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Factsheet IS160 - Overview of Cards Available to Veterans and Their Dependants


This Factsheet provides an overview of the various cards that are available to veterans, former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and their dependants, either through DVA, or more generally. For more information on a particular card see the Factsheet specific to that card.

What cards does DVA issue?

Cards are provided to identify the eligibility of veterans, former ADF members and their dependants for a range of benefits.  These can include:

  • health care;
  • pharmaceutical benefits; and
  • concessional travel.

At the state and local level there is also a range of benefits and discounts provided by government and private providers.

Cards covered in this Factsheet

The following cards and the benefits they provide are described in this Factsheet:

  • DVA Health Card All Conditions (Gold), under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA), the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) and the Australian Participants in British Nuclear Tests and British Commonwealth Occupation Force (Treatment) Act 2006 (BNT/BCOF Act);
  • DVA Health Card – Specific Conditions (White) under the VEA, the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA) and the MRCA;
  • DVA Health Card – Pharmaceuticals Only (Orange)
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC)
  • Pensioner Concession Card (PCC)
  • New South Wales War Widow’s/Widower’s Transport Concession Card (TC1)
  • VIC Free Travel Voucher
  • Low Income Health Card (Centrelink)
  • Seniors Card (State Governments).

DVA Health Card All Conditions (Gold) (Factsheets HSV59 & HSV60)

Who is eligible?

A Gold Card is issued to those veterans and former members of ADF, their widows/widowers and dependants entitled to treatment for all medical conditions.  For a full list of eligible recipients, please refer to Factsheet HSV59 – Eligibility for the DVA Health Card All Conditions (Gold) or Totally & Permanently Incapacitated (Gold).

Benefits available with the Gold Card

DVA Health Card – Specific Conditions (White) (Factsheet HSV61)

Who is eligible?

A White Card is issued to veterans, mariners and former members of ADF with an accepted war or service caused injury or disease.

Under Non-Liability Health Care, a White Card for the treatment of any mental health condition may also be issued to current and former permanent members of the ADF or reservists who have rendered at least one day of continuous full-time service. In addition, from 1 July 2018, a White Card for mental health treatment may be issued to Reservists without continuous full-time service if they rendered Reserve Service Days with:

  • Disaster Relief Service (e.g., Operation Vic Fire Assist);
  • Border Protection Service (e.g., Operation RESOLUTE); or
  • involvement in a serious service-related training accident (e.g., a helicopter crash).

Transitioning members of the ADF may be automatically issued the White Card for the purpose of accessing mental health treatment under Non-Liability Health Care.

Depending on eligibility, a White Card for the treatment of any mental health condition may also be issued under Non-Liability Health Care (NLHC) treatment arrangements for treatment of:

  • malignant cancer (neoplasia); and
  • pulmonary tuberculosis.

For more information on Non-Liability Health Care refer to Factsheet HSV109 Non Liability Health Care.

A White Card is also issued to ex-service personnel who are eligible for treatment under agreements between the Australian Government and the New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and United Kingdom governments for disabilities accepted as war-caused by their country of origin.

*Note: - Services available to these veterans may be different from those available to veterans of ADF.  Please refer to the paragraph under the heading 'Related Factsheets' for specific information on the services available.

For a full list of eligible recipients, please refer to Factsheet HSV61 – DVA Health Card – Specific Conditions (White).

Benefits available with the White Card

For treatment of the specific condition(s) as described above, the cardholder should present their White Card whenever visiting an accepting:

  • doctor, medical specialist, dentist, pharmacist, dental prosthetist or optometrist or any after-hours medical service
  • other health care provider who you are referred to for treatment
  • hospital.

It is a good idea to check that the professional or service accepts the White Card prior to use of the service.  There should not be any charge for treatment received for accepted specific conditions as long as the health care provider agrees to treat under the DVA arrangements.  If a bill is presented for this service, it should not be paid and DVA should be advised immediately.  A contribution may be required towards the cost of pharmaceutical items, nursing home care and some dental services.

White Card holders may also be eligible for assessment for Veterans’ Home Care (VHC) services.  If the White Card holder is a Commonwealth or Allied veteran, they are only eligible to receive respite care and not other VHC services.

DVA Health Card – Pharmaceuticals Only (Orange) (Factsheet HSV69)

Who is eligible?

A DVA Health Card – Pharmaceuticals Only (Orange) is issued to Commonwealth and allied veterans and mariners who:

  • have qualifying service from World War I or II; and
  • are aged 70 or over; and
  • have been resident in Australia for 10 years or more.

A Commonwealth or allied veteran or mariner is a person who, as a member of the defence force established by a British Commonwealth or allied country, rendered continuous full time service during a period of hostilities, in connection with war or warlike operations in which the ADF was involved.

For a Commonwealth veteran, qualifying service is either:

  • service during a period of hostilities in an area and at a time when danger was incurred from hostile forces of the enemy outside the country in whose defence force the veteran served; or
  • service within that country for which the veteran received, or was eligible to receive, a campaign medal.

For an Allied veteran, qualifying service is service during a period of hostilities in an area and at a time when danger was incurred from hostile forces of the enemy.

Benefits available with the Orange Card

The range of pharmaceutical items available under the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS) is much wider than the range available under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).  The Orange Card entitles you to obtain your prescribed medications at the current concessional rate of $6.50 * per item.  When the annual safety net is reached there are no further charges for prescribed items for that calendar year.  The safety net limit is $390.00 * or 60 prescriptions for the current calendar year.

*Note: - *These figures are indexed annually in line with the CPI, and do not include surcharges on some alternative brands/medicines.

