Convalescent care

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What is convalescent care

Short-term care which is medically necessary for recovery following a stay in hospital.

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Who can receive it

We will cover the cost of convalescent care for any condition if you have a Veteran Gold Card.

If you have a Veteran White Card, we will cover the cost of convalescent care if we paid for the original hospital admission.

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Where you can receive care

Care is available in a range of settings such as:

  • public or private hospitals
  • multi-purpose services
  • Australian Government-funded aged care facilities
  • supported residential services in Victoria
  • other suitable institutions

Convalescent care cannot be provided in your home.


You do not need prior approval for care in a public or private hospital, or a multi-purpose service. 

There is no limit on the number of days that you can access care in a public or private hospital.

Non-hospital institutions

You need prior approval from us for care in:

  • an Australian Government funded aged care facility
  • a supported residential service
  • other institutions

We will pay for up to 21 days of care in a financial year in a non-hospital institution.

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How you access

To access convalescent care, talk to:

  • a hospital discharge planner
  • your treating doctor 
  • a social worker; or
  • a nurse

They will contact us if prior approval for the cost of care is required.

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Things you should know

  • Residential respite care is a different service to convalescent care.
  • Commonwealth funding for residential respite care cannot be used to pay for convalescent care services.
  • DVA will not approve your convalescent care in a residential aged care facility where long-term, serious non-compliance is present, or where serious risk to your health, safety and well-being has been identified. In this situation, Sanctions and/or a Notice to Agree are issued to the residential aged care facility. There are a number of restrictions that can be put in place under a Sanction and/or Notices to Agree, all of which are legislated in the Aged Care Quality and Safety Act 2018. Please refer to the Department of Health website for further information.
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What to tell us

You should tell us if you:

  • receive a bill for convalescent care; or
  • take up more permanent care arrangements, such as residential aged care or palliative care
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