation delegate will refer you to an approved local rehabilitation provider. This provider will:

  • assess your needs
  • highlight what needs attention

2. Rehabilitation Assessment

The rehabilitation provider will asses and determine if you need assistance with:

  • medical management
  • psychosocial rehabilitation
  • vocational rehabilitation 

As part of the assessment you will fill out a Lifestyle Satisfaction Indicators (LSI) form. The results of the assessment are given back to you and your rehabilitation delegate.

3. Rehabilitation Plan

Your delegate will work with you to create your plan for rehabilitation. Your plan will include:

  • what your rehabilitation goals are and how you will reach them
  • your rehabilitation activities for medical management, social and vocational rehabilitation

You need to sign the plan to agree to meet certain obligations. Your delegate will explain your rights during this process. If your claim is accepted under the VEA, only vocational activities are included in your rehabilitation plan.

4. Plan Amendments and closure

Your plan can be amended if your circumstances change. For example:

  • if your injury or condition worsens
  • your ability to take part in rehabilitation changes
  • a family event or work situation arises where you need more assistance

It is important to contact us or your rehabilitation delegate as soon as possible to:

  • discuss any changes in your circumstances 
  • request a review of your rehabilitation requirements

Once your rehabilitation goals have been achieved you can talk to your delegate about closing your plan.

Your rights and obligations

It is important you understand your rights and obligations. Your rehabilitation provider will help you understand before you sign your plan. You will be asked to sign either:

  • Return to Work - Rehabilitation Rights and Obligations
  • Non Return to Work - Rehabilitation Rights and Obligations

If you have a dispute with your rehabilitation provider, please let us know. We will try to resolve any issues.

If you do not meet your obligations without good reason, you may lose access to compensation payments. You will still keep your right to medical treatment.

Resources

You can find information about rehabilitation in our booklet:

Please note, any factsheet names and codes mentioned in the booklet may have changed.