Skip to Content

Factsheet HSV02 - Claiming Travelling Expenses Under The Repatriation Transport Scheme

Purpose

This Factsheet describes how eligible veterans, war widows/widowers (entitled persons) can claim for travelling expenses, (transport/meals/accommodation) relating to travel for treatment purposes under the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) Repatriation Transport Scheme (RTS).

Am I eligible?

If you hold a DVA Health Card/Veteran Card:

  • For All Conditions (Gold) under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) or Totally & Permanently Incapacitated (Gold)
    • DVA will provide assistance towards travelling expenses to medical treatment.
  • For Specific Conditions (White) under the VEA
    • DVA will provide assistance towards travelling expenses for the treatment of accepted disabilities

You may also be eligible for travelling assistance when travel for non-liability health care treatment (not service-related) for the following conditions:

  • malignant cancer (neoplasia)
  • pulmonary tuberculosis
  • any mental health condition
  • substance use disorder; or
  • alcohol use disorder.

Note: If your treatment relates to conditions accepted under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA), the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA), Australian Participants in British Nuclear Tests and British Commonwealth Occupation Force (Treatment) Act 2006 or Treatment Benefits (Special Access) Act 2019, your travel entitlements may vary from those outlined in this Factsheet. Please contact DVA general enquiries using the details listed under ‘More Information’ at the end of this Factsheet.

What service does RTS provide?

DVA may assist with travelling expenses when you attend DVA approved health service appointments within Australia. This is a contribution towards the cost of transport, meals and accommodation and may not reimburse the entire cost you incur. See Factsheet HSV01 Health Services Available to the Veteran Community.

DVA may also arrange transport under the Booked Car with Driver (BCWD) Scheme for travel to approved treatment locations. See Factsheet HSV03 DVA Arranged Transport under the Repatriation Transport Scheme for more information.

What can I claim for?

You can claim travelling expenses relating to:

  • health service appointments
  • a disability claim
  • an invalidity income support claim
  • treatment under the Australian Participants in British Nuclear Tests and British Commonwealth Occupation Force (Treatment) Act 2006
  • attending the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) or a Veterans’ Review Board (VRB) hearing; or
  • obtaining documentary medical evidence for the VRB or the Specialist Medical Review Council (SMRC).

What assistance will I receive?

To receive the maximum allowable assistance towards your travelling expenses, you need to attend the Closest Practical Provider (CPP) to your permanent or temporary residence, at the time of treatment.

The CPP is the health provider closest to your residence, who is able to provide the appropriate treatment, and is recognised as an approved provider by DVA.

If you are treated by a health provider who is not your CPP and who is more than 50km from your residence, DVA will reimburse you to a distance equal to the closest practical provider or 50km (100km return trip), whichever is the greater.  If the distance from your residence to the CPP is 50km or less, you will be reimbursed for the distance travelled.

What travel assistance is covered?

DVA can reimburse for:

  • a private vehicle
  • public or community transport
  • vehicle ferries
  • parking
  • road tolls
  • taxis or hire cars (if it is the most economical mode of transport)
  • air travel (if it is the most economical mode of transport)
  • ambulance travel
  • accommodation; and
  • meals.

Under which circumstances is an accommodation allowance paid?

An accommodation allowance may be payable where an overnight stay is necessary because of the circumstances of your treatment, such as:

  • travel is more than 250km (one way) to attend a health provider; or
  • travel is less than 250km (one way) to attend a health provider, but your medical condition prevents you from travelling back to your residence on the same day you have treatment. Examples include but are not restricted to:
    • your health provider requires you to remain close-by for observation
    • you have  surgery and are unable to travel long distances
    • the appointment time is early in the morning or late in the afternoon; or
    • you are given medication preventing you from making a return trip.

Under which circumstances is a meal allowance paid?

If your treatment requires you to travel:

  • more than 50km but less than or equal to 200km from your residence in one day, a small meal allowance is payable; or
  • more than 200km from your residence in one day, a larger meal allowance is payable.  Refer to the rates table below for current allowances.

