Support for veterans
If you’re a senior veteran or a war widow/widower, a range of aged care services are available.
Whether you need help at home, health care, counselling or other types of support, there are different types of care to suit your needs and situation.
What support can I receive through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs?
What support can I receive from My Aged Care?
Can I receive services from DVA and My Aged Care at the same time?
Video: Gordon’s experience
The Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) website has a range of resources to help veterans and their families learn more about the services available. Resources include books (available online or in hard copy), a video, and a webinar series.
DVA also provides services if you have a Veteran Gold or White Card. They include:
Veterans' Home Care Program
The Veterans' Home Care (VHC) Program provides:
- domestic assistance
- personal care
- safety-related home and garden maintenance
- respite care (in-home, residential, and emergency)
To receive these services, you will need to have an assessment. To arrange one, call a VHC Assessment Agency on 1300 550 450. You may be eligible for other programs or packages if you are not eligible for the VHC Program.
Community Nursing Program
The Community Nursing Program provides home nursing and personal care such as:
- medication management
- wound care
To receive these services, you will need to see a health professional for a referral to a community nursing agency. This could be your GP, a nurse, or a VHC Assessment Agency. You can also be referred by a treating hospital doctor or a hospital discharge planner.
Other services for the veteran community
Other services for eligible veterans and war widows/widowers include:
- aids, equipment and modifications through the Rehabilitation Appliance Program
- medical and allied health care
- travel for attending medical appointments and treatment
- mental health support services and counselling through Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling (formerly VVCS)
- a range of resources on the DVA website to help veterans and their families learn more about the services available. Resources include books (available online or in hard copy), a video, and a webinar series.
- information about DVA services and entitlements through the Veterans' Access Network (VAN). Find your nearest DVA office, or ask them an online question or call 1800 555 254
- information on services that can help you in your own home or in an aged care home
- aged care resources to help service providers and advocates understand and support veteran wellbeing.
Support for veterans with service-related mental health conditions
If you are a veteran with a service-related mental health condition accepted by DVA, your provider may receive extra funding to provide the right care for your circumstances.
Support for former POWs or VC recipients
If you are a former Prisoner of War (POW) or Victoria Cross recipient, additional support is available:
- If you are receiving care, DVA will pay the basic daily fee on your behalf. You won’t have to pay an income tested or means tested care fee. DVA will organise this payment with your provider.
- If you are living in an aged care home, you might be asked to contribute towards the cost of your accommodation. Read more about costs and fees for aged care homes.
Whether you’re looking for help at home or permanent residential care, My Aged Care can support access to different types of government-funded care. These services are available to all eligible Australians but are not funded by DVA, so there may be extra costs involved.
- The first step is to apply for an assessment.
Your assessor will visit you at home and complete an assessment. The assessment is used to determine if you are eligible for government-funded aged care services and what those services are.
- Use our Find a provider tool to find specialist services in your area.
Once you are approved for services, you can find a suitable provider. You can find local providers that specifically cater for senior veterans. Filter your results by the Specialisations menu on the left hand side of the tool.
- Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
If you would prefer to talk to someone, our contact centre staff can assist. Chat with them about your needs and circumstances and they can help find the best care options for you.
If you are already receiving DVA-funded services, you may still be able to receive My Aged Care services, so long as:
- you’re eligible for those services
- you only need entry-level support, and
- you’re not receiving the same service from both.
For example, you may get low-level domestic help and personal care through Veterans’ Home Care. At the same time, you may also receive community transport and meals through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP).
Watch how Gordon accesses aged care services as a veteran.
GORDON: I'm Gordon Winston and I'm 89, and I was born in South Australia at Port Pirie. Moved from there when I was 7 to Adelaide, lived there until I joined the services in 1944.
I was an inquiry trainee in the REP, hence the white thing in the cap over there.
After six years in the Navy, I got married. CDC, or Consumer Directed Care, seems to me to be an ideal system. They give you a notional amount and you pay a certain amount, and everything is reasonable.
AGED CARE WORKER: Where would you like to go today?
GORDON: Particularly now my wife's no longer with us and I've only got myself to think of, I have felt that I'm probably best having a routine, which I loosely stick to. Shower in the morning, whichever lady is coming to see me, she would help me dress.
After that, exercise, lunchtime, shopping once a fortnight, and supervision for half an hour in the evening, if I'm on my own.
I also get two and a half hours hours cleaning a week. My total care is augmented by my having Gold Card status for DVA purposes.
It's a great system and I'm quite grateful that I'm able to participate in it.