The cards available to you and your family

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This page provides an overview of the various cards that are available to veterans, former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and their dependants, either through DVA or more generally. For more information on a particular card, see the page specific to that card.

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Cards that we issue

Cards are provided to identify the eligibility of veterans, former ADF members and their dependants for a range of benefits. These can include:

  • health care
  • pharmaceutical benefits
  • concessional travel.

At the state and local level there are also a range of benefits and discounts provided by government and private providers.

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Cards covered on this page

The following cards and the benefits they provide are described on this page:

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Veteran Gold Card

Who is eligible

A Veteran Gold Card is issued to those veterans and former members of the ADF, their widow(er)s and dependants entitled to treatment for all medical conditions.

Benefits available with the Gold Card

Gold Card holders can be eligible for:

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Veteran White Card

Who is eligible

A Veteran White Card is issued to veterans, mariners and former members of the ADF with an accepted war or service caused injury or disease.

Under Non-Liability Health Care, a White Card for the treatment of any mental health condition may also be issued to current and former permanent members of the ADF or reservists who have rendered at least one day of continuous full-time service.

In addition, from 1 July 2018, a White Card for mental health treatment may be issued to reservists without continuous full-time service if they rendered Reserve Service Days with any of the following:

  • Disaster Relief Service, such as Operation Vic Fire Assist
  • Border Protection Service, such as Operation RESOLUTE
  • involvement in a serious service-related training accident, such as a helicopter crash.

Transitioning members of the ADF may be automatically issued a White Card for the purpose of accessing mental health treatment under Non-Liability Health Care.

In addition, a White Card may be issued to those who apply for recognition under the Australian Defence Veterans' Covenant.

Depending on eligibility, a White Card for the treatment of any mental health condition may also be issued under Non-Liability Health Care treatment arrangements for treatment of:

  • malignant cancer (neoplasia)
  • pulmonary tuberculosis.

For more information on Non-Liability Health Care, refer to:

A White Card is also issued to ex-service personnel who are eligible for treatment under agreements between the Australian Government and the governments of New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom for disabilities accepted as war-caused by their country of origin.

Note: Services available to these veterans may be different from those available to veterans of the ADF.

Benefits available with the White Card

For treatment of the specific condition(s) as described above, the cardholder should present their White Card whenever visiting an accepting:

  • doctor, medical specialist, dentist, pharmacist, dental prosthetist or optometrist or any after-hours medical service
  • other health care provider who you are referred to for treatment
  • hospital.

It is a good idea to check that the professional or service accepts the White Card prior to use of the service. There should not be any charge for treatment received for accepted specific conditions as long as the health care provider agrees to treat under the DVA arrangements.

If a bill is presented for this service, it should not be paid and DVA should be advised immediately. A contribution may be required towards the cost of pharmaceutical items, nursing home care and some dental services.

White Card holders may also be eligible for assessment for Veterans’ Home Care (VHC) services. If the White Card holder is a Commonwealth or allied veteran, they are only eligible to receive respite care and not other VHC services.

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Veteran Orange Card

Who is eligible

Veteran Orange Card is issued to Commonwealth and allied veterans and mariners who meet all of the following:

  • They have qualifying service from the First World War or the Second World War.
  • They are aged 70 or over.
  • They have been resident in Australia for 10 years or more.

A Commonwealth or allied veteran or mariner is a person who, as a member of the defence force established by a British Commonwealth or allied country, rendered continuous full time service during a period of hostilities, in connection with war or warlike operations in which the ADF was involved.

For a Commonwealth veteran, qualifying service is either:

  • service during a period of hostilities in an area and at a time when danger was incurred from hostile forces of the enemy outside the country in whose defence force the veteran served
  • service within that country for which the veteran received, or was eligible to receive, a campaign medal.

For an allied veteran, qualifying service is service during a period of hostilities in an area and at a time when danger was incurred from hostile forces of the enemy.