Meal allowances are not paid on the same day accommodation allowances are paid.

Can I travel with my partner?

You may travel with your partner as a medical attendant* when it is medically required.  This excludes any time you are travelling by ambulance or receiving treatment as an inpatient at hospital, as this role is fulfilled by medical staff.

While you can receive allowances for your medical attendant’s travelling expenses, there is no compensation for lost wages or for a nurse escort.

When your medical attendant travels to pick you up to take you to treatment, DVA does not reimburse the distance from their residence to your residence, or vice versa.

*Note: A medical attendant is any person who is responsible, competent and physically able to assist you while you are travelling to treatment.  They do not have to be medically qualified.

The following table outlines the current allowances payable under the RTS.  These allowances are effective from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020.

Type of allowance

Measure

Allowance Rate (1 July 2019)

Number times allowance paid when travelling with a medically required attendant#

Current allowances payable under the RTS

Private vehicle

Per km

36 cents

x1

Public, community or air transport

Actual fare

Actual fare

x2

Taxi transport

Actual fare

Actual fare

x1

Commercial accommodation non–capital city – single^

Per night

$148.60

x2

Commercial accommodation capital city – single^

Per night

$176.50

x2

Entitled person and medically required attendant sharing commercial accommodation – shared^

Per night

$241.70

x1

Subsidised accommodation – single^

Per night

$92.80

x2

Private accommodation – single^

Per night

$46.40

x2

Meal allowance – treatment location is more than 50 km but less than or equal to 200 km from your residence

Per day

$14.80

x2

Meal allowance – treatment location is more than 200 km from your residence

Per day

$30.00

x2

 

^ A meal allowance is not paid on a day where an accommodation allowance is paid because a meal component is already built into the accommodation allowance.

# This column refers to the number of times an allowance is paid when an entitled person travels with a medically required attendant.  For instance, if an entitled person shares a room with their attendant, only the allowance for one room is paid for (x1).  If they each have a single room, the allowance for both rooms is paid for (x2).

Which travelling allowances are payable for my medical attendant if I am admitted to hospital?

If you are admitted to hospital while accompanied by a medical attendant, they are entitled to receive travelling expenses to cover:

  • a return trip to their residence at the time of your admission; and
  • a return trip to the hospital at the time you are discharged.

OR

  • If your medical attendant does not return to their residence and chooses to stay in commercial, subsidised or private accommodation while you are in hospital, a contributing allowance may be payable.  The allowance payable is equal to the lesser of
    • the amount of kilometre allowance that would have been payable had your medical attendant returned to their residence when you were admitted to hospital, and then back to the hospital at the time you were discharged; or
    • the amount of commercial, subsidised or private accommodation allowance payable for the period you were hospitalised.

Contributing allowance Example: You were admitted to hospital for two nights and your medical attendant stayed in nearby subsidised accommodation, rather than returning home.  The distance from the hospital to your attendant’s home is 500 km (return).

  • Amount that would have been paid had the medical attendant returned home would be $180.00, based on the current kilometre rate of $0.36/km x 500km.
  • Amount of accommodation is $185.60, based on subsidised accommodation – single rate of $92.80/night x 2 nights
  • The lesser amount of $180.00 would be payable on this occasion to assist with the total cost of your attendant’s accommodation.

The actual cost incurred for accommodation is not taken into consideration for this calculation.

Your medical attendant is not eligible for any transport assistance to visit you while you are in hospital.

What if I require treatment when I am travelling within Australia?

If you are a Gold card holder and you need to go to a doctor or fall ill while travelling in Australia, DVA will pay for transport (including ambulance) to the closest health provider or emergency health care facility.  If you are a White card holder, your travel to treatment is paid only for your accepted disabilities.  After treatment or discharge, DVA will pay for your transport back to your temporary accommodation.