Based on clinical need and a request from your doctor, Orange Card holders may:

  • obtain items not listed in the Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits; or
  • obtain listed items for a use other than that stipulated in the Schedule;

with prior approval from the department.

The Orange Card also entitles the holder to receive veterans supplement.  The veterans supplement is a fortnightly payment, which helps to offset the cost of prescriptions.  The current veterans supplement is $6.20 * per fortnight.  Some Orange Card holders may already receive this amount as part of their service pension, or disability pension supplement, or if they already hold a White Card.

*Note: - *The veterans supplement is indexed annually in line with the CPI.  (An increase in CPI will not necessarily result in an increase to veterans supplement).

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) (Factsheet IS126)

Who is eligible?

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs provides the CSHC to:

  • Australian, Commonwealth, or allied veterans with qualifying service; and
  • Australian, Commonwealth, or allied mariners of World War 2 with qualifying service; and
  • partners (including widows or widowers) of veterans or mariners with qualifying service; and
  • war widows/widowers;

who are:

  • of qualifying age; or
  • of veteran pension age if they are a veteran; or
  • of non-veteran pension age if they are the partner of a veteran.

You must also:

  • not be receiving a service pension or income support supplement from DVA; and
  • not be receiving a pension or benefit from Centrelink;
  • meet the seniors health card income test (refer to Factsheet IS126 Commonwealth Seniors Health Card for current limits); and
  • not already hold a CSHC issued by Centrelink.

*Note: - Holders of a Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) from either DVA or Centrelink, will not be issued with a CSHC. The PCC already entitles the holder to the concessions that are available with the CSHC.

Benefits available with the CSHC

The CSHC entitles holders to:

  • concessional rate prescription medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme; and
  • an energy supplement if the CSHC was granted before 19 March 2017. For more information please refer to Factsheet CEP01 Energy Supplement.

Some State Governments provide additional concessions similar to those available to holders of the PCC.  For more information refer to Factsheets CON01 – CON08 Concessions in States and Territories.

Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) (Factsheet IS125)

Who is eligible?

PCCs are issued by the Australian Government through DVA to Australian residents receiving an income support pension paid by DVA:

  • Service Pension;
  • Income Support Supplement; or
  • Age Pension paid by DVA.

Reinstated PCCs are also issued to people whose income support pension was cancelled on 1 January 2017 due to changes to the assets test applying from that date.  There is no requirement for people in this category to be receiving an income support pension.

The cardholder’s name and address appear at the top of the card.  If a cardholder has a partner and/or any dependent children, their names will be listed on the centre of the card.

The PCC is proof of eligibility to receive certain concessions.

The PCC is issued when eligibility is determined and then during October/November every two years while the cardholder continues to be eligible for it.

The DVA PCC has the same status as a PCC issued by Centrelink.  Both cards provide access to the same concessions.

Benefits available with the PCC

The PCC entitles the cardholder to benefits from the Commonwealth Government including:

  • pharmaceuticals at concessional prices;
  • hearing services; and
  • discounts on mail redirection from Australia Post.

In addition to Commonwealth concessions, the PCC also entitles cardholders to benefits from most State and Local Governments and authorities.  Concessions may include discounts on such services as:

  • property rates and water charges;
  • electricity and other energy bills;
  • fares on public transport;
  • motor vehicle registration fees and drivers’ licences; and
  • admission or ticket prices to various entertainment or sporting venues.

For more information refer to Factsheets CON01 – CON08 Concessions in States and Territories.

A range of discounts and concessions are also available through private retailers.

VIC Free Travel Voucher

The Victorian Free Travel Voucher is issued to war widows/widowers who are not in receipt of service pension, income support supplement or age pension and reside in Victoria.

New South Wales (NSW) War Widows'/Widowers Transport Concession Card

War Widows/Widowers who reside in NSW may be eligible for the NSW War Widows/Widowers Concession Card. This card is issued by DVA on behalf of the NSW Government and entitles the holder to concession travel on public transport in NSW.

The Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania do not offer this card, however war widows/widowers may still be eligible for concessions on travel through their DVA Gold Card, their PCC, or their CSHC.

For more information refer to Factsheets CON01 – CON08 Concessions in States and Territories.

Low Income Health Care Card

This card is issued by Centrelink to people who meet a test of their average gross income in the 8 weeks immediately before they claim the card.  (Contact Centrelink for further information on telephone 136 150 or visit their Internet site at:

All low-income Health Care Card holders and their dependants (i.e. their partner and dependent children) are entitled to pharmaceuticals listed under the PBS at the concessional rate (currently $6.50 per script).

In some instances, additional health, household, transport, education and recreation concessions may be offered by some State/Territory and Local Governments and private providers.  However these providers offer the concessions at their own discretion, and their availability may vary from state to state.

Seniors Card (SC – State Governments)

All State Governments issue their own Seniors Card.  Eligibility for this card is determined by each state and is usually based on age and/or the number of hours worked per week.  In most states you must be over 60 years.

Concessions vary between states, but may include discounts on travel, licences or household expenses, as well as on goods and services.  In 2009 the National Transport Concession Scheme was introduced, allowing holders of Seniors Cards to access public transport concessions throughout Australia.  Previously holders of Seniors Cards could only access public transport concessions in the state in which the card was issued.

State Government issued Seniors Cards are often accepted at local businesses and may be accepted where a PCC or Gold Card is not.

Please check eligibility for a Seniors Card with the relevant State Government department in your state.

More Information

DVA General Enquiries

Phone: 1800 555 254 *


DVA Website:

Factsheet Website:

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

Related Factsheets


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.

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30 October 2019