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Factsheet HSV120 - Ambulance Services


This Factsheet covers the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) policy for emergency and non-emergency ambulance services. It includes who is eligible, when DVA pays, and how to arrange this service for eligible veterans, war widows/widowers-(entitled persons).

Am I eligible?

If you hold a DVA Health Card

  • For All Conditions (Gold) or Totally & Permanently Incapacitated (Gold);
    • you are eligible for ambulance services for the treatment of all health conditions, subject to your clinical need.
  • For Specific Conditions (White);
    • you are eligible for ambulance services, for your accepted war or service-caused injury or disease.

You may also be eligible for ambulance services when travelling 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.

Will DVA pay for my emergency ambulance transport?

DVA will pay for emergency ambulance transport to the nearest clinical facility that meets your clinical needs.

How do I arrange emergency ambulance transport?

In a medical emergency, an ambulance can be called by dialling 000.  This can be done by a Local Medical Officer (LMO), you, or someone acting on your behalf.

Will DVA pay for my non–emergency ambulance transport?

DVA will pay for non–emergency ambulance transport if you:

  • require transport on a stretcher;
  • require treatment during transport;
  • are severely disfigured; or
  • are incontinent to a degree that precludes the use of other forms of transport.

The transport must also be to or from the nearest clinical facility that can treat your clinical needs.

Note: If you require inter-hospital transfer by ambulance please contact DVA on 1800 555 254 prior to travel.

How do I arrange non–emergency ambulance transport?

In a non-emergency situation, an ambulance can be arranged on your behalf by your health practitioner, hospital physician or discharge planner.

What happens if I require an ambulance when travelling within Australia?

If you require an ambulance while travelling within Australia, DVA will pay for an ambulance to transport you to the nearest medical facility that can treat your clinical needs. On discharge DVA will pay for the most appropriate form of transport from the hospital or clinical facility to your place of temporary residence.

As your initial transport to the clinical facility was from a temporary residence, DVA will not pay for an ambulance from the clinical facility to your permanent home. DVA will also not pay for an ambulance to transfer you to a medical facility closer to your permanent residence.

DVA encourages you to take out travel insurance to ensure you have adequate cover for transport costs in such circumstances.

Do I need Travel Insurance when holidaying within Australia or overseas?

You should consider taking out travel insurance prior to departure on any holiday to ensure you have adequate cover for potential ambulance costs. DVA can only transport you to or from your temporary residence while interstate or overseas and not back to your permanent residential address.

Should I take out separate Ambulance cover?

DVA encourages you to look into this option to ensure you have adequate cover as DVA may not fund ambulance services in all instances.

Will DVA pay for ambulance services for non–clinical purposes?

No, DVA will not pay for ambulance services for non-clinical purposes.

Will DVA pay for ambulance services to facilitate a residential move?

No. DVA will not pay for ambulance services to facilitate a residential move. This includes assistance for permanent residential relocation where for example you use an ambulance to transport you from one residential aged care facility to another but your assessed care levels have not changed. In this situation the transport is to facilitate a residential move, not to receive a higher level of care.

Note: Transport is to the nearest facility and requests to be closer to family members cannot be covered.

Will DVA pay for ambulance while I am in transitional care?

No. Transition Care Awaiting Placement (CAP) has been developed to provide time limited transition care options for aged care patients who are waiting in a public hospital bed for the availability of alternative aged care services.

Transition Care Program (TCP) is an Australian Government initiative jointly funded by the Department of Health, and the State and Territory Governments. The program is funded through the Aged Care Act 1997 as flexible care and is a 50-50 arrangement between governments.

Can DVA request information from my clinical provider?

Yes. Entitled persons who receive treatment under their DVA Gold or White Repatriation Health Card have given their authorisation to DVA to obtain relevant medical information regarding treatment they received.

Note: A Repatriation Health Card states: “By using this card, the person named consents to the disclosure to DVA of the details of any treatment, treatment related services and financial information associated with its use and warrants that any services claimed for that use have been provided”.

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 Factsheet


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.

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8 January 2019