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The Medical Discharge Question

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 12:21 pm

It’s bad enough to be leaving a career that you may have intended on continuing for some time, let alone have to face telling an employer that you have been medically discharged.

This dilemma haunts most people who are being medically discharged.  Who would want to hire someone who is already broken?

All is not lost.  Things aren’t as drastic as they may seem.  There are two strategies we encourage people to use when talking to employers about why you are leaving Defence.  The trap most people fall in to is to want to tell the truth about their medical discharge.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not encouraging you to lie.  But we explore another truth that could also fit the answer to tell me why you’re leaving Defence.

What I mean by this is that situations can have many truths.  We don’t say them all because many aren’t relevant.  The same is true for your medical condition.  In most cases your condition isn’t fit only for Defence, but very fit for a civilian employer.  You must be certain you can actually perform the duties as listed.  If so, then why does your potential new employer need to know something about you that won’t affect your ability to do the job?  Would you feel compelled to tell them about some phobias you might have?  Just because Defence have higher than normal medical standards, don’t let this unnecessarily ruin your chances of gaining new employment.

Of course, if you have to reveal a pre-existing injury and the employer questions you as to why you didn’t disclose this information earlier, your answer should be something like “I didn’t mention it as my condition won’t affect me doing the job you want me to do.  I have the condition under control and it has been stable for XX months.”  It might also be a good idea to have something to back that up from your doctor stating how stable your condition is.

We have been helping Defence members exit through the medical discharge process since 2004.  We know it’s a very hard road to travel.  We know the mountain of administrative paperwork to wade through it not only time consuming, but also confusing and plain frustrating.

To get the right words for you to say to potential new employers about why you’re leaving Defence, call us on 1300 366 104, or email