National Service and your
Eligibility for Compensation or White card
The National Servicemen’s Association of Australia was formed in 1987 to seek and continue to seek recognition of National Servicemen for their past service to the Commonwealth of Australia. To also provide support and assistance to National Servicemen, including those seeking compensation for injuries received, or illness which occurred, or is deemed to have occurred, as a result of a member’s National Service.
Am I eligible for the White Card?
A White Card is issued to Australian veterans or mariners under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) with an accepted war or service-caused injury or disease.
A White Card is also issued to former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA) with an accepted condition and ongoing treatment needs.
A White Card may be issued to former members of the ADF, current part-time Reservists, cadets and, in limited circumstances, to full-time members under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) with a medical condition accepted as service related under the MRCA.
You may be eligible for Non-Liability Health Care treatment, whether war caused or not, for the following conditions:
- malignant cancer (neoplasia)
- pulmonary tuberculosis, and
- any mental health condition.
A White Card may be issued to eligible transitioning members of the ADF for the purposes of accessing mental health treatment under Non-Liability Health Care.
A White Card may be issued to ex-service personnel who are eligible for treatment of disabilities accepted as war caused by their country of enlistment under agreements between the Australian Government and the New Zealand, Canadian, South African and United Kingdom Governments.
Note: Services available to these veterans may be different from those available to Australian veterans. Please refer to Factsheet HSV62 – Commonwealth and Other Allied Veterans Living in Australia for information on the services available.
When do I use my White Card?
If the treatment you are seeking is related to your accepted war or service-caused injury or disease, or the treatment is for a specific condition under Non-liability Health Care as described above, you should present your White Card whenever you visit:
- any health care professional who provides health services under DVA arrangements, including General Practitioners (GPs), dentists, and medical specialists and allied health professionals, e.g. physiotherapists, to whom you are referred for treatment, or
- a hospital or day procedure facility.
If you have automatically received a White Card after transitioning from the ADF, you are eligible to receive treatment for any mental health condition immediately. If you have any questions, please contact DVA using the contact details under More Information at the end of this Factsheet.
Please check with your health provider prior to your consultation or receiving treatment that the provider accepts DVA Health Card arrangements.
What health care services can I access?
Holders of a White Card are only entitled to be treated at DVA’s expense, including subsidised pharmaceuticals, for their accepted service-related disabilities or illnesses.
Factsheet HSV01 – Health Services Available to the Veteran Community provides a list of services available to DVA clients. For your accepted conditions only, your White Card may allow you access to some of these services.
Are there other services I can access?
Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS)
A range of counselling services are available to veterans and their families through VVCS. For more information please refer to Factsheet VCS01 – Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS).
Veterans’ Home Care
Veterans’ Home Care (VHC) is a DVA program designed to assist veterans and war widows/widowers (entitled persons) who wish to continue living independently in their own home and local community, but who need a small amount of practical help. Services include domestic assistance, personal care, respite care, and safety-related home and garden maintenance. Please refer to Factsheet HCS01 – About Veterans’ Home Care for more information about VHC.
Limited, short term social assistance may also be provided as part of the Coordinated Veterans’ Care (CVC) Program. Please refer to Factsheet HSV101 – Coordinated Veterans’ Care Program for more information on the CVC Program.
Community nursing is the provision of clinical nursing and/or personal care services to eligible members of the veteran community. Community nursing services are provided in your own home, and can assist with medication, wound care, hygiene, and help with dressing. Community nursing services help you to restore or maintain a maximum level of health and independence at home and to avoid early admittance to hospital or residential care.
If you have a DVA Health Card – Specific Conditions (White), DVA will fund community nursing services through DVA arrangements if they are required because of an accepted war or service-caused injury or disease (accepted disability).
Please refer to Factsheet HSV16 – Community Nursing Services for more information.
Can I use my White Card anywhere in Australia?
You can use your White Card anywhere in Australia. If you need treatment while travelling within Australia, you may check with the local health provider if they accept the White Card.
Can I use my White Card overseas?
No, you can only use your White Card within Australia. You must contact DVA before you travel overseas for information about arrangements for treatment overseas. For more information, please see Factsheet HSV65 – Medical Treatment While Overseas.
Are there any restrictions?
There are limits that apply to some types of services available. For example, medical services are subject to the requirements of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). Some treatment requires prior approval from DVA. Your doctor or health care provider will arrange this for you.
Do I need to pay for treatment?
Generally no, you should not pay for any treatment received under DVA arrangements, but there are a few exceptions, such as for Veterans’ Home Care. If you are billed by your health care provider, do not pay the account and advise DVA immediately. DVA may not be able to reimburse the cost of the treatment under certain circumstances.
Do I need to pay for my prescriptions?
Yes. You have to pay a patient contribution charge (co-payment) for each prescription, under the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS). For more information on the RPBS, please refer to Factsheet HSV92 – Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Do I have to get prior approval before receiving treatment?
Under DVA arrangements for White Card holders, there are a range of services requiring prior approval including some dental treatment. Your dentist is required to contact DVA prior to commencing treatment.
Where prior approval is required for other services, your doctor or health care provider will arrange this for you.
Can I choose to be treated as a Medicare or private patient?
Yes, you can choose to be treated for your specific conditions as a Medicare or private patient. However, if you take one of these options, DVA will not pay for any services that have been paid in part or full by Medicare, private health insurance or a third party compensation benefit.
If you do choose to be treated for your specific conditions under Medicare, you may still receive, at DVA’s expense, additional health services that are not covered by Medicare.
DVA will pay for health care services provided in accordance with DVA arrangements. DVA will not pay the difference between the Medicare or private health insurance refund and the cost of the treatment.
When does my White Card expire?
The expiry date is shown on the front of your White Card. You will receive a replacement card about one month before the expiry date. If you don’t receive your replacement card, contact DVA using the contact details listed under More Information at the end of this Factsheet.
If you are no longer eligible for a White Card, DVA will notify you and ask you to return the card.
If you change your address, please contact DVA so your replacement card is sent to the correct address.
What do I do if my White Card is lost, stolen or damaged?
If your White Card is lost, stolen or damaged, you must contact DVA immediately so your card can be cancelled and a new White Card issued.
It may take up to two weeks for a new card to be issued. DVA will provide a letter of authority for this period if you need one, or your health provider may phone DVA for information on your eligibility and entitlements.