You are here
DVA Health Card For All Conditions (Gold Card)
Entitlements under Gold CardVEA →
The Gold Card entitles the holder to treatment for all their health care conditions at DVA expense. DVA will not pay for treatment of a disease or injury for which the person has already received compensation or damages. The holder should present their Gold Card when they visit a:
- doctor, medical specialist, or pharmacist,
- dentist, or dental prosthetist,
- optometrist or ophthalmologist,
- any other health care professional who provides services under DVA arrangements, or
- hospital. More →
Automatic issue of Gold Card to certain veterans and marinersVEA →
A Gold Card is issued, regardless of income and assets or war caused disability, to:
- World War II returned ex-service women, who served in Australia's defence forces between 3 September 1939 and 29 October 1945 and who have qualifying service from that conflict,
- World War II veterans and mariners aged 70 years and over, who served in Australia's defence forces or merchant navy between 3 September 1939 and 29 October 1945 and have qualifying service from that conflict (commencing 1 January 1999),
- Veterans aged 70 years and over, who served in Australia's defence force and have qualifying service (commencing 1 July 2002), and
- Veterans of Australia's defence force who are ex-prisoners of war.
Disability pensioners eligible for a Gold CardVEA →
A Gold Card is also issued to veterans or mariners receiving disability pension (treatment):
- at or above 100% of the general rate,
- at or above 50% of the general rate and also receiving any amount of service pension,
- for pulmonary tuberculosis before 2 November 1978, and
- veterans receiving an additional amount under section 27 of VEA for specific service-related amputations or blindness in one eye.
Service pensioners eligible for a Gold CardVEA →
Veterans in receipt of an age or invalidity service pension are eligible for a Gold Card if they:
- satisfy the treatment income/assets reduction limit, or
- are permanently blind in both eyes.
Veterans in receipt of a service pension (including partner service pension) are eligible for a Gold Card if they:
- receive any amount of service pension and also receive disability pension at 50% or above, or More →
- receive any amount of service pension and also have 30 points assessed for permanent impairment under the MRCA. More →
Pension supplement is regarded as a component of service pension, when determining whether a veteran is in receipt of service pension for the purposes of establishing Gold Card eligibility.
Commonwealth and Allied Veterans
Commonwealth veterans, Allied veterans and Allied mariners may gain entitlement to medical treatment at departmental expense if they had Australian domicile at the time of enlistment.More →
The domicile test applies in respect of operational service performed during the world wars and also to post World War 2 operational service in operational areas. The operational areas for post World War 2 service are included in Schedule 2 of the VEA.
In very rare circumstances, Commonwealth and allied veterans who were not domiciled in Australia prior to rendering qualifying service may potentially be eligible to receive the Gold Card at age 70. This can occur when the veteran has:
- rendered qualifying service within the meaning of VEA paragraph 7A(1)(b), or (c) as a member of a Commonwealth or allied force AND
- has also rendered service as a member of the Australian Defence Force, which causes them to meet the definition of ‘Member of the Forces’ at VEA subsection 68(1). This applies to certain peacetime ADF service on and after 7 December 1972, as well as to peacekeeping service and service designated as hazardous for the purposes of the VEA. Such circumstances are extremely rare and cases should be referred to Liability and Service Eligibility (L.and.SE.Policy@dva.gov.au) for advice.
Dependents eligible for a Gold CardVEA →
The dependants eligible for a Gold Card are:
- a war widow or widower in receipt of the war widow's/widower's pension,
- a dependent child of a deceased veteran whose death has been accepted as war-caused who is under 16, or between the ages of 16 and 25 and undergoing full-time education,
- a child of a deceased veteran whose death was not war-caused and who had operational service, if the child is not being cared for by the remaining parent,
- an invalid child of a deceased veteran whose death has been accepted as war-caused, who had treatment entitlement before 6 June 1985,
- a widowed mother or widowed step-mother who was dependent on an unmarried deceased veteran whose death has been accepted as war-caused, who had treatment entitlement before 6 June 1985; and
- a wholly dependent partner or dependent child of a member who is eligible for compensation for the member's death under the MRCA More →
Members with Conditions Accepted under MRCA
Former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), cadets and reservists who have conditions for which liability has been accepted under the MRCA are eligible for a Gold Card if they:
- have permanent impairment from accepted conditions assessed at or above 60 points; or
- meet the criteria for the Special Rate Disability Pension (SRDP) safety net payment even if they have not elected to receive that pension (but continue to receive their incapacity payments). More →
British Commonwealth Occupation Force and British Nuclear Tests
Australian members of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) in Japan at the end of the Second World War and Australian participants in the British Nuclear Tests (BNT) in Australia in the 1950s and 1960s are eligible for a Gold Card.
BCOF service must be in Japan between 31 January 1946 and 28 April 1952.
A person is a BNT participant if they meet the criteria relating to being in a nuclear test area within defined dates. The full definition is contained in the Australian Participants in British Nuclear Tests and British Commonwealth Occupation Force (Treatment) Act 2006.
South-East Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) civilian aid program
Members of the Australian civilian surgical and medical teams who were contracted by the then Department of External Affairs to provide medical aid to civilian hospitals and training to local staff under the SEATO civilian aid program in South Vietnam between October 1964 and December 1972 are eligible for Gold Cards. This can include doctors, nurses, administration and technical personnel who were part of the teams.
Loss of Gold Card eligibility
Provided they do not have other eligibility for a Gold Card, a person loses eligibility for a Gold Card if they:
- satisfy the income/assets reduction limit and at any stage they exceed that limit (subject to the period of grace), or More →
- receive between 50% and 95% disability pension under the VEA and any rate of service pension, and their service pension ceases to be payable. Because they have accepted disabilities these pensioners would be issued with a White Card in lieu. More
- are assessed with between 30 and 59 impairment points under the MRCA and any rate of service pension, and their service pension ceases to be payable. Because they have accepted disabilities these pensioners would be issued with a White Card in lieu.
