Veteran White Card

Last updated:

Back to top

What is the Veteran White Card

The White Card is a treatment card that can provide you with medical treatment for:

  • accepted service-related injuries or conditions
  • all mental health conditions (for veterans with continuous full-time service or certain reserve service)

If you are eligible the White Card can also provide you with medical treatment for:

  • cancer (malignant neoplasm) covered under non-liability health care
  • pulmonary tuberculosis covered under non-liability health care

You can also access a range of services and support.

The White Card is being redesigned and will be known as the Veteran White Card.

Back to top

Who can receive it

You may be eligible for a White Card for your service-related injuries or conditions if you are:

  • a current or former Australian Defence Force (ADF) member, including reservists and cadets, with a service-related injury or condition accepted by us; or
  • a Commonwealth or Allied veteran with a service-related injury or condition accepted by your country of service

You may be eligible for a White Card to cover treatment for any mental health condition if you:

  • have at least one day of continuous full-time service (CFTS) with the ADF; or 
  • are a reservist and have completed disaster relief service, border protection service, or were involved in a serious service-related training accident

You may be eligible for a White Card to cover treatment for cancer (malignant neoplasm) or pulmonary tuberculosis if you have:

  • a diagnosis of cancer (malignant neoplasm) or pulmonary tuberculosis; and
  • certain types of service with the ADF

The eligibility criteria for free treatment for cancer and pulmonary are not the same as for mental health coverage. Not everyone who can get the White Card for mental health conditions is eligible for free treatment for cancer or pulmonary tuberculosis. For more information you can check our cancer (malignant neoplasm) or pulmonary tuberculosis page or contact us.

Back to top

What you can receive

The White Card covers you for clinically required medical treatment in Australia for your accepted service-related injuries or conditions. It may also cover treatment for mental health conditions, cancer (malignant neoplasm) and pulmonary tuberculosis, if you meet the eligibility criteria for treatment for these conditions.

The medical treatment may include:

  • treatment at a hospital or day procedure facility
  • treatment provided by an allied health professional
  • treatment provided by a general practitioner (GP) or specialist
  • treatment provided by a dental or optical professional
  • medicines at the cheaper concession rate
  • community nursing; and
  • pathology and medical imaging

Medical treatment is usually free if you see a provider who accepts your White Card. There may be some out of pocket expenses for high cost dental items.

When buying prescription items for the conditions covered by your White Card, you will need to pay $6.80 for each item until you reach your Safety Net Threshold for the calendar year.

You may also be able to receive some services and support for your conditions on your White Card. Services and support can include:

  • counselling
  • home help
  • aids, appliances and modifications
  • travel to and from medical appointments
  • care services

Services and support are free or low cost. Co-payments will apply if you access help at home through our Veterans' Home Care program.

If you are an Australian veteran, the home help and care services provided through Veterans' Home Care are not limited to the conditions on your White Card.

If you are a Commonwealth or Allied veteran, what you receive may be different to what Australian veterans receive.

Your White Card may also entitle you to receive concessions or discounts, and a Lapel Pin.

Back to top

How to get your White Card

If we know you are eligible, we will send you a White Card automatically. We will send it when:

  • you discharge from the Australian Defence Force (ADF), if you have at least 1 day continuous full-time service (CFTS); or
  • we accept your service-related injury or condition

If you don’t yet have a White Card for mental health conditions, see Free mental health care for veterans.

If you think you should have a White Card but you have not received it, please call us on 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372).

Back to top

How you use it

As the White Card can provide you with a range of benefits and services, the way you use your White Card may vary.

Medical treatment

When you use your White Card for medical treatment:

  1. Tell your health provider that you have a White Card and ask them if they will accept this for your treatment.
  2. They will ask you what conditions you have on your card, and they may ask if you have a referral.
  3. They may call us to confirm your conditions.
  4. In some cases they may need to get prior approval from us.
  5. Your provider will then tell you if they can provide the service on your White Card.

If you visit your doctor for a prescription for a condition covered by your White Card, show them your White Card so they can prescribe your items through the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS).

You also need to show your White Card to pharmacy staff when you take your prescription to the counter.

If you do not show your card, you may be charged more, and the purchase may not count towards your Safety Net Threshold under RPBS.

When using your White Card, it may help you if you have a letter from us confirming what conditions you have on your White Card. You can get this letter if you:

If you are a current ADF member, you should receive your health care in the first instance through existing ADF health care arrangements. We may fund your health care in limited circumstances, where either:

  • if we and the ADF agree that it is appropriate that we provide the care (this normally happens when you are transitioning out of the ADF)
  • you are eligible for non-liability health care.

Services and support

Using your White Card to access services and support will vary depending on the service. Details on accessing some of the services:

Back to top

Things you should know

  • If you receive a White Card after transitioning from the Australian Defence Force (ADF), you can seek treatment straight away for any mental health condition, including alcohol abuse or substance abuse.
  • You can use your White Card anywhere in Australia for the conditions on your card.
  • You cannot use your White Card overseas. If you incur medical expenses for an accepted service-related injury or condition while overseas, you may be able to claim reimbursement. You cannot claim reimbursement for mental health conditions, cancer (malignant neoplasm) or pulmonary tuberculosis unless they have been accepted as service-related. 
  • If you are entitled to compensation or damages from another party for an injury or condition, we will not cover treatment for that injury or condition.
  • Always check with your medical provider that they will accept your White Card.
  • If you get a bill for medical treatment for a condition covered by your card, do not pay it. Please contact us. If you have paid for medical treatment, you may be able to apply for a one-off reimbursement
  • If prior approval is required for your medical treatment, your medical provider will request the approval from us.
  • If you choose to be treated as a Medicare or private patient for a condition on your White Card, we will not pay any out of pocket expenses.
  • Your White Card's expiry date is shown on the front of the card. You will receive a replacement card approximately 1 month before the expiry.
  • If your White Card is lost, stolen or damaged you can order a new one through MyService or by calling us on 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372). You should receive your replacement card within 2 weeks of ordering. You can request a White Card confirmation letter while you wait for your replacement card.
Back to top

What to tell us

You should tell us if:

  • your White Card is lost or stolen; or
  • you change address
Back to top
Was this page useful?
Please tell us why you selected 'Yes'?
Please tell us why you selected 'No'?