(Australian Government, Department of Veterans’ Affairs)

Can Veteran Affairs help you?
Like all Australian veterans, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have fought for their country can apply for benefits and services from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA). Benefits and services are also available to their families.

Disability Pension
If you an illness or injury that was caused by or is related to your wartime service you may be entitled to a disability pension.

Service Pension
 If you are a male veteran, aged 60 years or over and have what is known as “qualifying” service” you might be eligible for an age Service Pension, Female veterans can apply from the age of 56 ½. If you are under 60, but are unable to work for medical reasons, you, you can apply for an Invalidity Service Pension. Service Pensioners can also get help paying the rent, medicines and telephone bills. You might get a special allowance if you live in a remote area.

Health Care
Some veterans can get free access to health care services such as medical and hospital treatment, dental care, physiotherapy, podiatry, community nursing and medicines.
DVA can also help to cover the cost of counseling away from home to receive health care.

The Vietnam Veterans’ Counseling Service (VVCS) helps veterans who are suffering stress caused by or related to their wartime service. VVCS counselors can talk with you and your family about problems at work or at home and help you find ways to handle them.

Can Veterans’ Affairs help your family?
Even if you think you might not be able to get a pension or other benefits from DVA, you should talk or someone about it, for the sake of your family
As well as helping veterans, DVA provides benefits and services to their families.
The widows or widowers of veterans whose death is caused by or related to their wartime service may be eligible for a pension and /or health care.

Who to talk to
You can call the DVA office in your State or Territory and ask for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans Project Officer.  This will ensure you get to talk to the person who can best help you with any questions about DVA’s services and benefits and how to claim for them.

SA/NT PH: 133 254 or Freecall 1800 555 254 (connects non-metropolitan callers to their nearest DVA State Office).