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Tuesday, 9 February 1999
Page: 2266


Mr Laurie Ferguson asked the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 12 November 1998:

(1) How many personnel, by rank, have been (a) discharged and (b) advised they will be discharged under the Chief of Air Staff Directive on RAAF Fitness Policy to the date of answering this question.

(2) How many personnel, by rank, have been (a) discharged and (b) advised they will be discharged under the Chief of the General Staff Directive on Army Individual Readiness to the date of answering this question.

(3) What specific medical conditions led to the discharge of the personnel referred to in parts (1) and (2).

(4) How many of the discharged personnel referred to in parts (1) and (2) (a) were members of the (i) Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Scheme (DFRDB) and (ii) Military Superannuation and Benefits Scheme (MSBS), (b) by class of benefit, have received invalidity benefits from the (i) DFRDB and (ii) MSBS and (c) are awaiting determination of their invalidity entitlements from the (i) DFRDB and (ii) MSBS.

(5) What assistance does the ADF provide to personnel who are medically discharged to deal with the termination of their military career, relocate housing and families and, where applicable, obtain suitable civilian employment.


Mr Bruce Scott (Veterans' Affairs; Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) (a) and (b)—

Rank

Discharged

Advised of Discharge

Airmen

AC/W

11

5

LAC/W

60

11

CPL

72

9

SGT

34

9

FSGT

9

2

WOFF

2

1

Officers

OFFCDT

1

2

FLGOFF

1

-

FLTLT

8

4

SQNLDR

4

2

WGCDR

2

-

GPCAPT

1

-

Reserve

FLTLT

1

-

WOFF

1

-

SGT

1

1

LAC/W

2

-

AC/W

1

-

(2) (a) and (b)—

Other Ranks

Discharged

Advised of Discharge

WO1

-

14

WO2

1

57

SSGT

2

32

SGT

8

114

CPL

14

206

LCPL

1

28

PTE

16

156

Officers

LTCOL

-

5

MAJ

3

22

CAPT

2

8

LT

-

5

(3) The specific medical conditions that led to the discharge of Air Force personnel referred to in part 1, are as follows;

Asthma; Hepatitis C; Back conditions; Insulin dependant diabetes; Bowel disease; Lower limb injury; Brain clot/tumor; Motor vehicle accident injury; Complicated obesity; Multiple sclerosis; Epilepsy; Parkinson's disease

Eye disorders; Psychiatric illness; Fatigue syndrome; Skin cancer; Hearing loss; Upper limb injury;

Heart conditions

Details on specific individual medical conditions for Army personnel cannot be provided without the express approval of the individuals affected. However, in general, discharge has been directed as a result of a medical assessment which has graded one or a number of the following aspects as exhibiting markedly diminished functional capacity which severely restricts the member's capacity for combat duties:

Physical stamina and general health; Functioning of upper limbs; Ability to walk, run and lift; Hearing; Combination of functioning of upper limbs, and ability to walk, run and lift; Combination of ability to walk, run and lift, and psychiatric stability; Combination of ability to walk, run and lift, and hearing; Combination of functioning of upper limbs, ability to walk, run and lift, and hearing; Combination of functioning of upper limbs, ability to walk, run and lift, and psychiatric stability.

(4) (a) (i) and (ii)

Air Force: Members of DFRDB—30; Members of MSBS—159.

Army: Members of DFRBD—26; Members of MSBS—21.

(b) (i) and (ii)

Air Force:

Class

DFRDB

MSBS

A

3

22

B

14

68

C

8

63

Army:

Class

DFRDB

MSBS

A

2

-

B

5

5

C

3

9

(c) With regard to the Air Force, 19 cases are awaiting determination of invalidity entitlements; 4 of whom have recently discharged, the remaining 15 will discharge over the next few months. 10 were not entitled to benefits.

The number of Army personnel awaiting determination of their invalidity entitlements from DFRDB is 16, 14 of which their records have not been received as yet and 2 waiting classification. The number awaiting determination of their invalidity entitlements from MSBS is 6, 5 of which their records have not been received as yet and 1 waiting classification.

(5) Members discharging from the Australian Defence Force as Medically Unfit for Further Service are entitled to the following:

Resettlement entitlements:

- attendance at a resettlement seminar (3 days).

- approved absence for job seeking (3 days).

- training with a prospective employer for up to 20 days (may take the form of outplacement counselling, with a maximum reimbursement cost of $1721).

- resume preparation with a maximum reimbursement cost of $176.

Removal to discharge location of choice and travel expenses to that location for self and family.

Subject to certain conditions and time limits, an allowance may be payable for costs associated with the sale of a private residence in the last long posting term locality of duty immediately before discharge.

If a member has received the MSBS Retention Benefit and is discharged there is no requirement to repay the benefit.

Rehabilitation after discharge is provided if the member has had a claim for compensation accepted. If so that member becomes the responsibility of the Military Compensation and Rehabilitation Service (MCRS).