We may reimburse you some pharmacy costs (VPRS)

Last updated: 
4 February 2021

We may reimburse the amount you spend on some medicines and pharmacy items when you use your Veteran Card or pensioner concession card. We call this the Veterans’ Pharmaceutical Reimbursement Scheme (VPRS).

How it works

Under this scheme, you may get back some of the money you have spent on prescriptions throughout the year.

Eligible veterans and their dependants will only spend up to a certain limit on their prescriptions each year. Once you reach this limit, you may not have to pay for certain pharmaceuticals.

The amount you spend on your prescriptions is called the concessional co-payment. The limit is called the safety net threshold.

You may also receive a pharmaceutical allowance to help you with the cost of your prescriptions.

If you are eligible under the VPRS, we may reimburse you the difference between how much you spent on your prescriptions and the amount of pharmaceutical allowance you received.

You may receive the pharmaceutical allowance as part of the:

We can only reimburse the amount you actually paid. This does not include any other costs related to the item.

Check with your general practitioner (GP) that items they prescribe are on the RPBS or PBS.

Who can receive it

For us to reimburse you, you must have qualifying service under either the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) or the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) and hold either:

One of the following must also apply to you:

Contact us if you're unsure if you have qualifying service.

How much you can receive

If you are not partnered, we will pay you the difference between:

  • your concessional co-payments throughout the year, up to the safety net
  • any Pharmaceutical Allowance (PA) you receive

If you are partnered, we will pay you the difference between:

  • your combined concession co-payments throughout the year, up to the safety net
  • your combined PA

Example 1 – Single veteran

John is a single veteran who paid $302.40 for his prescriptions in 2016. The PA he received in his Veterans' Supplement was $161.64 for the year.

The difference between what John paid for and the PA he received is $140.76 ($302.40 less $161.64). John will therefore receive a VPRS reimbursement of $140.76.

Example 2 – Married veteran

Bill is a married war veteran and he and his wife receive a combined PA of $166.86 for the year in their Pension Supplement.

In 2017, Bill paid a total of $318 for his prescriptions. Bill's wife paid a total of $60 for her pharmaceutical scripts.

The difference between what Bill paid for and the PA he received is $151.14 ($318 less $166.86). Bill will therefore get a VPRS reimbursement of $151.14.

How this impacts your tax or health care safety net

VPRS payments are not means-tested or taxable.

Your pharmacist may give you a discount on your co-payment. The amount added to your yearly safety-net threshold will be the amount you actually paid.

How you claim

You do not need to make a claim. We will pay you automatically in March each year.

Show the pharmacist your Veteran Gold Card or White Veteran Card when you make a purchase. We will use records from these purchases to figure out how much to pay you back.

You can ask your pharmacist for a prescription record form (PRF). The form can help you track how much you and your family spend on medicines. This will also help you track when you have reached a Safety Net threshold.