Reimbursing travel expenses under MRCA or DRCA

What is reimbursement for travel expenses

We may be able to contribute towards your travel costs if you are travelling to attend:

  • a health services appointment for treatment we pay for
  • a rehabilitation assessment or medical examination we send you to
  • a hearing with the Veterans’ Review Board (VRB), or an appointment to get medical evidence for the VRB, if you served after 1 July 2004 and are covered by the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA)

Who can claim travel expenses

You may receive help with your travel costs if you have one of these cards under MRCA or the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence‑related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA):

  • Gold Card
  • White Card and travel relates to a condition covered by your card under MRCA or DRCA 

If you don’t have a Gold or White Card, we may still help with the cost of your travel to attend:

  • a medical appointment we have arranged for you
  • a Veterans’ Review Board (VRB) hearing or medical appointment relating to service after 1 July 2004.
  • an appropriate facility immediately after an incident resulting in a service-related injury, condition or death

If you have a Gold or White Card under different legislation, or if you have a White Card for mental health treatment, cancer or tuberculosis and need to travel for treatment, see Reimbursing travel expenses under VEA for details on how we can help.

What travel expenses you can claim

If your round trip is more than 50km, you can claim for:

  • travel in a private vehicle
  • parking fees
  • vehicle ferries

In most cases, we cannot reimburse travel in a private vehicle if the round trip is less than 50km. Exceptions may be made if:

  • there is no public transport available in your area; or
  • you have an injury or condition preventing you from using public transport‌‌

We may also be able to help pay for:

  • public transport 
  • ambulance 
  • taxi — if you are unable to drive or use public transport, and do not have a family member available to take you 
  • air travel 

You can claim expenses for accommodation and meals if:

  • your round trip is over 600km
  • you are taking a medicine that makes travelling unsafe
  • your appointment time is early morning or late afternoon, and travelling the same day is not realistic; or
  • you need to stay close to your medical provider for observation

You may travel with a medical attendant when it is medically required. A medical attendant is any person who is responsible, competent and physically able to assist you while you are travelling to treatment. They do not have to be medically qualified.‌

We do not provide reimbursement for travel between your attendant's home and your home. Travel costs for an attendant are calculated the same way as your costs.

What trips you can claim

You can claim travel expenses to attend:

  • a rehabilitation assessment
  • a medical examination requested by us
  • treatment for any injury or condition if you have a Gold Card
  • treatment for an accepted injury or condition covered by your White Card

If you served after 1 July 2004, you can claim travel expenses to:

  • attend a Veterans' Review Board hearing
  • get medical evidence for a VRB hearing

If another person transports you to an appropriate facility immediately after an incident resulting in a service-related injury, condition or death, they may be able to claim reimbursement.

How much you can receive

Travelling for treatment

When travelling for treatment, you may be reimbursed 60 cents per kilometre if you travel a round trip of more than 50km in a private vehicle. For other ways of travelling, we will reimburse the fare you pay as long as it is reasonable.

To receive the maximum amount towards your travel expenses, you need to see your closest practical provider (CPP). Your CPP is the health provider who is closest to your home, who is able to provide appropriate treatment, and who is recognised as an approved provider by us.

We will pay the reasonable cost of accommodation and meals if your travel requires you to stay overnight. We will calculate the reasonable cost based on your circumstances. If you need more details to help you plan a trip, you can contact us.

Attending a Veterans' Review Board (VRB) hearing

If you are travelling to attend a VRB hearing, the amounts you can receive are different.

How you can claim travel expenses

You can claim through MyAccount.

If you don't have MyAccount, complete a claim form for travel relating to:

  • a health services appointment for treatment we pay for
  • a rehabilitation assessment
  • a medical examination requested by us

Complete a travel for review claim form for travel to:

  • attend a Veterans' Review Board (VRB) hearing
  • get medical evidence for a VRB hearing

If you travel to attend treatment we pay for, you must lodge your claim within 12 months of travelling, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

We will let you know the outcome of your claim. If approved, we will pay your reimbursement into the same bank account that we pay you any pension or allowance.

Things you should know

  • If you travel more than a 50km round trip to be treated by a health provider who is not your closest practical provider, in most cases we will reimburse you for the distance to your closest practical provider and back.
  • You need to keep all receipts for travel expenses, including meals and accommodation, for 4 months after we process your claim. We may ask you to provide these receipts.
  • If you claim reimbursement for more than 1 night of accommodation, your health provider will need to supply a letter explaining why you needed to stay longer.
  • As a general rule, we cannot provide reimbursement for road tolls.
  • You cannot claim travel expenses for attending a hearing at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), or for going to your usual rehabilitation activities.
  • You can only claim travel expenses for treatment within Australia.
  • Your medical attendant is not eligible for transport assistance to visit you while you are in hospital.
  • We can reimburse travel expenses for your medical attendant, but if you travel in the same private vehicle we will only pay one amount for that travel. 
  • If your medical attendant is your partner, in most cases we will only reimburse accommodation for a shared room.

Legislation

Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004

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