We may repay your travel costs under MRCA or DRCA

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We may repay you if you had to pay to travel for a medical reason. We may also repay you if you had to travel to, or get evidence for, a Veteran Review Board hearing.

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Travel for treatment during COVID-19 pandemic

If you are required by your health professional to travel interstate to seek medical treatment and are subsequently subject to COVID-19 related quarantine/isolation costs, DVA may be able to assist with those costs. Please call 1800 550 455 for more information.

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What we may repay

We can repay you some of the travel costs you have incurred travelling to your medical appointment if you had to pay them yourself.

We can do this under:

We may repay you the costs of:

  • transport
  • accommodation
  • meals
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The travel you can claim

We may only repay you if you have to travel to a medical appointment or rehabilitation assessment that we are paying for.

We may repay you if you had to travel to any of the following:

  • a medical appointment
  • a rehabilitation assessment
  • a medical exam that we asked you to attend

If we cover you under the MRCA, we may repay you if you had to:

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The travel you cannot claim

We cannot repay you if you had to:

  • attend a hearing at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)
  • be treated outside Australia
  • go to your usual rehabilitation activities as part of your rehabilitation program
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Travel to the Place Where Appropriate Treatment is Available (MRCA/DRCA)

You can access transport assistance when travelling to receive approved treatment within Australia.  While you can attend treatment Australia-wide with the provider of your choice, travel reimbursements are assessed based on the Place Where Appropriate Treatment is Available (PWATA).  The PWATA is the location of the health provider who is: 

  • recognised as an approved provider; and
  • able to deliver the appropriate treatment.

We encourage you to attend treatment with a provider in your local area where possible however, we understand there may be reasons why you need to travel greater distances. These reasons may include: 

  • provider availability and wait times;
  • type of treatment, including if you have a clinical need to see a certain provider; and
  • public transport accessibility. 

We may need further information or clarification to support the payment of a travel claim, such as a letter from your GP or specialist.  You could ask for this letter at your appointment and submit with your claim for travelling expenses.

If you are not sure if your provider location would be considered the PWATA, you can call us on 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) before you travel.

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Who can get it

We may repay some of your travel costs if you hold either 1 of the following cards:

Veteran Gold Card holders

You can claim costs relating to any of the following:

  • treatment for any condition
  • get evidence for a Veteran Review Board (VRB) hearing
  • attend a VRB hearing

Veteran White Card holders

We may repay you for travel costs relating to any of the following:

  • conditions that we accept as service-related
  • get evidence for a Veteran Review Board (VRB) hearing (if you are covered under the MRCA)
  • attend a VRB hearing (if you are covered under the MRCA)

If we gave you your White Card under Non-Liability Health Care (NLHC), you may be eligible for pre-paid transport. Conditions under the NLHC are conditions that we have not, or have not yet, accepted as service-related.

Conditions under the NLHC are:

  • malignant cancer (neoplasia)
  • pulmonary tuberculosis
  • any mental health condition
  • substance use disorder
  • alcohol use disorder

Other Acts

If we accepted your conditions under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA), we may repay you under the VEA travel for treatment arrangements.

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Travel with a medical attendant

A medical attendant is someone who is:

  • responsible
  • competent
  • physically able to help you while you are travelling

They do not need to have any medical qualifications or training.

They can be a:

  • spouse
  • partner
  • friend
  • family member

If you are travelling with a medical attendant, we may repay their travel costs the same way we will repay your own.

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What you can get

We may repay you the costs of:

  • transport
  • accommodation
  • meals

Transport

We may repay you for travel by:

  • public transport – such as a bus, train or ferry
  • an aeroplane – if we have approved this before your travel
  • a taxi – we may repay this cost if there is a medically assessed need for you to use a taxi service

Private vehicle allowance

If you travelled 50km or more (in a round trip) in a car driven by yourself, a family member or friend, we may pay you a private vehicle allowance.  If we pay you a private vehicle allowance, we will also repay you for parking costs.

If you travelled less than 50km (in a round trip), we may pay you a private vehicle allowance if:

  • there is no public transport available in your location
  • you have a condition that makes travel on public transport unreasonable

Road Tolls

In some circumstances, we may repay you for road tolls if we pay you a private vehicle allowance under the MRCA:

  • The MRCA private vehicle allowance is intended to reimburse the reasonable costs of travelling for approved treatment. Repayment of road tolls can be considered on a case by case basis.
  • If you have a receipt or statement confirming the cost incurred, you can include the details in the 'comments' section of the MyService portal for consideration.
  • We cannot repay you for road tolls under the DRCA.

Accommodation

We may repay you for your accommodation if:

  • your round trip is more than 600km
  • your health provider needs you to stay close for observation
  • you had an appointment that is early in the morning or late in the afternoon
  • you are given medication that stops you from making a return trip

You will need to provide us with a letter from your health provider if you need to stay in accommodation for more than 1 night.

Meals

We will only pay meal allowances if an overnight stay is necessary and we have repaid you for your accommodation.

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Rates

Transport

If you travelled to attend treatment by a private vehicle, we may repay you a private vehicle allowance:

  • $0.68c per km that you travelled

If you travelled with a medical attendant, we will only repay this cost once.

When you travel for treatment, we will repay you for either:

  • a return trip to your health provider, if it is your closest
  • a return trip to your closest health provider, if you were treated by someone who is not considered your closest* provider

* If you have a special need to visit a health provider who is not your closest, we may be able repay you for your total journey.  Please contact us to discuss your specific circumstances as you may need to provide additional documentation as part of your travel claim.

Accommodation and meals

We base the rates for accommodation on the rates paid to Commonwealth employees. To work out how much we will repay you, we look at both:

  • where you are staying
  • the meals you needed while you were away

Your delegate will give you more information about your repayment rates.

Travel for the VRB

Our page Claim travel expenses under the VEA will show you the repayment rates if you travelled to:

  • get medical evidence for a VRB hearing
  • attend a VRB hearing
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How to apply

You can apply using MyService or a paper form. We recommend that you submit your claim within 12 months of your travel.

If you're using a paper form:

You can send your paper form and your receipts to us by:

  • email to transport.claims [at] dva.gov.aurel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"
  • fax to 07 3223 8382
  • post to GPO Box 9998, Brisbane QLD 4001

Receipts

You and your medical attendant need to keep receipts for:

  • public transport fares
  • taxi fares
  • vehicle ferry
  • air transport
  • parking fees
  • accommodation
  • meals

You need to keep the receipts for 4 months after we process your claim.

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How we repay you

We will repay your travel expenses into the account where you pay your pension or payment.

We will send you a letter that details the amount we have repaid you.

The letter will tell you how you can request a review of our decision.

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How to request a review

Our page on Reconsideration and review of decisions will show you how to request a review of our decision.

If you are covered by the DRCA, you must request the review within 30 days of receiving the decision letter.

If you are covered by the MRCA, you must request a review in writing within 12 months of receiving the decision letter.

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