DVA Cards Explained
If you are a veteran who has discharged from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) due to injury or illness acquired during service, then you may be entitled to a veteran card. Formerly known as the Veteran White Card, Veteran Gold Card and Veteran Orange Card, they have been redesigned into the Veteran Card, though the same colour distinctions still apply.
Importantly, there has been no shift in the benefits you can access as part of this redesign. The core purpose of the cards to provide essential health services free of charge, or heavily subsidised for veterans, remains unchanged.
The core purpose of DVA cards is to provide essential health services free of charge, or heavily subsidised for veterans
What Are DVA Cards?
DVA Cards or Veteran cards are provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). They provide access to DVA approved treatment for service-related conditions or injuries along with mental health services. In addition to this, the veteran card also makes it possible for businesses to offer concessions and benefits to veterans in honour of their service.
There are various conditions regarding the level of service and concessions you will receive with your DVA card. The type of services and concessions you will be permitted to access will be determined through an assessment of your individual health needs by the DVA delegates board. It is for this reason that not all ex-ADF personnel/veterans will receive the same level of care with their DVA cards.
What is a Commonwealth Seniors Card?
A Commonwealth Seniors Card is similar to a Veteran Card and is available to Australian, Commonwealth and allied veterans or mariners with qualifying defence service. It provides concessions on medications and other living costs but has a more stringent eligibility criteria than other DVA cards, including an income test. This card can be applied for via the DVA or Services Australia.
Who Can Obtain A Veteran Card?
As per the DVA, DVA cards are available to those who:
- have an existing DVA White, Gold , or Orange card as a veteran
- are the dependant of a veteran and you have your own DVA Gold Card. This covers widows, widowers, children (both biological, step, or adopted) and, in some instances, parents under the veteran’s care.
- are a current or former member of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), including reservists, with at least one day of continuous full-time service (CFTS)
- are a reservist who can access free mental health care
- are a reservist with an accepted service-related injury or condition
A DVA card makes it easier for veterans to access the help they need
Benefits of a Veteran Card
It can be a challenge to know what you can utilise your veteran card for and where to find information regarding these services. While there are some conditions associated with which DVA health services your card enables access to, you may be entitled to a host of benefits including but not limited to:
- Exercise programs
- Nutrition programs
- Psychology services
- Physiotherapy programs
- Sleep support services (including CPAP)
- Subsidised optical
- Subsidised taxi fares
- Club memberships and complimentary access to sporting matches
- Concessions for medications, living costs, licenses, and transport fees
- Free or heavily subsidised dental
At Veterans Health Centre we can help you determine which benefits you are entitled to and how to access these services with DVA Cards. These concessions and services can vary by state; you can access those relevant to your location here.
Ultimately, having a DVA card makes it easier for you to access and afford services necessary to your recovery. Through recognition of your service by the DVA and Australian business, it is hoped that veterans’ transition to civilian life will be easier and that they feel supported through this process.
What Is Not Covered By DVA Cards?
The Veteran Card generally only provides free or subsidised health care and medications for conditions that are directly related to injuries or illnesses sustained as a result of your service. The Gold Card is the exception to this, with essential health care provided regardless of whether it is service-related or not.
If you are a holder of a Veteran Card you can also access mental health treatment free of charge via Non-Liability Health Care (NLHC).
This mental health cover is provided to all current and former members of the ADF and you are not required to prove that your mental health condition is a result of ADF service.
Applying for your Veteran Card
Application for your DVA card is handled through your online MyService portal, the same portal through which your DVA claims are submitted for review. Once approved your DVA card will be mailed out to you with an automatic renewal in place at its expiry.
During the application process, you will automatically be assessed for the Veterans Supplement. This is an ongoing payment designed to help with the cost of medications associated with your approved treatments.
How Veterans Health Centre Can Help
In addition to assisting with your DVA claims and submissions process, the team at Veterans Health Centre (VHC) can help you navigate the application and procurement of your veteran card. We understand that the shift from being in service to a new normal outside of the ADF can be incredibly overwhelming, and can be complicated by the numerous assessment and mountains of paperwork the DVA expects you to complete and submit.
Our team of ex ADF personnel have first-hand experience with this transition and detailed knowledge of the DVA. This enables us to facilitate smoother, less confusing interactions. Helping veterans get set up with the appropriate level of DVA approved care and support is what we do best.
Run by an ex ADF doctor, VHC is a clinic that delivers world-class health care to veterans alongside tailored DVA support services. Our goal is to ensure that all our veterans are given the help and recognition they deserve, enabling them to rebuild their lives post medical discharge as best possible.
To speak about DVA cards with the genuine and highly skilled team at VHC, call today on 1300 VETERAN (8383726).