If you are required to extend your stay in your temporary accommodation so you can receive further treatment, DVA will not pay your accommodation expenses.  Also, any travelling companion is not entitled to payment of accommodation expenses to stay nearby if you are admitted to hospital.  If you are seriously ill and cannot continue your journey, DVA will not pay for your transportation from your temporary location to home.

DVA recommends that you take out travel insurance when travelling interstate.

How are payments made?

DVA will pay your travelling allowance(s) directly into the same bank account your pension or allowance is already paid into.  An advice letter is also sent which provides you with payment details, including any amount paid for your medical attendant.  If a claim for payment has been rejected or amended for any reason the advice letter will explain the decision and how this decision can be reviewed.

What if I need payments in advance?

In some cases you can seek a payment from DVA towards the approximate cost of your travel in advance.  This can be helpful if your travel involves long or interstate travel and the cost of such travel may cause you financial burden.  You will need to show evidence of your appointment to receive an advance payment.

When will I need to keep receipts?

You and your medical attendant must keep receipts for four months from the date your claim is processed as you may be required to present them during this period.  Receipts include the following travel expenses:

  • public, community, taxi, hire car, vehicle ferry or air transport (greater than or equal to $30) per return journey;
  • parking expenses (greater than or equal to $30) per return journey; and
  • commercial or subsidised accommodation.

Each travel expense includes both your costs and your medical attendant’s costs.

You are not required to keep receipts for travel by private vehicle, private accommodation, meals or road tolls.

How do I make a claim?

Claims can be made by completing form D800 Claim for Travelling Expenses for travel relating to:

  • Health Providers visits for medical treatment (including treatment at hospital)
  • a disability claim
  • an income support claim
  • Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004
  • Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence Related Claims) Act 1988; and
  • treatment under the Australian Participants in British Nuclear Tests and British Commonwealth Occupation Force(Treatment) Act 2006.

Claims can be made by completing form D803 Application for Travelling Expenses in Connection with a Review for travel relating to:

  • attending the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) or a Veterans’ Review Board (VRB) hearing; and
  • obtaining any documentary medical evidence for the Veterans’ Review Board (VRB) or the Specialist Medical Review Council (SMRC).

The form D800 Claim for Travelling Expenses must be lodged within 12 months of completion of travel.  Late claims may only be reconsidered where there were exceptional circumstances that prevented you from lodging your claim.  Any reconsideration must be made in writing and include supporting evidence for the delay. Reasons that may be accepted are when:

  • The claimant was incapacitated due to a clinical condition or was deemed medically unfit to submit a claim during the claim period (e.g. extended hospitalisation);
  • The claimant died within three months of the date of treatment;
  • A claim was received late due to a third party losing or misplacing the claim form; or
  • The claimant was undergoing a course of treatment extending for more than three months e.g. radiotherapy and delayed lodging their claim until the completion of this treatment.

Can I claim online?

You may lodge your travelling expenses claims using DVA’s online service, MyAccount.

For more information, please visit the MyAccount website at myaccount.dva.gov.au

If I live overseas, am I entitled to travel assistance if I temporarily return to Australia?

Please contact DVA to discuss your individual entitlements. Details provided under More Information on this Factsheet.

More Information

DVA General Enquiries

Phone: 1800 555 254 *

Email: GeneralEnquiries@dva.gov.au

DVA Website: www.dva.gov.au

Factsheet Website: factsheets.dva.gov.au

Non-Liability Health Care

Email: NLHC@dva.gov.au

Website: www.dva.gov.au/nlhc

* Calls from mobile phones and pay phones may incur additional charges.

Related Factsheets

Related Forms

Disclaimer

The information contained in this Factsheet is general in nature and does not take into account individual circumstances. You should not make important decisions, such as those that affect your financial or lifestyle position on the basis of information contained in this Factsheet. Where you are required to lodge a written claim for a benefit, you must take full responsibility for your decisions prior to the written claim being determined. You should seek confirmation in writing of any oral advice you receive from DVA relating to complex or important matters.

Average: 3.5 (11 votes)
16 October 2019