DVA services during the holiday season

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) will continue to provide support to veterans and their families during the holiday season. However, please be aware that some services will be impacted from Christmas Day 2021 to Monday 3 January 2022 inclusive.

Counselling, mental health support and crisis accommodation

The Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling line is available to support members of the current and ex-service community and their families 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Phone 1800 011 046 toll-free.

Safe Zone Support is an anonymous counselling line that’s available 24/7 to support members of the current and ex-service community and their families. Phone 1800 142 072 toll-free.

If you require urgent assistance, please call 000. If you are unwell, please contact your local doctor or go to your nearest hospital.

For further mental health information and support, visit Open Arms website

Transport bookings for medical treatment

DVA staff will be available to process transport requests for medical treatment on 29, 30 and 31 December. Please call 1800 550 455.

The service will be closed on 25, 26, 27 and 28 December and 1, 2 and 3 January, resuming 4 January. If transport is required on these days and has not been pre-booked, you can pay for the travel and seek reimbursement when we re-open. Or, if you are an existing MyService user, you can make new transport bookings and review existing trips online.

For travel in an emergency always dial 000.

Defence Service Homes Insurance

For enquiries, or help with an insurance policy or claim, phone 1300 552 662. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For payments, phone 1300 304 989 for the cost of a local call.

Hospital admissions

Doctors can admit DVA patients into hospital over the holiday period and request retrospective approval for the admission, where required, when DVA resumes full services.

Pharmaceutical approvals

There will be no reduction in services across the Christmas/New Year period. Providers seeking prior approval for pharmaceuticals can call the Veterans’ Affairs Pharmaceutical Advisory Centre (VAPAC) 24 hours a day on 1800 552 580.

Pension payments

Pension paydays are not affected over this period. The last payment in 2021 will be on Thursday 30 December 2021. The first payment of the New Year will be Thursday 13 January 2022.

Incapacity payments

The last Incapacity payment of 2021 is 23 December. You may receive your Incapacity payment earlier on 20–21 December 2021. The next payment after this is due on 6 January 2022, although this may also be paid earlier on 4–5 January.

However, because of differing arrangements by various banks during the holiday period, which are beyond DVA’s control, the precise day of the week you receive this payment may differ from usual. You may wish to make arrangements to ensure you have enough funds to cover any direct deposit payments.

Lump Sum advances

Lump Sum Advances aren’t processed during reduced staffing periods such as the Christmas and Easter breaks, and the end of financial year period in the second half of June. 

VAN offices, General Enquiries and Open Arms centres

As usual, DVA offices and shopfronts, and general enquiry services will be closed for the Christmas / New Year period from Saturday, 25 December 2021, reopening on Tuesday, 4 January 2022.

This includes DVA’s General Enquiries phone line and email services, DVA’s Veterans’ Access Network (VAN) offices interview service and Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling centres (note that, as mentioned above, the Open Arms and Safe Zone counselling phone lines will remain open 24/7 throughout the holiday season).