Overview of the VEA

Last updated: 
19 December 2019

If your injury or health condition relates to your service, we may cover the costs of your treatment. You may also qualify for other compensation.

What you can claim

If you served in the Australian Defence Force before 1 July 2004, you may be able to claim treatment and health care costs and compensation when your service:

  • caused an injury or health condition
  • made an injury or health condition worse

If we accept your claim we will cover the costs for a health care provider to treat you. You may also gain access to other services and payments.

These rules are in the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA). Service before 1 July 2004 may also be covered under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA). If you plan to claim under DRCA, check when we will compensate you for a permanent injury.

When you served

You may claim under the VEA if you have an injury or condition that was caused or made worse by serving either:

  • in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) between 7 December 1972 and 6 April 1994 (if you completed 3 continuous years of service in that time or were medically discharged)
  • in the ADF between 7 April 1994 and 30 June 2004, if you enlisted by 22 May 1986 and served continuously until discharge
  • in the ADF during certain operations and conflicts after the Second World War, up to 1 July 2004
  • in the ADF during the Second World War
  • in the Australian Merchant Navy during the Second World War
  • as an Australian member of a peacekeeping force representing Australia overseas before 1 July 2004
  • in British Nuclear Tests conducted in Australia between 1952 and 1965
  • with a Commonwealth or Allied country during conflicts Australia was involved in before 11 January 1973 (if you were domiciled in Australia immediately before you enlisted)

A civilian may be eligible if they were killed or detained by the enemy during the Second World War, and they were both:

  • a British subject
  • a resident, but not an indigenous inhabitant, of the Territory of Papua or the TerritWe may be able to compensate you if you are a veteran or eligible civilian ory of New Guinea

A civilian may also be eligible if 1 or more of the following apply:

  • they have service of a type declared by the Minister
  • they were employed by the Commonwealth on a special mission outside Australia during the Second World War

If you have an injury or health condition from service between 3 January 1949 and 30 June 2004, you may also be able to claim under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-Related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA).

If you have an injury or condition from service after 1 July 2004, you can claim under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA).

How we cover your care costs

If we accept your injury or health condition relates to your service we will send you a card you can use to cover your health care costs. The card will be 1 of the following:

The card will let you access treatment. If you claim your injury or condition as service-related, you may be able to receive a Veteran White Card to get medical care while you wait on a claim.

If we accept your claim we may reimburse you for out of pocket medical expenses. We will let you know the date we cover you from.

Other services and payments

If we accept your claim we will check if you can get a disability pension. You may apply for a higher rate if you already receive a disability pension and your service made your injury or condition worse.

You may also be eligible for:

Your pension amount will depend on how severe your injury or health condition is and its impact on your ability to work.

We will adjust your pension amount if you already get other compensation for your injury or health condition. This is to make sure you do not get double payments.

Claim

To make a claim you can do 1 of the following:

You can tell us how the injury or condition impacts your lifestyle by:

When you claim, tell us about your injury or condition and how you believe it relates to your service and provide as much evidence as you can. We will let you know if we need more information.

Contact us if you need help getting or filling in a claim form. You can choose to nominate someone to represent you while we assess your claim.

While we process your claim

We may request your service records and documentation from the Department of Defence. We may also need you to attend medical appointments or answer further questions.

We will let you know in writing about the outcome of your claim, either by letter, email or online through MyService. You can apply for a review of the decision if you believe it was incorrect.