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Eligibility (for benefits and payments)


Veterans who have served in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) may be eligible for pensions or benefits from DVA, depending on their individual situation. Some British, Commonwealth and Allied veterans who served in conflicts in which Australia was involved may also be eligible for pensions/or benefits from DVA.

Qualifying service is one of the criteria used to determine if you are eligible for a service pension. Qualifying service for a service pension is different from operational service for a disability pension. You may be eligible for a disability pension, but not be eligible for a service pension.

As a member of the ADF, you may have qualifying service if you have done any of the following:

  • served in an operational area after the Second World War and were allotted for duty in that operational area; or rendered war like service
  • rendered service during the Second World War and incurred danger from hostile forces of the enemy during the period of hostilities (this criterion also applies to Australian mariners)
  • served in an operational area after the Second World War and were allotted for duty, or were a member of a unit that was allotted for duty in that operational area; or have warlike service
  • served on certain submarine special operations between 1978 and 1997 and were awarded, or were eligible to be awarded, the Australian Service Medal with the Special Operations Clasp
  • have been awarded, or were eligible to be awarded, prescribed medals/clasps in respect of certain bomb clearance or minesweeping duties following the Second World War.

Former serving members

If you are a former member of the ADF (including in reservist and cadet positions), you may be eligible to claim compensation for any medical condition related to your service. The entitlements available depend on the legislation applicable at the time of service and the type of service you rendered.

See also current or transitioning ADF member

Current serving members

If you are a current serving member of the ADF, including in reserve and cadet positions, you may be eligible for medical treatment (for example, if you are in the process of being discharged from the ADF), rehabilitation and compensation or vocational services for any condition relating to your service.

The On Base Advisory Service (OBAS) provides advice about eligibility for assistance through DVA. You can contact On Base Advisors either on base or during their regular scheduled visits to base.

If you are an injured or ill former-ADF member, you may be eligible for a white card (for specific conditions) or a gold card (for all conditions) for health care services at DVA's expense. DVA Health cards are not generally provided to serving members, as these costs are ordinarily met by the ADF.

See also current or transitioning ADF member.

Non-liability health care

Non-Liability Health Care (NLHC) allows current and former ADF personnel and Reservists, depending on their eligibility, to receive treatment for any of the following conditions:

  • Cancer (Malignant Neoplasm)
  • Pulmonary Tuberculosis
  • any mental health condition.

For more information on NLHC, please see Fachtsheet — HSV109 — Non-Liability Health Care.

Family and dependants

Partner/ Spouse

If you are married to, in a de facto relationship with, or separated from, a member/ veteran (including same-sex relationships), you may be eligible for benefits as a partner.

Widow/ Widower

If you are a widow or widower of an eligible member/ veteran, you may be able to access financial assistance and other benefits from DVA.


Financial assistance, student support services including education schemes, guidance and counselling services may be available to children of eligible veterans.

Police officers

If you are a police officer who served in a declared peacekeeping force, you may be eligible to claim disability compensation pension and treatment for any injury or disease accepted as being caused by your peacekeeping service. You may also be eligible for the Veterans' Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme.

Entitlement self assessment

DVA's Entitlement self assessment tool comprises a series of questions to help existing and prospective DVA clients to assess potential entitlements.

This online service asks a number of questions relating to service, dependent family members and any current benefits you may be receiving.

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