Home Care and Support

In some cases you may be able to receive different services from Veterans’ Home Care (VHC), the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) Community Nursing Programme, Home and Community Care Programme (HACC) or other community service programmes, depending on your needs.

On this page:

Home Care Packages

A Home Care Package is an individually tailored and coordinated package of care services, support services, clinical services and other services to support older Australians (including veterans and widows/widowers) who want to continue living at home. Home Care Packages are administered by the Department of Social Services.

If you are receiving a Home Care Package and have a service related mental health condition accepted by DVA, you may also be entitled to the Veterans’ Supplement in Home Care. This supplement is additional funding paid directly to your Home Care Package provider on your behalf for the additional costs that may be required to deliver care appropriate to your circumstances.

For more information about your eligibility for a Home Care Package and the Veterans’ Supplement in Home Care, you can visit the My Aged Care website or contact the My Aged Care Contact Centre on 1800 200 422.

Community Nursing

Community Nursing is a service provided in a person's home to:

  • restore health following illness
  • allow a person to maintain the best level of independence
  • allow for a dignified death.

DVA will pay for these services for Gold Card holders where the person has a clinical need for the nursing and has been referred by a Local Medical Officer. For White Card holders the condition requiring nursing must also be an accepted disability.

Community nursing care does not include support activities such as companionship, shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry or transport. People who require these services should go through the HACC or similar private services.

See Factsheet HSV16 Community Nursing Services (PDF 117KB)

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Day Clubs

Day Clubs is a national programme administered and operated by DVA and ex-service organisations. The programme commenced in 1977 to provide physical, mental and social activities tailored to the interests and skills of the clubs’ members. Day clubs provide benefits to the aged, the isolated, people with disabilities, carers and volunteers, by promoting social contact through activities such as games, sports, fitness, information sessions and arts and crafts.

In providing an outlet for older people to develop and maintain social contact outside the home, day clubs are an accessible means of overcoming social isolation and its associated health detriment for thousands of veterans.

For more information:

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Home and Community Care (HACC)

HACC is a Commonwealth programme administered by the Department of Social Services providing HACC Services for all states and territories except Victoria and Western Australia.  HACC in Victoria and Western Australia is still delivered via a jointly funded Commonwealth/State programme which is administered by state governments. The Commonwealth HACC Programme provides funding for basic maintenance, care and support services for older people and their carers, who live in the community and whose capacity for independent living is at risk, or who are at risk of premature or inappropriate admission to long term residential care.

Members of the veteran community not eligible to receive home care services under the DVA VHC Programme may be eligible for similar services provided under the HACC Programme.

Note: Members of the veteran community, like any other Australian Citizen can access HACC services. However, generally the same services, eg domestic assistance, cannot be accessed simultaneously from both HACC and the VHC programme.

Available services include:

  • nursing care
  • domestic assistance
  • social support
  • allied health care
  • meals and other food services
  • transport
  • personal care
  • home maintenance and modification
  • respite care
  • day care centres
  • counselling, support, information and advocacy.

From 1 July 2015, the Australian Government will introduce the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, which is central to the aged care reforms, and will support the development of an end-to-end aged care system.

The existing Commonwealth HACC Programme, the National Respite for Carers Programme and the Day Therapy Centres Programme will be combined under a single streamlined Commonwealth Home Support Programme to provide basic maintenance, care, support and respite services for older people living in the community, and their carers.

For more information about the HACC programme, visit the My Aged Care website or contact the My Aged Care Contact Centre on 1800 200 422*.

*Free local call - calls from mobile or pay phones may incur charges. 

Rehabilitation Appliances Programme (RAP)

The Rehabilitation Appliances Programme (RAP) provides appliances for self-help and rehabilitation purposes, and surgical aids for home requirements.

The aim of the programme is to restore or maintain independence and to minimise disability or dysfunction. The types of appliances available under this programme include:

  • mobility aids such as handrails in bathrooms and near steps; and
  • medical aids such as continence products.

Gold Card holders are eligible for appliances under this Scheme. White Card holders are eligible when the appliance is necessary for the management of an accepted disability.

To find out more about:

See Factsheet HSV107 Rehabilitation Appliances Program (PDF 24.9KB)

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Respite care

Respite care is designed to provide relief for a carer who has the responsibility for a person requiring ongoing care, attention and support. It is defined as an alternative form of care that enables carers to have a break.

Respite care may be provided:

  • in-home; 
  • in an Australian Government-funded aged care facility; or 
  • as emergency respite care in the home.

DVA respite care is accessed through the VHC programme.

Respite care is also available under other government programmes, such as the National Respite for Carers Programme (NRCP).  This programme assists carers with information, respite care and support in a variety of community settings including:

  • day care centres; 
  • in-home respite services, including overnight care and personal care services; 
  • overnight respite in houses in the community; and 
  • direct respite which may assist the carer in having a holiday break.

While it is anticipated that most carers will contribute to the cost of respite care provided through the NRCP, no carer should be refused a service because of their inability to pay. Respite can be arranged through Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres.

See Factsheet HSV06 Respite care (PDF 124KB)

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Veteran & Community Grants

Veteran & Community (V&C) Grants aim to improve the independence and quality of life of members of the veteran community by providing funding for projects that support activities and services that sustain and/or enhance their health and well-being. The grants provide the opportunity for veterans and war widows/widowers to participate in the development of activities and services that:

  • promote and enhance healthy lifestyles, particularly physical activity and mental well-being
  • support quality independent living at home
  • reduce social isolation
  • encourage involvement in community activities
  • increase access to community services
  • address gaps in local services
  • encourage supportive and safe communities
  • support carers.

V&C Grants are for the veteran community, that is, all veterans, their widows/widowers, their spouses, partners, carers and dependants and other members of the ex-service community. Projects may also benefit the wider community.


To be eligible for a V&C grant, an applicant must:

  • be an ex-service organisation, veteran representative group, community based organisation or private organisation; and 
  • demonstrate the ability to contribute to the welfare of members of the veteran community through the proposed project.


Applications will not be considered from:

  • individuals;
  • organisations seeking commercial gain from the project;
  • organisations contracted to DVA for the provision of VHC or other services requesting funding for any activity related to that contract; or
  • organisations or projects requesting V&C Grants funding for a service type for which they are receiving HACC funding.


The purpose of V&C Grants is to:

  • provide seeding funds for the development of projects that will become sustainable and financially viable; or
  • provide funds for one-off projects that have an ongoing health benefit for members of the veteran community.

V&C Grants will not be provided for recurrent funding i.e. ongoing financial assistance.

There are three funding rounds each financial year and applications must be lodged with the relevant DVA State Office. Applicants should read the Veteran & Community Grants Guidelines and contact their DVA State Office to discuss any project proposal before completing an Application for Veteran & Community Grants.

For more information:

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Veterans' Home Care (VHC)

DVA has introduced the VHC programme to help eligible veterans and war widows/widowers with low level care needs to remain in their homes for longer. It provides a wide range of home care services designed to maintain their optimal health, well being and independence.

VHC is part of a range of DVA services provided to eligible members of the veteran community. These include community nursing, allied health services, for example physiotherapy and podiatry, counselling services, transport for health care, home modifications and appliances through RAP and the HomeFront falls and accident prevention programme.

VHC services include domestic assistance, personal care, safety-related home and garden maintenance and respite care.

Access to VHC services is not automatic. If you are eligible, you must be assessed as needing home care assistance before receiving these services.

See Factsheet HCS01 About Veterans' Home Care  (PDF 111KB)

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