F-111 Fuel Tank Maintenance website - Information for F-111 fuel tank workers and their families

The SHOAMP Health Care Scheme

Am I eligible for the SHOAMP Health Care Scheme?

The SHOAMP Health Care Scheme has two participant categories - Group 1 and Group 2.

Group 1 participants:

  • Personnel involved in the F-111 deseal/reseal training conducted in Sacramento, USA;
  • Personnel, including supervisors, involved in the formal F-111 deseal/reseal programs;
  • Personnel involved in the regular burning or disposal of F-111 deseal/reseal products;
  • Personnel involved in ad hoc ‘pick and patch’ fuel tank maintenance on F-111 aircraft prior to January 2000;
  • Personnel involved in other maintenance or directly related tasks prior to January 2000 where their work required physical entry to an F-111 fuel tank to conduct that maintenance or task;
  • Personnel who dismantled and/or disposed of the canvas from the Air Transportable Deseal/Reseal Hangar (the ‘Rag Hangar’);
  • Personnel whose primary place of duty was within the deseal/reseal hangars or the Air Transportable Deseal/Reseal Hangar (the ‘Rag Hangar’) at Amberley during one or more of the formal deseal/reseal programs;
  • Personnel employed in Engine Test Cell No 1 during the period 1976 – 1986;
  • Fuel farm workers and personnel involved in the transport, delivery and handling of F‑111 deseal/reseal products including SR51/51A. These workers and personnel must have regularly performed duties of supply and disposal of F-111 deseal/reseal products;
  • Personnel immersed in the Warrill Creek Settling Pond at RAAF Base Amberley; and
  • Work Experience students at Hawker de Havilland who worked inside the tanks.

Group 2 participants:

  • Immediate family members of a SHOAMP Health Care Scheme Group 1 participant; and
  • Service persons or civilian employees who are not covered by the SHOAMP Health Care Scheme Group 1 definition, but who were employed at RAAF Base Amberley during the F-111 deseal/reseal programs (the 1st and 2nd deseal/reseal programs 1977-82 and 1991-93; the spray seal program 1996-99; and the wings deseal/reseal program 1985-92).

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How do I register for the SHOAMP Health Care Scheme?

Before you can register for the SHOAMP Health Care Scheme, you must first apply for a Tier classification.

After your Tier application is determined, you will receive a letter informing you whether you are eligible for the SHOAMP Health Care Scheme.  If you are eligible, a SHOAMP Health Care Scheme registration form will be sent to you.  Alternatively, you can print the SHOAMP Health Care Scheme registration form, below:

Group 1 registration form
Group 2 registration form

If you would like a registration form sent to you, please contact the SHOAMP Health Care Scheme on 1800 728 007 or email SHOAMP.healthcarescheme@dva.gov.au .  

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Can I get help filling out my SHOAMP Health Care Scheme registration form?

The Air Force Military Compensation Liaison Office (1800 558 022) is available to assist both current and former Air Force personnel in their application for Tier classification, the SHOAMP Health Care Scheme and applications for benefits under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.

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What services are available under the SHOAMP Health Care Scheme?

Group 1 participants can receive the following services under the SHOAMP Health Care Scheme (SHCS):

  • medical treatment for a range of conditions while your claim for compensation is being investigated and determined;
  • medical treatment for a range of conditions where compensation has been denied. If your compensation claim is rejected, treatment costs may continue to be covered under the SHOAMP Health Care Scheme, unless it has been determined that:
    • no medical condition was found during the claims investigations process; or
    • your condition does not incapacitate you; or
    • you have withdrawn your claim for compensation.
  • counselling through the VVCS - Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service;
  • participation in VVCS-coordinated programs, including the Lifestyle Management Course and Heart Health;
  • eligibility to participate in the Better Health Program – a cancer screening and disease prevention program; and
  • approved travel to attend medical consultations and VVCS counselling sessions and healthy lifestyle programs.

Group 1 participants can receive coverage of medical treatment costs for a range of conditions if you have first lodged a compensation claim for those conditions.

Group 2 participants can receive general and genetic counselling through the VVCS - Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service.

If you are a Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 or Group 1 participant, you can receive health care treatment costs under the SHCS for specified conditions, if you have lodged a claim for compensation for these conditions. Group 2 participants are entitled to counselling services only.

