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Non-Liability Health Care (NLHC)


Legislative Authority

Mental health conditions:

  • Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986
    • Section 88A (Commission may determine specified veterans and others eligible to be provided with specified treatment)
    • Section 90 (Guide to the provision of treatment)
  • Treatment Principles 2013 No. R52
    • Part 2.5A Treatment of mental health conditions for veterans and ADF members
  • Veterans’ Entitlements (Expanded Access to Non-Liability Health Care for Mental Health Treatment) Determination 2017 No. R24

Malignant neoplasia (cancer) and tuberculosis:

  • Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986
    • Section 85(2) (Veterans eligible to be provided with treatment)
  • Treatment Principles 2013 No. R52
    • Part 2.4 Treatment of malignant neoplasia and pulmonary tuberculosis for veterans

Current Purpose/Intent

To allow current and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to access early treatment for:

  • malignant neoplasia (cancer);
  • pulmonary tuberculosis (TB); and
  • any mental health condition

without having to prove that these conditions are caused by military service.

Current Eligibility Criteria

Mental health conditions:

Current and former ADF:

  • permanent full-time members;
  • reservists with Continuous Full-Time Service (CFTS);
  • reservists without CFTS who have rendered Reserve Service Days with:
    • Disaster Relief Service (e.g. Operation Vic Fire Assist);
    • Border Protection Service (e.g. Operation RESOLUTE); or
    • involvement in a serious service-related training incident.

Cancer and Pulmonary Tuberculosis: eligibility is limited to veterans with the following service:

  • Eligible war service (VEA);
  • Operational service (VEA);
  • Warlike and non-warlike service under the VEA or the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA);
  • Peacekeeping service (VEA);
  • Hazardous service (VEA);
  • British Nuclear Test Defence Service (VEA);
  • Peacetime service – completed 3 years CFTS between 7 December 1972 and 6 April 1994 (or any period of CFTS during this period if medically discharged) (VEA); or
  • National Service – if serving on 6 December 1972 and completed the contracted period of National Service, covered on and from 7 December 1972 (VEA).



  • If a provisional diagnosis of cancer or TB is received, this diagnosis should be confirmed within 3 months of the application. If a formal diagnosis is not received, the Commission may withdraw financial responsibility for treatment.
  • For mental health conditions, no diagnosis is required.


  • For all conditions, payments for relevant services can be reimbursed for up to three months prior to the date that the application for NLHC was received by the Department.

Date of Introduction


Original Purpose/Intent

To allow treatment of TB in First World War veterans at Deputy Commissioners’ discretion under the Repatriation Regulations.


Significant Changes in Criteria or Purpose since Introduction


Deputy Commissioners are given a discretionary grant of medical treatment for First World War veterans with TB in Repatriation Regulations


Grant of TB treatment extended to Boer War veterans and those with eligible war service in the Second World War


Non-liability (NL) treatment of TB first mentioned in the Australian Soldiers’ Repatriation Act (1943 amendments)

Treatment of Venereal Disease added to NLHC arrangements


NL cancer treatment for those veterans with certain war service


NL cancer treatment extended to all ‘members’


19 May - NLHC provisions for TB and cancer incorporated into the new Veterans’ Entitlement Act (VEA)

Backdating 3 months prior to receipt of application introduced


1 July - Treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) added


22 December - Treatment for anxiety and depressive disorders added


1 July - Treatment for alcohol use disorder and substance use disorder added Eligibility extended for peacetime service post-1994


1 July - Eligibility for the five mental health conditions expands to include all current and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with at least one day of continuous full-time service. Claiming made easier by allowing email and phone call to be accepted as a claim and a diagnosis of one of the five mental health conditions to be provided within 6 months.


1 July – Treatment for five mental health conditions expanded to all mental health conditions.  Policy changed so that no diagnosis is required to access mental health treatment.


1 July - Eligibility for the treatment of any mental health condition expanded to include reservists that have rendered Reserve Service Days with:

  • Disaster Relief Service;
  • Border Protection Service; or
  • involvement in a serious service-related training incident.

Mid-2018 - The White Card on Transition project commenced, with DVA issuing White Cards to transitioning members as they separate from the ADF. The White Card can be used to access NLHC treatment for any mental health condition, at any point in the person's life. The 'claim' for NLHC is taken to be when the person first uses the White Card to access treatment, at which time they also become eligible to receive Veterans Supplement.


21 January - Veterans' Recognition Program

The Veterans' Recognition Program serves to recognise and acknowledge the unique nature of military service and the contribution of Defence families.

Under the Veterans' Recognition Program, current and former serving ADF members can apply for a Veteran Card (a rebadged DVA Health Card) through MyService. Along with the Veteran Card, veterans and eligible reservists will also be able to access mental health treatment under NLHC arrangements.