Free treatment for cancer and pulmonary tuberculosis

Last updated: 
2 March 2020

What is free treatment for cancer and pulmonary tuberculosis

Under Non-Liability Health Care (NLHC), we can provide free treatment for:

  • cancer (malignant neoplasm); and
  • pulmonary tuberculosis

There is no need to establish that these conditions were caused by your Australian Defence Force (ADF) service.

Who can receive it

You can receive treatment for cancer (malignant neoplasm) or pulmonary tuberculosis if you have a medical diagnosis and one of the following types of service:

Eligible war service

Includes operational service, continuous full-time service (CFTS) with the ADF, CFTS with the ADF during the Second World War, and employment on a ship as an Australian mariner during the Second World War before 29 October 1945.

Operational service

Generally service performed outside Australia as defined in the Veterans Entitlement Act 1986, during wars, conflicts, or warlike or non-warlike operations in which the ADF was involved, and in areas with a higher level of risk than normal peacetime conditions.

Warlike service

Military activities where the application of force is authorised and there is an expectation of casualties. The Minister for Defence determines warlike service by issuing a list of places and times in which a person or unit must have served. A person must be assigned to the operation in order to have warlike or non-warlike service.

Non-warlike service

Military activities where there is a risk associated with the assigned tasks and the application of force is limited to self defence. Casualties could occur but are not expected. The Minister for Defence makes determinations of non-warlike service.

Peacekeeping service

Service outside Australia on a defined peacekeeping operation or with a Peacekeeping Force. This includes ADF members, and certain members of state, territory and federal police forces.

Hazardous service

Service on a defined overseas deployment that the Minister has deemed high risk, even though it was not during wartime, conflicts or peacekeeping operations.

British Nuclear Test Defence service

You may have British Nuclear Test Defence service if you participated in the nuclear tests at Maralinga, Emu Field and Montebello Islands between 1952 and 1965.

Defence service

Certain peacetime service in the ADF, usually between 7 December 1972 and 6 April 1994. In most cases you need to have completed 3 years continuous full-time service, unless you were medically discharged.

National service

If you completed your national service on or after 7 December 1972. 

Your Veteran White Card covers treatment in Australia, but not overseas.

What you can receive

If you are eligible, you will receive a Veteran White Card.

Your Veteran White Card may cover required treatment for your NLHC conditions. Treatment may be provided by a:

  • general practitioner (GP)
  • medical specialist
  • oncologist
  • hospital

You do not need to wait until your card arrives to start treatment. You can show your healthcare provider a digital version of your card on your mobile phone through MyService. If you are charged for treatment while waiting for your card, keep your receipts and claim it back.

Your Veteran White Card also gives you access to cheaper prescriptions for the conditions that your card covers. You may be eligible for a Veterans Supplement to help towards the cost of medications, unless you're already receiving an equivalent payment from Centrelink.

How you claim

You should automatically receive a Veteran White Card after transitioning from the ADF, which covers mental health conditions. 

Please note that the Veteran White Card you receive on transition only covers mental health conditions. For cancer or pulmonary tuberculosis, your doctor will need to provide a diagnosis. Complete and return a claim form to apply.

If you don’t yet have a Veteran White Card, you can:

Things you should know

  • If you believe your cancer or pulmonary tuberculosis is connected to your service, you can still claim compensation. If your condition is not found to be service-related, you can still use your Veteran White Card to get treatment.
  • You can also access free mental health treatment using your Veteran White Card.