For those with Tier status and/or who are Group 1 participants, health care costs are covered  under the SHCS until your claim is approved. Thereafter, your health care is provided under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) or the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) (whichever Act your claim is accepted under). If your claim is rejected, you may continue to be entitled to health care under the SHCS indefinitely.

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Conditions covered by the SHOAMP Health Care Scheme

Category Condition Symptoms
Skin rashes; associated systemic conditions Dysplastic naevus A pigmented lesion of the skin, other than a melanoma, displaying an irregular border, indistinct margin and mixed colouration.
Eczema/ dermatitis Eczema is a puristic papulovesicular dermatitis, that also has a later scaly stage.  A dermatitis is any inflammation of the skin.
Neurological conditions Multiple sclerosis A degenerative disease of the nervous system characterised by the development of lesions separated in time and space in which the underlying pathology is the dermalisation of the affected nervous tissue.
Parkinson’s disease A degenerative disease of the nervous system, characterised by rigidity, tremor and bradykinesia with abnormality of gait and mask like faces.
Peripheral neuropathy A condition in which there is simultaneous loss of function of multiple peripheral nerves.
Spinal muscular atrophy A disease characterised by excessive loss of large motor neurons, with muscle showing evidence of degeneration atrophy.
Erectile dysfunction An inability to obtain or maintain an erection of sufficient strength to complete an act of sexual intercourse.
Cauda equina syndrome An impairment of both somatic and visceral sensory and motor function referable to the lower sacral and lumbar nerve roots.
Neurogenic bladder A loss of bladder function or control as a result of a neurogenic disease.
Non-alcoholic toxic encephalopathy A loss of cerebral functions, caused by toxic insult to the neurons, resulting from a toxic exposure other than ethanol.
Acquired colour vision deficiency A disorder of colour vision not being due to genetic factors.
Mental disorders; personality changes Depression A disorder of the affect, with depressed mood; and/or the loss of interest or pleasure in, almost all activities. The individual may also suffer from: loss of appetite; weight loss; sleep disorders; decreased energy; feelings of worthlessness or guilt; and may have recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
Sleep disorders with neurological basis A sleep disorder associated with either Parkinson’s Disease of degeneration of the cerebrum.
Bi-polar affective disorder A disorder in which there has been at least one episode of mania and one episode of major depression.
Vertigo An illusory sense of environment or self movement.
Memory loss A loss of memory above that of normal (either short-term or long-term).
Anxiety A disease in which there is excessive anxiety and worry on more days than not for a period of at least six months, with the sufferer also displaying features such as restlessness, irritability, muscle tension or disturbed sleep.
Panic disorders A disease in which there are recurrent panic attacks, with persistent concern about future panic attacks, worry over the effect of panic attacks and there has been significant change in behaviour as a result of the attacks.
Impaired cognition Any measurable loss of higher cerebral function.
Agoraphobia with panic disorder A well defined cluster of phobias embracing fears. Panic disorder is a frequent feature of both present and past episodes.  Avoidance of the phobic situation is prominent; some agoraphobics experience little anxiety because they are able to avoid their phobic situations.
Alcohol and drug dependence When an individual persists in the use of alcohol or other drugs characterised by behavioural and other responses that include a compulsion to take the substance on a continuous or periodic basis in order to experience its mental or physical effects or to avoid the discomfort of its absence.
All malignant neoplasms and myelo-proliferative disorders Malignant neoplasms Any disorder in which there is an abnormal growth of cells and the cells display either the ability to metastasize or to invade the surrounding tissues.
Myeloproliferative disorders Any one of a family of diseases characterised by increased blood cell production, including myelogenous leukaemia, polycythaemia rubra vera and myelofibrosis.
Liver diseases Liver disease (excluding diabetes) Any disease or inflammation of the liver due to concentrations of chemicals and solvents.
Pancreatic disease Any disease or inflammation of the pancreas.
Gastrointestinal problems Irritable bowel disorder Chronic intermittent symptoms, including recurrent abdominal pain, with altered frequency of defecation with either constipation or diarrhoea or both, stool urgency and a sense of incomplete evacuation of the bowel.
Ulcerative colitis / Crohn’s disease Ulcerative colitis means a chronic, recurrent ulceration of the colon, chiefly of the mucosa or sub-mucosa, manifesting as cramping abdominal pain, rectal bleeding and loose discharges of blood, pus and mucosa.   Crohn’s disease is a chronic, granulomatis inflammatory disease involving any part of the digestive tract with scarring and thickening of the bowel wall.
Diverticulitis The presence of inflammation in and around a diverticulum of the colon or rectum.
Bowel polyps A protruding growth from the mucosa of the colon or rectum.
Immunological disorders Mixed connective tissue disease A disease when there is overlap of the clinical features of systemic lupus erythematosis, scleroderma, polymyositis and rheumatoid arthritis, usually with unusually high circulating antibody to a nuclear ribonucleoprotein.
Systemic lupus erythematosus A disease in which tissues and cells are damaged by pathological autoantibodies and immune complexes.
Sarcoidosis A chronic, multisystem disorder in which in the affected organs there is an accumulation of T-lymphocytes and mononuclear phagocytes, with noncaseating epithelial granuloma and derangement of the normal tissue architecture.

