Health services for the veteran community

Last updated: 
24 January 2020

Information, including any restrictions, on Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) funded health services to veterans, war widows/widowers, and dependants.

What type of health services are funded by DVA?

DVA provides a wide range of health services for eligible veterans, war widows/widowers, and dependants, where clinically required, including:

  • acupuncture performed by General Practitioners (GPs) who are registered with Medicare Australia to provide this treatment
  • chiropractic services
  • community nursing services
  • convalescent care
  • diabetes education
  • dental services
  • dietetic services
  • exercise physiology services
  • hearing services
  • Veteran Health Checks including the Annual Veteran Health Check and the One-off Veteran Health Check (formerly known as the One-off ADF Post-Discharge GP Health Assessment)
  • medical consultations and procedures available through Medicare and listed on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS)
  • medical specialist services listed on the MBS
  • medication reviews
  • occupational therapy services
  • optometric services, including visual aids
  • orthoptics
  • orthotic services
  • osteopathic services
  • oxygen
  • palliative care
  • pathology services
  • pharmaceutical items prescribed by your doctor
  • physiotherapy services
  • podiatry services and medical grade footwear
  • psychology
  • radiology
  • rehabilitation aids and appliances
  • social work
  • speech pathology services
  • transport including ambulance and travel assistance to obtain health care
  • Open Arms - Veterans & Families Counselling
  • Veterans' Home Care (VHC) including domestic assistance, personal care, safety related home and garden maintenance and respite care
  • X-rays, nuclear medicine imaging, ultrasound and computerised tomography.

*Note: Massage will only be paid for by DVA if it is delivered during a consultation with a physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath.

Generally, DVA funds only medical and specialist services listed on the MBS.

If you are an allied veteran, you are eligible for treatment of war caused disabilities accepted by your country of enlisment. Please see page Commonwealth and Other Allied Veterans Living in Australia for information about the services available.

The Office of Hearing Services administers the Australian Government Hearing Services Program on behalf of DVA.

Do any restrictions apply?

Yes, there are limits that apply to some services. For example, medical services are subject to the requirements of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). Therefore, DVA does not fund alternative therapies.

Some treatments require prior approval from DVA. Your doctor or health care provider will arrange this for you.

A referral from your doctor is also required for some services, such as services provided by a specialist or allied health provider.

Please check with your health care provider for more information.

Are there any health services not available?

DVA will not pay for some health services including naturopathy, iridology, and homeopathy. If you are unsure as to whether DVA will pay for a particular service, you should contact us

Who is eligible?

You may be entitled to health services under DVA arrangements, depending on whether you have entitlement under a Veteran Gold Card or a Veteran White Card. For more information please see pages Veteran Gold Card, Veteran White Card and Commonwealth and Other Allied Veterans Living in Australia.

If you have an Veteran Orange Card, this entitles you to pharmaceuticals only. 

Even if you are entitled to receive heatlh care under DVA arrangements, you must have an assessed clinical need for treatment before DVA will accept financial responsibility.

Can I choose to be treated as a Medicare or private patient?

Yes, you can choose to be treated as a Medicare or private patient. However, if you choose one of these options, DVA will not pay for any services that have been paid in part or full by Medicare, private health insurance or a third party compensation benefit.