Entitlements and services for veterans living overseas

Health care entitlements

DVA Health Card arrangements are primarily designed to support entitled persons seeking treatment within the Australian health care system.

If you are travelling overseas, there are varying arrangements you may be able to access for necessary treatment for your accepted conditions.

DVA has reciprocal arrangements in place with the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand. Treatment can sometimes be provided under reciprocal arrangements for accepted conditions (contact us on overseas.treatment [at] dva.gov.au if you don’t know what this is). Apart from the reciprocal arrangements, you cannot use your DVA Veteran Card outside Australia.

In a country where there are no reciprocal arrangements, support may be provided through a reimbursement system from DVA for your accepted conditions.

In these circumstances, you may be able to claim expenses for your medical care overseas if a medical professional has assessed that you have a clinical need for treatment for an accepted condition. The care and costs must be similar to, or the same as in Australia.

If you can’t pay for a health professional to treat your accepted condition or injury while you are overseas, you should get in touch with:

  • the DVA officers we gave you contact details for (after you notified us about your travel plans)
  • your nearest Australian High Commission, embassy or consulate.

In an emergency, Australian officials can contact us to arrange payment. This payment can only be for your accepted condition or injury.

How to claim

To claim for medical care overseas, you will need to do one of the following:

  • fill out the claim form
  • send us a signed letter requesting a refund of your treatment costs.

You should make your claim within 6 months of the date a health professional treated you.

Contact us

Phone: 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372)

Outside Australia phone +61 2 6289 1133

Email: overseas.treatment [at] dva.gov.au

For more information, see Medical care while overseas.

What we can’t fund

We can’t fund the following while you are overseas:

  • medical evacuation
  • travel to and from appointments
  • treatment overseas when your reason for travel was to receive the treatment
  • We can’t pay for your treatment overseas if we cover you for care in Australia under our:
  • Non-Liability Heath Care program
  • provisional access to medical treatment arrangements.

Mental health support

If you are a veteran or family member currently living or travelling outside Australia, and you are in need of mental health support, you can contact your nearest Australian embassy, high commission or consulate, or call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre (CEC) on +61 2 6261 3305. Further information can be found on the Smart Traveller website.

If you require assistance connecting with these supports, you can contact Open Arms — Veterans & Families Counselling.

COVID-19 — Overseas financial assistance

If you are unable to return to Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions and you are experiencing financial distress, you may be eligible to access financial support from the Australian Government.

More information is available on the Smart Traveller website.

Incapacity payments

ncapacity payments are compensation for economic loss due to the inability (or reduced ability) to work because of an injury or disease that has been accepted as service-related under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) or the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA).

Incapacity payments may be payable to a veteran residing overseas. However, they will be required to submit medical evidence and may need to participate in a rehabilitation program.

Pension payments

If you’re a DVA client residing or travelling overseas for an extended period, you can have your regular pension payments made into a designated overseas bank account. If travelling overseas you must complete and sign the relevant forms and return them to DVA:

  • ‘Notification of Overseas Travel’ (form D578), which should be sent to DVA General Enquiries: GeneralEnquiries [at] dva.gov.au; and
  • the relevant ‘Bank Account Details for Overseas Resident’ form (depending on the country) to enable to DVA to proceed with payments overseas. This form (which needs to include the receiving bank’s stamp) may be sent directly to Income.Support.Payments [at] dva.gov.au, or telephone 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) and ask to speak to Income Support Payments staff if you have any questions.

The Reserve Bank acts as DVA’s agent for all overseas payments, and pension payments for overseas clients are made every four weeks into your nominated bank account. Each four-weekly deposit is the total of the amounts you are entitled to for the previous two fortnights. With overseas payments, you will not pay any fees at the Australian end. However, note that fees may be imposed overseas, either by an intermediary bank or by the destination bank. You will need to enquire about this with your preferred overseas bank.

More information

For information on service pensions, income support supplement and the Veteran Payment, see Travelling or living overseas.