Vietnam Veterans' Sons & Daughters Support Program

What is the Vietnam Veterans' Sons & Daughters Support Program?

The Vietnam Veterans' Sons & Daughters Support Program (VVSDSP) assists eligible children of Vietnam Veterans who have spina bifida manifesta, cleft lip, cleft palate, adrenal gland cancer or acute myeloid leukaemia with financial assistance for out-of-pocket expenses for treatment-related benefits for these conditions.

Who is eligible?

All resident birth children of Australian Vietnam veterans who:

  • were conceived after the commencement of the veteran parents' first or only tour of service in Vietnam; and
  • who are medically certified as having spina bifida manifesta, cleft lip, cleft palate, adrenal gland cancer or acute myeloid leukaemia are eligible for treatment-related benefits for these conditions.

There is no age limit for assistance under this program.

Available assistance

The treatment-related benefits apply to sons and daughters of Australian Vietnam veterans accepted onto the program with one or more of the conditions listed above. Claims for treatment for conditions other than those listed above will not be paid.

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VVSDSP will pay:

Medical and Dental Assistance: The difference between the amount charged by the doctor and/or the dentist for the provision of services directly related to your condition, and the amount received from Medicare and private health insurance (the out-of-pocket expenses), for medical or cleft lip/cleft palate services.

Public or Private Hospital: When you are treated in a public or private hospital as a private patient the program will cover out-of-pocket expenses over and above rebates provided by Medicare and private health insurance, only when the private health insurance covers the VVSDSP condition being treated. The Program will also cover theatre fees and the excess on your private health insurance policy.

Note as a Public Patient: You do not need to claim on the VVSDSP if you are entering a public hospital as a public patient does not pay for either accommodation or medical treatment.

Aids and appliances: The out-of-pocket expenses for certain medical aids and appliances approved by qualified health professionals.  When the items are not provided for through an existing community scheme such as the Program of Appliances for Disabled People (PADP), or when there is an unreasonably long wait for these items, the full cost of the item may be paid.

Allied Health Care: Allied Care costs (such as physiotherapy, massage therapy) approved by a qualified medical professional up to a maximum of $4,000 per financial year. Allied health care services must be approved by a health care professional recognised by DVA. If you have private health insurance, VVSDSP will only pay the gap costs. Prior financial authorisation must be sought from the VVSDSP.

Home Care: The out-of-pocket costs of necessary domestic duties up to a maximum of $1,560 in a financial year, personal care assistance up to a maximum of $6,500 in a financial year and home garden maintenance up to $1,300 in a financial year.

Home Modification: The out-of pocket expenses for recommended home modifications not exceeding the amount of, or amounts totalling, $7,500 per VVSDSP registered person within a five year period.

Pharmaceutical costs: The difference between the concession co-payment (indexed annually) and the cost to the consumer (the out-of-pocket expenses), for all Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (PBS) registered medications.

Physical Rehabilitation: Assistance for structured and supervised physical rehabilitation referred by a medical practitioner with demonstrated health outcomes for the accepted VVSDSP medical condition.

In Home and Institutional Respite Care: If you have a carer, the cost of medically approved respite care up to $4,000 in a financial year may be provided. Respite care can be any combination of in-home and institution-based care.

Travel and Accommodation: Assistance for travel and accommodation expenses incurred in seeking appropriate medical treatment where you are requireed to travel long distances from remote and isolated locations with restricted public transport. Additional assistance is available to registered clients with adrenal gland cancer or acute myeloid leukaemia.     

You should contact the VVSDSP on 1800 550 504 for the specific rules relating to each of the services listed above. Many of these services require prior authorisation from the VVSDSP before the service is taken.

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How do I receive assistance?

You need to register with the VVSDSP. To do this, contact the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) for a registration form by telephoning 1800 550 504 or download the registration form from the DVA website.

Once you have completed the registration form, post it in the reply paid envelope provided, to DVA with the following documents:

  • a letter from an appropriate medical practitioner confirming that you have spina bifida manifesta, cleft lip, cleft palate, acute myeloid leukaemia and/or adrenal gland cancer;
  • details of your veteran parent’s service including their dates of service in Vietnam and their service number or DVA file number (if known); and
  • a certified copy of the full extract of your birth certificate.

If you are unable to provide this information yourself, your parent (of a minor child), guardian or power of attorney can do so on your behalf.

Once DVA has verified the details on the registration form, you will be registered on the program. DVA will send you an identification card, some claim forms, Reply Paid envelopes and a copy of the VVSDSP information booklet.

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Further information



Program Manager
Vietnam Veterans’ Sons and Daughters Support Program
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
PO Box 9998
Canberra ACT 2601

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