Skip to Content

Non-Liability Health Care

Need help now?

Call Open Arms on 1800 011 046 (24/7).

If your life is in danger, call 000.

Latest news

From 1 July 2018, as part of the 2018–2019 Budget, eligibility for mental health care has been extended to some Reservists without continuous full-time service. Check your eligibility.

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

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

There is no need for the condition to be accepted as service related. However, the eligibility for treatment of each condition depends on the period in which service was rendered, or in some cases, the nature of service (for example, service on operational deployments).

Mental Health Conditions

NLHC covers treatment for any mental health condition, including but not limited to:

  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Depressive Disorder
  • Anxiety Disorder
  • Alcohol Use Disorder
  • Substance Use Disorder
  • Phobias
  • Adjustment Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorder

Am I eligible?

Permanent full-time service

Anyone with any period of permanent or continuous full-time service with the ADF is eligible for the treatment of mental health conditions. This means that if you have had permanent full-time service in the ADF, even for as little as one day, you are eligible to receive treatment for any mental health condition. It doesn’t matter when you served, how long you served, or the nature of your service.

Reservists

If you are a Reservist with any period of full-time service, you may also be eligible for NLHC. This may be through prior service in the permanent forces of the ADF, or if you have been deployed on continuous full-time service, or if you have undertaken a continuous full-time service contract.

From 1 July 2018, if you are a Reservist without continuous full-time service you may still be eligible for mental health treatment under NLHC, provided you rendered Reserve Service Days with one of the following:

  • Disaster Relief Service (for example, Operation Vic Fire Assist)
  • Border Protection Service (for example, Operation RESOLUTE)
  • involvement in a serious service-related training accident

In the case of a serious accident, this means an accident which occurred during a training exercise undertaken by Defence in which a member of the ADF died or sustained a serious injury. The person would have needed immediate treatment as an inpatient in a hospital. Examples of serious injuries are as follows:

  • an injury that results in, or is likely to result in the loss of an eye, or total or partial loss of vision
  • a burn requiring intensive care or critical care
  • a spinal injury
  • deep or extensive cuts that cause muscle damage, tendon damage, or permanent impairment
  • an injury that requires the amputation of a body part

How do I apply?

You can choose to apply for NLHC for mental health conditions in the way that suits you. You can use any of the following to apply:

If you apply, you may be asked to provide proof of your identity and service, but you do not need to have a diagnosis. Once your application is accepted you can access treatment for any mental health condition without seeking further approval from the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA).

If you have received a DVA Health Card – Specific Conditions (White Card) after transitioning from the ADF, without applying, you are eligible to receive NLHC mental health treatment immediately. There is no need to apply for NLHC mental health treatment if you have received a White Card for this reason. Contact DVA if you have any questions about your treatment eligibilities.

How do I receive treatment?

NLHC treatment is accessed through a White Card. You will have to pay for any pharmaceuticals you are prescribed, but you can purchase these at a concessional rate. You may also be eligible to receive a fortnightly payment to help offset the cost of pharmaceuticals. DVA will write to you if this is the case.

If you are already receiving treatment for a mental health condition, you can continue to see your treating doctor using your White Card. For most cases, you can seek reimbursement for out-of-pocket treatment expenses you’ve incurred in the three months prior to lodging your application. You can download relevant Factsheets regarding travel (HSV02) and medical expenses privately incurred (HSV64), as well as relevant Application Forms for reimbursement (D0800 and D1181) from the DVA's factsheets.

If you don’t already have a general practitioner or treating specialist, and you’re not sure how to find a clinician, the Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling (formerly VVCS) can assist you in connecting with suitable support. If you are finding any part of this process overwhelming you should contact Open Arms on 1800 011 046.

Cancer and Pulmonary Tuberculosis

NLHC treatment of Cancer (Malignant Neoplasm) and Pulmonary Tuberculosis is available to those with relevant service types. A diagnosis is required for treatment of Cancer or Pulmonary Tuberculosis. 

Am I eligible?

NLHC treatment of Cancer (Malignant Neoplasm) and Pulmonary Tuberculosis is available to those with the following types of service:

  • eligible war service under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA)
  • operational service under the VEA
  • warlike and non-warlike service under the VEA or the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA)
  • peacekeeping service
  • hazardous service
  • British Nuclear Test defence service as defined in the VEA
  • CFTS, for those who completed an unbroken period of three years CFTS (continuous full-time service in the regular ADF) between 7 December 1972 and 6 April 1994
  • CFTS, for those who were engaged to serve not less than three years CFTS (continuous full-time service in the regular ADF) between 7 December 1972 and 6 April 1994, but discharged on the grounds of invalidity or physical or mental incapacity to perform duties before completing three years
  • National Service, for National Servicemen who were serving on 6 December 1972 and completed their contracted period of National Service on or after 7 December 1972.

How do I apply?

You can choose to apply for NLHC treatment of Cancer or Pulmonary Tuberculosis in the way that suits you. You can apply by filling in either of the following:

How do I receive treatment?

NLHC treatment is accessed through a White Card. You will have to pay for any pharmaceuticals you are prescribed, but you can purchase these at a concessional rate. You may also be eligible to receive a fortnightly payment to help offset the cost of pharmaceuticals. We will write to you if this is the case.

Treatment can be accessed under the Non-Liability Health Care arrangements anywhere within Australia, but not overseas. A diagnosis is required for treatment of Cancer or Pulmonary Tuberculosis.

Helpful links and contacts

Need help now?

Call the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service on 1800 011 046 (24/7).

If your life is in danger, call 000.

More information on Open Arms, the counselling service for veterans and families is available on the Open Arms website or in Factsheet VCS01 — VVCS.

Average: 4.5 (24 votes)