Health Care, Compensation and Support
Aboriginal soldiers of the 51st Far North Queensland Regiment
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have served in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. Many have also served in Australia as either regular or reserve members of the defence force.
Can Veterans’ Affairs help you?
If you served your country, either in Australia or overseas (including as a reservist), you can apply for benefits and services from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA). Benefits and services may also be available to your family.
What you might be entitled to
If you have an illness or injury that was caused by or is related to your service, you may be entitled to a disability pension. You may also be entitled to rehabilitation services that help to restore your health and/or obtain or maintain employment.
A service pension provides a fortnightly income for people with limited means, like Centrelink’s age and disability support pensions. A service pension can be paid to veterans on the grounds of age or invalidity, and to eligible partners, widows and widowers.
To be eligible for service pension a veteran must have qualifying service (which broadly means that they incurred danger from hostile enemy forces). The age service pension is paid 5 years earlier (i.e. 60 for a male veteran) than the age pension paid by Centrelink, recognising that the intangible effects of war may result in premature ageing and/or loss of earning power.
Some veterans can access free health care services such as medical and hospital treatment, dental care, physiotherapy, podiatry, community nursing care and medicines.
DVA can also help to cover the cost of travelling away from home to receive health care.
Put your mind At Ease
Many Australians have trouble with stress, depression and other mental health problems. DVA provides information and support to help you look after your mental health.
Visit the At Ease website to find out about mental health problems in the veteran community, and how to look after yourself and your family.
VVCS—Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service can help veterans and members of the defence community and their families with problems relating to your service, as well as lifestyle issues that affect your health and wellbeing.
Office of Australian War Graves
The Office provides official commemoration for those veterans who meet the eligibility criteria. The Office may also be contacted regarding permission to use the Service badge for privately arranged memorials.
Can Veterans’ Affairs help your family?
As well as helping veterans, DVA provides benefits and services to their families.
The widows or widowers of veterans whose death is caused by or related to their service may be eligible for a pension and/or health care.
Partners of veterans may qualify for the partner service pension from the age of 50, or younger if they have a dependent child or if the veteran receives disability pension at the special rate (TPI).
Eligible veterans can also get help to pay for their children’s education.
DVA Support for ADF Indigenous Personnel
Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel, whose injury or illness can be linked to their service, may be eligible for rehabilitation or compensation, and transition management assistance if they are likely to be medically discharged. The Veterans’ Vocational Rehabilitation Service can also assist when moving to civilian employment.
Who to talk to
The Department has Indigenous Veteran Liaison Officers in each State who are able to assist Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders in their dealings with the department. To find out more about the IVLOs please see the Indigenous Veteran Liaison Officers Network link or contact the number below.
For more information contact DVA on the number listed below.
Veterans’ Affairs Network
1300 55 1918
For more information about benefits and services please see Eligibility and Claims.