- are no longer considered a dependent child, that is, reaches the age of 16, or if in fulltime study, the age of 25. For example, cessation of the Orphan's Pension (VEA) or the Eligible Young Person's (MRCA) payment which are underlying payments for eligibility for a Gold Card.
- are a dependent of a deceased member covered under the MRCA and successfully pursues common law damages related to the service death. More
All other Gold Card holders retain their eligibility irrespective of any change to their financial circumstances or their accepted disabilities.
Section 84 VEA - Provision of treatment
Section 89 VEA - Treatment at hospitals and other institutions
Section 90 VEA - Guide to the provision of treatment
Section 53D VEA Eligibility for treatment at Departmental expense
Section 85(4A) VEA Veterans eligible to be provided with treatment
Section 85(4B) VEA Veterans eligible to be provided with treatment
Gold Card Eligibility under Gold Card Eligibility under the Income/Assets Reduction Limit
MRCA Policy Manual
MRCA Policy Manual
8.4.6 Treatment for eligible dependants
MRCA Policy Manual
8.2.2 When a decision under section 327 is not required
Gold Card Eligibility under the Income/Assets Reduction Limit
The Repatriation Health Card - For All Conditions is gold in colour and frequently referred to simply as the “Gold Card”. The card entitles its holder to obtain health care and related services for all the person's identified health care needs, whether they are war-caused or not.
The Department of Veterans' Affairs.
Disability pension, for the purpose of Gold Card eligibility is:
· a pension paid under Part II and Part IV of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA); or
· a pension paid under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 provisions referred to in Part V of the VEA.
A service pension is an income support payment broadly equivalent to the social security age and disability support pensions. It may be paid once a veteran or partner has reached the nominated age or is incapacitated for work.
Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.
A person may be regarded as permanently blind in both eyes where:
- there is a total loss of sight; or
- visual acuity after correction with suitable lenses is less than 6/60 in both eyes on the Snellen Scale; or
- where, in the written opinion of an ophthalmologist, the visual field deficits and/or combination of deficits results in a visual impairment which is the equivalent of a corrected visual acuity measure of less than 6/60 in both eyes.
The Commission Guideline CM5829: Determining 'permanently blind', 'no useful sight' and 'blinded in both eyes' may be instructive in making a blinded/blindness determination.
A dependant of a veteran (including a deceased veteran) is:
- the partner;
- non-illness separated spouse;
- widow(er) (other than a widow(er) who marries or remarries); or
- a child of the veteran.
A war widow/widower is generally a person who immediately before their partners death, was the partner of, or was legally married to:
- a veteran; or
- a person who was a member of the forces; and
- who is receiving:
- a war widow's/widower's pension; or
- a pension that is payable under the law of a foreign country that is, in the opinion of the Commission, similar to a war widow's/widower's pension.
Refer to 5E(1) of the VEA for the full definition.
Section 5F(1) of the VEA defines dependent child as having the same meaning as in the Social Security Act 1991. For income support purposes, dependent child is defined as:
Child under 16 years
- the pensioner has legal responsibility either alone or jointly with another person for the day to day care, welfare and development of the young person AND the young person is in the pensioner's care, or
- the young person is not a dependent child of someone else AND the young person is wholly or substantially in the pensioner's care.
A child under 16 years cannot be considered a dependent child if:
- they are not a full-time student, and
- their weekly income from any source is more than the amount specified in section 5(3)(c) of the Social Security Act.
Child 16 years or older
A young person who has turned 16 years but is under 22 years can still be a dependent child of the pensioner if:
- they are wholly or substantially dependent on the pensioner, and
- their income in the financial year will not exceed the personal income limit, and
- they are receiving full-time education at a school, college or university.
A child over 16 years cannot be considered a dependent child if:
- they receive a social security pension or benefit such as youth allowance, or
- their personal income is more than the amount specified in section 5(4)(b) of the Social Security Act.
Income includes earning from casual, part-time or full-time earnings.
Note: the meaning of a dependent child for DVA income support pension purposes is not the same as the meaning for Family Tax Benefit purposes.
Operational service is generally service performed:
- outside Australia,
- during war like operations in which Australian Defence Forces were involved, and
- in areas where the incurred level of risk is considered above that of normal peacetime conditions.
Refer to section 6 of the VEA through to 6F of the VEA for a full explanation of operational service.
The Repatriation Health Card - For Specific Conditions (White Card) entitles its holder to treatment of 'accepted' disabilities, ie injuries, illnesses or diseases accepted by the Repatriation Commission as caused by war or other forms of eligible service. A disability pension is also payable depending on the degree of incapacity.
Depending on eligibility, Australian veterans may also be entitled to treatment of:
- pulmonary tuberculosis (whether war caused or not) ;
- malignant cancer (neoplasia) (whether war caused or not); and
- any mental health condition (whether war caused or not);
where DVA has accepted a claim for treatment for those conditions.
Once the application for treatment only is approved by the Repatriation Commission a White Card is issued indicating that the Commission has accepted responsibility for the treatment of these conditions. No disability pension is payable for conditions that are covered for treatment only.
Treatment, but not disability pension, for any unidentified condition that arises within 15 years of an eligible period of service is available to all veterans, members of the Defence Force, or peacekeepers with an eligible period of service. The treatment is available once the application is approved by the Repatriation Commission and a White Card is issued. Treatment coverage continues until the condition is diagnosed and a decision is then made as to whether the now identified condition is service related or not. Disability pension is then paid and treatment continued for those identified conditions accepted as service related. Treatment ceases for those rejected as service related.