Convalescent care

What is convalescent care

Short-term care which is medically necessary for recovery following a stay in hospital.

Who can receive it

We will cover the cost of convalescent care for any condition if you have a Gold Card.

If you have a White Card, we will cover the cost of convalescent care if we paid for the original hospital admission.

Where you can receive care

Care is available in a range of settings such as:

  • public or private hospitals
  • multi-purpose services
  • Australian Government-funded aged care facilities
  • supported residential services in Victoria
  • other suitable institutions

Convalescent care cannot be provided in your home.


You do not need prior approval for care in a public or private hospital, or a multi-purpose service. 

There is no limit on the number of days that you can access care in a public or private hospital.

Non-hospital institutions

You need prior approval from us for care in:

  • an Australian Government funded aged care facility
  • a supported residential service
  • other institutions

We will pay for up to 21 days of care in a financial year in a non-hospital institution.

How you access

To access convalescent care, talk to:

  • a hospital discharge planner
  • your treating doctor 
  • a social worker; or
  • a nurse

They will contact us if prior approval for the cost of care is required.

Things you should know

  • Residential respite care is a different service to convalescent care.
  • Commonwealth funding for residential respite care cannot be used to pay for convalescent care services.

What to tell us

You should tell us if you:

  • receive a bill for convalescent care; or
  • take up more permanent care arrangements, such as residential aged care or palliative care


Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986

Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004

Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence‑related Claims) Act 1988