Australian Defence Force (ADF) Firefighter Scheme
This page provides information about the ADF Firefighter Scheme.
On this page
The Government announce the ADF Firefighter Scheme on 11 May 2021 as part of the 2021–22 Budget,
The scheme provides better health and wellbeing support for Australian Defence Force (ADF) firefighters who participated in fire training at Royal Australian Air Force Base Point Cook between 1 January 1957 and 31 December 1986.
The scheme recognises the risks faced by these ADF firefighters who were potentially exposed to a wide range of hazardous substances during fire suppression training at a time when personal protective equipment was not of the same standard available today.
The scheme commenced on 20 September 2021.Back to top
About the Scheme
The scheme makes it easier for eligible participants to claim compensation for 31 prescribed health conditions.
ADF firefighters who are eligible under the scheme can claim compensation if they are diagnosed with any of the 31 specified conditions, including all cancers, without having to provide evidence that their condition is related to their service.Back to top
You may eligible if all of the following apply:
- you were an ADF firefighter, trainee, instructor or other ADF employee
- you took part in firefighting training at RAAF Base Point Cook Fire Training School
- your training occurred between 1 January 1957 and 31 December 1986 (inclusive).
What you can get
Eligible ADF firefighters may access any or all of the following benefits under the scheme.Back to top
Under the scheme, all eligible participants will have access to both:
- free screening for colorectal cancer and melanoma, for early detection and prevention
- individually tailored health and lifestyle advice through the Heart Health Program for 12 months.
The scheme can help you even if you are not sick.
If you are diagnosed with any of the 31 prescribed health conditions listed below, the scheme will make it easier for you to claim compensation under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA).
If you are eligible, and we have previously denied a claim for one of the prescribed conditions, you can re-apply for compensation again under this scheme.Back to top
List of prescribed conditions (must be diagnosed)
The following conditions can be covered under the scheme.
- dysplastic naevus
- multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- peripheral neuropathy
- spinal muscular atrophy
- erectile dysfunction
- cauda equina syndrome
- neurogenic bladder
- non-alcoholic toxic encephalopathy
- acquired colour vision deficiency
Mental health conditions
- sleep disorders with neurogenic basis
- bipolar affective disorder
- memory loss
- panic disorders
- impaired cognition
- agoraphobia with panic disorder
Malignant and myeloproliferative conditions
- malignant neoplasms
- myeloproliferative disorders
- liver disease
- pancreatic disease
- irritable bowel disorder
- ulcerative colitis/Crohn’s disease
- bowel polyps
- mixed connective tissue disease
- systemic lupus erythematosus
Apply for the scheme
You can apply for the scheme using the application form. Estates, families or representatives may also apply on behalf of scheme participants.
You do not need to be sick to apply. You can still access the cancer screening and healthy lifestyle program under the scheme even if you never claim compensation.Back to top
Lodge a claim
DVA encourages all firefighters and ADF members to lodge claims with the Department for any conditions they believe are related to their service, irrespective of whether or not they qualify under the scheme.
However, there is other support available for ADF firefighters who might not be eligible under the scheme.
Depending on individual service, ADF Firefighters may also have access to:
- the F-111 Deseal/Reseal scheme for ADF Firefighter service training at RAAF Base Amberley between 1976 and 1994.
- “presumptive liability” for twelve specified cancers under subsection 7(8) of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988
- Specific information for claims related to ADF Firefighting is available from the Repatriation Medical Authority (RMA) website, including claiming compensation for conditions which may be related to general activities of ADF Firefighters and chemical exposure.
- Free access to treatment for cancer and pulmonary tuberculosis under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 if you have 3 years’ continuous full-time ADF service between 7 December 1972 and 6 April 1994.
- Free mental health care treatment for all mental health conditions if you are a current or former member of the ADF, including reservists, with at least one day of continuous full-time service.
- Health assessments may also be available. The Defence Asbestos and Hazardous Chemical Exposure Scheme (DAHCES) provides current and former employees of Defence the opportunity to register their exposure if they believe they were exposed to a hazardous chemical during a Defence activity or undertaking. DAHCES is not a compensation scheme, however, the results of the health assessment may support a compensation claim with DVA.
Please contact us if you have any issues or concerns with lodging a claim as an ADF Firefighter. If you wish to make a general enquiry about accessing support from us or submitting a claim please complete the short online form or call 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372). This will help us connect you to the right team and resolve your enquiry as quickly as possible.
- ADF Firefighter Scheme application form
- Health Risks and Occupation as a Firefighter
- Firefighter Chemical Review Report
- Heart Health Program for Veterans
- The F-111 Scheme