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How do I access services through the SHOAMP Health Care Scheme?

Treatment

If you are a Group 1 participant, the SHOAMP Health Care Scheme covers the cost of medical treatment for the above specified conditions. Group 2 participants are only eligible for counselling services.
To receive coverage for treatment costs for a condition, Group 1 participants must first lodge a compensation claim for that condition.  To lodge a claim, please contact the relevant authority for the appropriate form:

Coverage of treatment costs through the SHOAMP Health Care Scheme will be provided while your claim for compensation is being investigated and determined.

If your compensation claim is accepted, treatment will then be provided by the relevant statutory compensation authority (eg DVA, WorkCover Queensland or Comcare).

If your compensation claim is rejected, treatment costs may continue to be covered under the SHOAMP Health Care Scheme, unless it has been determined by DVA that:

  • no medical condition was found during the claims investigations process; or
  • that your condition does not incapacitate you; or
  • you have withdrawn your claim for compensation.

Health Programs through VVCS

Group 1 participants have access to health programs provided by the VVCS - Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service.  This includes the F-111 Lifestyle Management Program and Heart Health.

For more information on these programs and VVCS more generally
http://www.dva.gov.au/health_and_wellbeing/health_programs/vvcs

Counselling services

SHOAMP Health Care Scheme Group 1 and Group 2 participants have access to general counselling provided by the VVCS - Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service, who will also arrange genetic counselling if required.

The VVCS can be contacted in any state, on 1800 011 046

To arrange counselling, you should call the nearest VVCS office.

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How does the removal of the cut-off date affect me?

As part of the Government Response to the Parliamentary Inquiry report on F-111 workers and their families, changes have been made to the SHOAMP Health Care Scheme.  A prior cut-off date (of 20 September 2005) has now been removed, and the Scheme is reinstated.

Registrations for Group 1 and Group 2 participant status have re-opened.

The SHOAMP Health Care Scheme will now cover medical expenses (for specified conditions) where compensation claims were submitted after the September 05 cut-off date.  Likewise, the Scheme is available to eligible persons who submit new compensation claims.

Reopening registrations

If you would like to register for the SHOAMP Health Care Scheme, please complete a registration form

Any SHOAMP Health Care Scheme registrations that were received after the cut-off date of 20 September 2005, from Group 1 participants will be reconsidered by DVA and affected individuals will be informed, in writing, of the determination.

Reimbursement of treatment costs incurred since cut-off

If you are already a Group 1 participant, and you submitted a claim for compensation after the cut-off date of 20 September 2005, you may be entitled to reimbursement of medical expenses incurred (for specific conditions) while your claim was being investigated and determined.

Please contact the SHOAMP Health Care Scheme on 1800 728 007 for more information on how you can receive reimbursement of medical expenses incurred since the cut-off date.

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Where can I get further information?

If you require further information on the SHOAMP Health Care Scheme or would like to provide feedback, you can contact the SHOAMP Health Care Scheme by:

Phone: 1800 728 007
Email: SHOAMP.healthcarescheme@dva.gov.au.  If you intend to send personal information via email you will need to register an Authority for secure information pathway form (PDF 91 Kb).

Mail:
SHOAMP Health Care Scheme
GPO Box 9998
Canberra ACT 2601

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