Service caused disabilities, injuries and medical conditions
Military service always has been and always will be very demanding, not only physically and mentally but also psychologically. In many cases these demands on a serving member can result in either a personal injury or an ongoing medical condition that carries over into civilian life.
Personal injuries may have come about in many ways, like
- Undertaking mandatory PT training sessions for general service fitness or weekly service sporting activities.
- Inter-unit or inter-service representative sporting contests or training sessions leading up to these clashes.
- The nature of your actual duties, the type of training and the high degree of professionalism needed to attain the desired level of acceptance.
- Work related accident, where physical injury and time off work resulted, or a vehicle accident as part of your duties or travelling to or from work, leave or posting.
- Whilst on active service through accident, as a result of enemy contact, or just being there and having to endure.
- An ongoing medical condition contracted as a result of your military service.
Whatever you are suffering from, be it injury through accident, injury from repetitive work strain, or a medical condition arising out of the military work ethos, it is essential you get your medical injury, medical condition, or service caused disability brought to the attention of the government and that they, the government, officially recognise the condition and more importantly accept liability for that condition and its ongoing treatment.
Ideally, application to the government should be done at the time of happening, in the case of an accident, at the time of diagnosis in the case of a medical condition and in this case back dated to the first signs of onset, and while you are still serving.
Accident reports, witness names, addresses, and contact numbers, and copies of all medical files are required to assist the ease of acceptance which is fine in a perfect world, but in reality the member applying for acceptance and government liability has long left the service, forgotten all the important information and does not know where to start.
Whatever you do, don’t go it alone
It is essential that you do not attempt to do it yourself. That you get assistance from an accredited ex-service organisation (ESO) advocate to coordinate and manage your appeal for you. To get liability accepted first and once that has been achieved sit down and work out possible compensation, treatment needs, rehabilitation needs, and if necessary pensions and assistance.
If you are still serving, all you need at first is to get your condition accepted and liability admitted by DVA for your service caused injury or medical condition. Applications to DVA remain confidential until you put in a claim for compensation or a pension for your accepted disability. In many cases, the injury or medical condition will not cause any physical interference in your everyday life. At some time in the future, it may become apparent your injury or medical codition may hamper your ability to work, it is then, you can look at possible compensation or rehabilitation and retraining.
Another reason for getting assistance from an accredited ESO advocate, is that your entitlements are determined by the relevant government Act that covers, not only your period of service, but also the date and time your injury occurred. In the case of a medical condition, either the date of diagnosis and/or the date of onset, if that date can be supported by the relevant medical proof.
We know it’s not easy! Young Diggers is here to help and we are open to your inquiries. If there is anything you would like explained in more detail, let us know and we will get back to you with the answer.