Benefits available with the Orange Card

The range of pharmaceutical items available under the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS) is much wider than the range available under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). The Orange Card entitles you to obtain your prescribed medications at the current concessional rate. Under the Safety Net Scheme, there are no further charges for prescribed items for that calendar year once the threshold has been met. 

Based on clinical need and a request from your doctor, with prior approval from us, Orange Card holders may either:

  • obtain items not listed in the Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits
  • obtain listed items for a use other than that stipulated in the Schedule.

The Orange Card also entitles the holder to receive Veterans Supplement. The Veterans Supplement is a fortnightly payment, which helps to offset the cost of prescriptions. The current Veterans Supplement is $6.80 per fortnight. Some Orange Card holders may already receive this amount as part of their service pension or Disability Compensation Payment supplement, or if they already hold a White Card.

Note: The Veterans Supplement is indexed annually in line with the CPI. (An increase in CPI will not necessarily result in an increase to Veterans Supplement).

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Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC)

Who is eligible

Your eligibility for the card depends on your circumstances.

You can get the CSHC if you are an Australian resident who is any of the following:

All of the following must be true:

  • You are not receiving a service pension or income support supplement from DVA.
  • You are not receiving a pension or benefit from Services Australia.
  • You meet the seniors health card income test.
  • You don't already hold a CSHC issued by Services Australia.

If you already have a Pensioner Concession Card (PCC), you will not be eligible for a CSHC. The PCC already entitles the holder to the concessions that are available with the CSHC.

Benefits available with the CSHC

The CSHC entitles holders to both:

  • concessional rate prescription medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
  • an energy supplement if the CSHC was granted before 19 March 2017.

Some state and territory governments provide additional concessions similar to those available to holders of the PCC.

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Pensioner Concession Card (PCC)

Who is eligible

PCCs are issued by the Australian Government through DVA to Australian residents receiving an income support pension paid by DVA. This includes:

  • service pension
  • income support supplement
  • age pension paid by DVA.

Reinstated PCCs are also issued to people whose income support pension was cancelled on 1 January 2017 due to changes to the assets test applying from that date. There is no requirement for people in this category to be receiving an income support pension.

The cardholder’s name and address appear at the top of the card. If a cardholder has a partner or any dependent children, their names will be listed on the centre of the card.

The PCC is proof of eligibility to receive certain concessions.

The PCC is issued when eligibility is determined and then during October/November every two years while the cardholder continues to be eligible for it.

The DVA PCC has the same status as a PCC issued by Services Australia. Both cards provide access to the same concessions.

Benefits available with the PCC

The PCC entitles the cardholder to benefits from the Commonwealth Government including:

  • pharmaceuticals at concessional prices
  • hearing services
  • discounts on mail redirection from Australia Post.

In addition to Commonwealth concessions, the PCC also entitles cardholders to benefits from most state, territory and local governments and authorities. Concessions may include discounts on such services as:

  • property rates and water charges
  • electricity and other energy bills
  • fares on public transport
  • motor vehicle registration fees and drivers’ licences
  • admission or ticket prices to various entertainment or sporting venues.

A range of discounts and concessions are also available through private retailers. You can visit Australian Partners of Defence to view available discounts in your area.

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Low Income Health Care Card

This card is issued by Services Australia to people who meet a test of their average gross income in the 8 weeks immediately before they claim the card.

All Low Income Health Care Card holders are entitled to pharmaceuticals listed under the PBS at the concessional rate. This also applies to their partner and dependent children.

In some instances, additional health, household, transport, education and recreation concessions may be offered by some state, territory and local governments and private providers. However, these providers offer the concessions at their own discretion, and their availability may vary from one state or territory to another.

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Seniors Card (SC)

All state and territory governments issue their own Seniors Card. Eligibility for this card is determined by each state or territory. It is usually based on age and sometimes the number of hours you work per week. In most states and territories, you must be over 60 years.

Concessions vary but may include discounts on travel, licences or household expenses, as well as on goods and services.

Seniors Cards are often accepted at local businesses and may be accepted where a PCC or Veteran Gold Card is not.

To check if you are eligible, go to the Seniors Card webpage for your location:

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