Eligibility for benefits and payments
Veterans who have served in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) may be eligible for pensions or benefits from DVA, depending on their individual situation. Some British, Commonwealth and Allied veterans who served in conflicts in which Australia was involved may also be eligible for pensions/or benefits from DVA.
Qualifying service is one of the criteria used to determine if you are eligible for a service pension. Qualifying service for a service pension is different from operational service for a disability pension. You may be eligible for a disability pension, but not be eligible for a service pension.
As a member of the ADF, you may have qualifying service if you have done any of the following:
- served in an operational area after the Second World War and were allotted for duty in that operational area; or rendered war like service
- rendered service during the Second World War and incurred danger from hostile forces of the enemy during the period of hostilities (this criterion also applies to Australian mariners)
- served in an operational area after the Second World War and were allotted for duty, or were a member of a unit that was allotted for duty in that operational area; or have warlike service
- served on certain submarine special operations between 1978 and 1997 and were awarded, or were eligible to be awarded, the Australian Service Medal with the Special Operations Clasp
- have been awarded, or were eligible to be awarded, prescribed medals/clasps in respect of certain bomb clearance or minesweeping duties following the Second World War.
Former serving members
If you are a former member of the ADF (including in reservist and cadet positions), you may be eligible to claim compensation for any medical condition related to your service. The entitlements available depend on the legislation applicable at the time of service and the type of service you rendered.
- If your condition is related to service prior to 1 July 2004, support is available under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA), Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) or Defence Act 1903
- If your condition is related to service on or after 1 July 2004, support is available under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA).
See also current or transitioning ADF member
Current serving members
If you are a current serving member of the ADF, including in reserve and cadet positions, you may be eligible for medical treatment (for example, if you are in the process of being discharged from the ADF), rehabilitation and compensation or vocational services for any condition relating to your service.
Veteran Support Officers (VSO's) provides advice about eligibility for assistance through DVA. You can contact a VSO either on base or during their regular scheduled visits to base.
If you are an injured or ill former-ADF member, you may be eligible for a Veteran White Card or a Veteran Gold Card for health care services at DVA's expense. Veteran cards are not generally provided to serving members, as these costs are ordinarily met by the ADF.
See also current or transitioning ADF member.
Non-liability health care
Non-Liability Health Care (NLHC) allows current and former ADF personnel and Reservists, depending on their eligibility, to receive treatment for any of the following conditions:
Family and dependants
If you are married to, in a de facto relationship with, or separated from, a member/ veteran (including same-sex relationships), you may be eligible for benefits as a partner.
If you are a widow or widower of an eligible member/ veteran, you may be able to access financial assistance and other benefits from DVA.
Financial assistance, student support services including education schemes, guidance and counselling services may be available to children of eligible veterans.
If you are a police officer who served in a declared peacekeeping force, you may be eligible to claim disability compensation pension and treatment for any injury or disease accepted as being caused by your peacekeeping service. You may also be eligible for the Veterans' Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme.