Veterans’ transport information

Last updated: 
24 February 2020

This page outlines travel assistance available to Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) clients when they need to attend approved treatment under the Repatriation Transport Scheme.

What assistance is available under the Repatriation Transport Scheme?

DVA may provide financial assistance with travelling expenses, including meals and accommodation for DVA clients and their medically required attendant to attend a health provider for medical treatment within Australia.

DVA may also arrange transport under the Booked Car with Driver (BCWD) Scheme for travel to approved treatment locations. The BCWD Scheme contracts local taxis and hire cars to transport eligible clients to and from their permanent or temporary residence at the time of their medical appointments.

Who is eligible for assistance under the Repatriation Transport Scheme?

If a client holds a DVA Repatriation Health Card:

A client may also be eligible for travelling assistance when travelling for non-liability health care treatment (not service-related) for the following conditions:

  • malignant cancer (neoplasia);
  • pulmonary tuberculosis ;
  • any mental health condition;
  • substance use disorder; or
  • alcohol use disorder.

If a client is eligible under the following Acts, please contact us to discuss individual travel entitlements as they may vary from what is outlined below.

Who is eligible for a DVA arranged taxi or hire car under the Booked Car With Driver (BCWD) Scheme?

DVA clients may receive BCWD services to attend all approved treatment locations if they are Veteran Gold Card holders who are:

  • aged 80 years of age or over; or
  • legally blind, (regardless of age); or
  • suffering from dementia (regardless of age).

DVA clients may receive BCWD services to attend all treatment locations for their accepted service related condition/s and accepted non-liability health care, whether war caused or not if they are a Veteran White Card holder who are:

  • aged 80 years of age or over; or
  • legally blind (regardless of age); or
  • suffering from dementia (regardless of age).

Veteran Gold Card holders or Veteran White Card holders (in accordance with their accepted disability) aged 79 years or younger can declare their eligibility for BCWD services if they have one or more of the following medical conditions:

  • psychosis;
  • hemiplegia;
  • ataxia;
  • respiratory insufficiency severely limiting independent activity;
  • cardiac failure severely limiting independence;
  • recent coronary occlusion severely limiting independence;
  • peripheral vascular disease severely limiting independence;
  • amputation severely limiting independence;
  • arthritis severely limiting independence;
  • recent surgery severely affecting their capacity to use public transport;
  • conditions that would cause them to be gravely embarrassed or are unacceptable to other passengers on public transport e.g. incontinence of bladder or bowel, severe deformity or disfigurement;
  • significant trauma; or
  • frailty that severely limits their independence.

BCWD Treatment Locations

DVA clients aged 79 years or younger who meet any of the above medical criteria, may have access to BCWD services to travel to any of the following approved treatment locations:

  • former Repatriation General Hospitals;
  • public and private hospitals, including outpatient services;
  • providers of prosthetics, surgical footwear and orthotics;
  • Office of Hearing Services accredited providers;
  • medical specialist rooms; and
  • radiology, imaging and pathology services.

Are there travel limitations?

DVA arranged transport is provided to the Closest Practical Provider (CPP). The CPP is the health provider who is closest to their permanent or temporary residence, who is able to provide the appropriate treatment, and who is recognised as an approved health provider by DVA.

A DVA client who chooses to seek treatment from a health provider who is not their CPP and who is more than 50km (one way) from their permanent or temporary residence will need to arrange their own transport and seek reimbursement from DVA. The CPP will be considered when calculating the amount of reimbursement for this travel.

Please see Reimbursing travel expenses under VEA for information about reimbursement of privately incurred expenses.

Can a medically required attendant travel with a DVA client?

Yes, a medically required attendant** can travel with a DVA client. This does not include occasions when the client travels by ambulance or is receiving treatment as an inpatient at a hospital, as the attendant role is fulfilled by medical staff.

DVA can also arrange a wheelchair accessible vehicle when required.

** Note: A medical attendant is any person who is responsible, competent and physically able to assist the client while they are travelling to treatment. They do not have to be medically qualified.

Does BCWD include transport home?

Yes. Generally the transport provider that delivers the DVA client to the treatment location will transport them home at the end of the appointment but it may not always be the same driver. The client or their health provider can contact DVA to arrange this return travel. Contact numbers and other ways to contact DVA to arrange transport are listed under 'More Information'.

Does the RTS provide long distance transport?

DVA may arrange air or train transport in certain circumstances where this is considered the most suitable and economical means of transport for the client. Health Providers are advised to contact DVA to enquire or make arrangements. Financial assistance towards the cost of meals and accommodation may be available to the Client.

How are travel bookings made with DVA?

Health Providers can book transport online if you are registered for DVA’s HPOnline service. For further information about this online service you can contact DVA service provider enquiries number under ‘More Information’ or an email to the HPO inbox at HPOnline [at] dva.gov.au.

DVA clients, their medically required attendant or health providers can arrange transport by contacting the transport booking numbers under ‘More Information’ at the end of this page.

Reimbursement: What travelling expenses can be claimed?

DVA may assist clients with reimbursement of travelling expenses for the use of private vehicles, privately arranged taxi transport, air travel and public or community transport, meals and accommodation. For further information regarding reimbursement of travelling expenses, including rates, please see Reimbursing travel expenses under VEA

Does DVA pay for emergency ambulance transport?

In a medical emergency, DVA clients are eligible for ambulance transport to the nearest clinical facility which meets their clinical need. If there is a medical emergency you are advised to request ambulance transport by dialling 000.

Does DVA pay for non–emergency ambulance transport?

DVA will pay for non–emergency ambulance transport if the client:

  • requires transport on a stretcher;
  • requires treatment during transport;
  • is severely disfigured; or
  • is incontinent to a degree that precludes the use of other forms of transport.

This transport must also be to or from the nearest clinical facility that can treat the clinical needs to a current residence, whether temporary or permanent.

A General Practitioner (GP), hospital physician or hospital discharge planner can arrange non–emergency ambulance transport by contacting your State or Territory ambulance provider.

What is the Country Taxi Voucher Scheme for NSW?

A NSW country General Practitioner (GP) may, when clinically necessary or at the request of DVA, issue taxi vouchers to DVA clients who require assistance when travelling for treatment purposes. This Scheme operates only in regional New South Wales and does not operate in the metropolitan areas of Sydney, Canberra or Wollongong. It is also unavailable for travel crossing state and territory borders.

When issuing taxi vouchers to DVA clients, the GP must bear in mind that:

  • taxi vouchers should be issued only to those clients who have a clinical need and are entitled to travel under DVA arrangements;
  • when a DVA client satisfies the clinical criteria, there is the option of providing home visits instead of issuing taxi vouchers;
  • the client must be referred to the closest practical health provider that can treat their clinical needs; and
  • a DVA client must travel with a DVA contracted transport provider. Please see the list of regional NSW transport contractors available on the Travel for treatment page. 

What if the DVA client is discharged after hours or on a weekend?

Where DVA clients in country areas of NSW require urgent travel for treatment outside of normal DVA business hours and a NSW country taxi voucher is not available, Health Providers should telephone their local DVA contracted transport provider and advise them of the journey details and DVA file number. DVA will arrange payment of this journey direct with the contracted transport provider.

Can DVA request information from a Client's clinical provider?

Yes. Clients who receive treatment under their Veteran Gold Card or Veteran White Card have given their authorisation to DVA to obtain relevant medical information regarding treatment they have received.

Note - Client Repatriation Health Cards states: “By using this card, the person named consents to the disclosure to DVA of the details of any treatment, treatment-related services and financial information associated with its use and warrants that any services claimed for that use have been provided”.

More Information

Transport Bookings

Phone: 1800 550 455 

HPOnline Enquiries: hponline [at] dva.gov.au

DVA Service Provider Enquiries

Phone: 1800 550 457 

Related Forms