- A Veterans Card gives you access to treatments for conditions, injuries or mental health needs as a result of your time in service
- You can access Government funded home care whilst receiving services from the Department of Veterans' Affairs as long as there is no double up of those supports
- As a veterans cardholder you can receive the Veterans Supplement on top of Government funded home care supports as long as you don't receive income support
There are Government services that provide care and assistance to older Australians, including Veteran Card holders, however, there are restrictions on what you can do and what you can access.
A Veteran Card is for current or former Australian Defence Force (ADF) veterans, including their dependents or war widows/ers. This card provides the holder with access to treatments for conditions, injuries or mental health issues that are related to their service, which has been approved by the DVA.
You can also use these Veteran Cards at certain businesses, who may provide discounts to cardholders.
The purpose of the Veteran Card is to show respect to veterans for their contribution to Australia and make sure they get the support they need.
These cards have been recently updated from DVA White, Gold and Orange cards, to Veteran White, Gold and Orange cards, each with differing benefits for the holder.
Veteran Gold Card and Veteran White Card -
The Veteran Gold Card provides access and coverage for clinically required treatment for all medication conditions a cardholder may have. Some medical treatment providers who accept Veteran Gold Cards may provide medical treatment for free.
Whereas, the Veteran White Card is for specific service-related injuries and conditions that have been accepted by the DVA, and all mental health condition treatments. You will also be able to access medical treatment for cancer and pulmonary tuberculosis.
Both these cards cover treatment at a hospital or a day facility, with an allied health professional, from a general practitioner (GP) or specialist, provided by a dental or optical professional, community nursing assistance, pathology and medical imaging, or cheaper concession rates on medications.
Some supports are also accessible on these cards, including counselling, help at home, travel assistance to appointments, care services, and medical equipment and home modifications.
Services or supports tend to be free or low cost. For instance, the Veterans' Home Care (VHC) program can provide you with help at home and you may need to pay co-payments.
Veteran Orange Card - The Veteran Orange Card only gives access to prescription medicine, wound care aids, or supplements at a concession rate. You will not get any healthcare treatment with this card.
Government home care options
You are able to keep your Veterans Card as well as access Government funded home care, however, if you are receiving services that are funded by the DVA, it can impact what services you may be able to access.
You can still receive DVA care services, like the VHA program or Community Nursing Program, and My Aged Care services at the same time, but only if you are eligible for the services you receive, you are only receiving basic support, and you are not doubling up on the same services.
For example, if you are receiving domestic assistance from the Veterans Home Care (VHC) program, you would not be able to access the same service through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP). But you could receive personal care through CHSP while still keeping the domestic assistance from the VHC.
If you are a veteran with the DVA, you are able to access higher levels of care, like a Home Care Package, if you need it. But the DVA states you cannot be receiving any similar services from the DVA, just like the duplication restrictions on the CHSP.
Other services you may be able to access through My Aged Care while utilising DVA services include Short Term Restorative Care (STRC) and Transition Care.
If you need assistance figuring out how much it will cost, you can talk to someone from the DVA to work out what you might pay, contact the DVA on 1800 838 372.
Since Australian Government aged care services are not funded through the DVA, you may need to pay towards the cost of care and services you receive.
However, if you hold a Veterans Card and have a DVA accepted mental health condition, you will likely receive the Veterans Supplement. This payment will go directly to your Home Care Package provider and be paid by the DVA.
You can not get this supplement if you receive the Age Pension, Service Pension, Income Support Supplement, or Veteran Payment.
To access any aged care services, you need to organise an assessment through My Aged Care, contact the call centre on 1800 200 422 or find other contact avenues on its website.
Why did you decide to start accessing Government home care? Tell us in the comments below.