Understanding Veterans Home Care
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Programs
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (DVA) is responsible for carrying out Government policy and implementing programs to fulfil Australia’s obligations to war veterans and their dependents. DVA offers a range of programs to assist Veterans and war widows/widowers with their health and wellbeing and who wish to live independently in their own home with some assistance.
How do I confirm qualifying service?
To confirm qualifying service, you will need to complete a form based on the circumstances of your service, every application is considered on individual merit. If you are:
- A current or ex-member of the Australian Defence Force (ADF);
- A Commonwealth or Allied Veteran;
- If you served with the Armed Forces of the Republic of Vietnam;
- If you served with the Forces in Yugoslavia in the Second World War; or
- An Australian or Allied Mariner.
Programs and services available through DVA include:
Veterans’ Home Care program (VHC)
Administered through DVA and provides a range of services for low-level home care to veterans, war widows/widowers. The aim of VHC is to assist veterans to remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible.
VHC services include:
- Safety-related home and garden services; and
- Respite (in-home, residential and emergency).
When a veteran, war widow/widower has increasingly complex care needs, they should be referred to the ACAT team for assessment for a Home Care Package. If approved, the Home Care package becomes the primary source of care.
Coordinated Veterans’ Care Program (CVC)
Provides ongoing, planned and coordinated primary and community care led by a G.P. with a nurse coordinator. Must be a Gold Card holder and have a chronic condition or complex care needs and are at risk of hospitalisation.
Eligibility for the CVC program is determined by the G.P. services offered by Home Care Packages 1 and 2 generally do not duplicate services provided by CVC. DVA may provide recipients of VHC and CVC with additional services such as:
- Allied health services; and
If these services are not being met by a Home Care Package.
DVA community nursing is offered by the DVA Community Nursing Programm, to address a range of clinical and/or personal care needs in the veterans own home. Referral is through:
- Treating doctor in a hospital;
- Hospital discharge planner;
DVA funds all health services necessary to meet the clinical needs for Gold Card holders. For White Card holders, DVA will fund those services required because of their “accepted war caused or service related condition(s)”. Examples of allied health services include,
Rehabilitation Appliances (RAP)
Provision of aids and appliances to minimise the impact of disabilities, maximise independence and enhance quality of life. Examples include:
The Repatriation Scheme provides eligible veterans and war widows/widowers (entitled persons) assistance with transport when they attend a health provider for medical treatment. Modes of transport include:
In some cases DVA will pay for other related expenses such as, accommodation and food.
DVA clients and Community Aged Care Packages
Veterans and war widows/widowers have the same right of access to Home Care Packages as any other member of the community. Once approved by an ACAT as eligible, a Home Care Package becomes the primary source of care for the veteran, war widow/widower. Some services may still be provided by DVA, as long as duplication can be avoided. In some circumstances, DVA will cover the co-payment once a Home Care Package has been approved.
Benefits and Payments Last updated 16 October 2014
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) provides support to current and former serving members and their families through a range of benefits (including ongoing or one off payments). For example, support may be available in the case of:
- Injury, disease or death;
- Incapacity for work or service;
- Needing ongoing household and attendant care;
- Needing treatment such as health care; or
- Loss of or damage to medical aids.
Veterans’ Health Cards DVA issues health cards to eligible veterans and former members of the Australian Defence Force, their widows/widowers and dependents. There are different eligibility requirements for each type of card.
The Gold Card – ‘Repatriation Health Card – For All Conditions’ gives you access to a wide range of public and private health care services, for the treatment, at the department’s expense, of all your health care conditions whether war or service related or not.
The White Card – ‘Repatriation Health Card – For Specific Conditions’ gives access to a wide range of public and private health care services for the treatment, at the department’s expense, if your disabilities and conditions accepted as war or service related.
Veterans of the Australian Defence Force may also receive treatment for the following conditions whether service related or not:
- Cancer (malignant neoplasia);
- Post-traumatic stress disorder;
- Anxiety and/or depression; or
- Symptoms of unidentifiable conditions, until diagnosed, where a claim is lodged within 15 years of eligible service (being other than peacetime service). This is subject to certain additional requirements.
The Orange Card – ‘Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Card’ gives access to subsidised pharmaceuticals and medicines under the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS). The Orange Card is issued to Commonwealth and Allied Veterans and Mariners who meet the eligibility criteria.
This card is for PHARMACEUTICALS ONLY and cannot be used for any medical or other health care treatment.
For any further information, please contact the Department of Veterans Affairs on 133254 or view their webpage.
For information on Home Care Packages, please refer to Australian Government Department of Social Service manual – Home Care Packages Programme Guidelines (July 2014)