Are you taking advantage of Veteran Card benefits? In early 2019 the Australian Defence Veterans’ Covenant was enacted into legislation by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Covenant’s mission is to ensure veterans and their families are sufficiently recognised and acknowledged by Australian businesses, communities and the general public for the unique contribution they have made to our society. What is the Veteran Card? Previously known as the white, orange and gold DVA Health Cards, the Veteran Card enables Ex-servicemen and women to access medical treatment and support for service-related conditions, as well as choose from around 10,000 discounts offered by 500 or more participating Australian business. The new-look Veteran Card will continue to offer all the same services and entitlements but will exist as part of the Covenant along with the Veteran/Reservist Lapel Pin and an official copy of the Covenant Oath. Everyone who had DVA Health Cards in 2019 should have received the new card in the mail by now. If you haven’t, or you’re a new applicant for the Veteran Card, there are a few basics you need to know about whether you’re eligible and how to apply. Who’s eligible for the Veteran Card? If you are a veteran who has served in the permanent ADF, or a reservist who fulfills certain criteria, you are eligible to apply for the Covenant. In most cases this means (on approval of your application) you will receive its components - the Veteran Card, Lapel Pin and a copy of the Oath. Not all Reservists are eligible for the Veteran Card, or for all components of the Covenant, however, so it’s important to check the details of the eligibility requirements before lodging your application. What are the key benefits for Veteran Cardholders? The Veteran Card offers a comprehensive range of benefits for cardholders, under the new motivation of the Covenant. The primary benefits, of course, are access to DVA approved treatment for service-related conditions, which for many have been permanently life-changing. This ranges from allied health professional visits to mental health sessions and support, specialist treatments, and medications. In terms of goods and services, there are a wide variety of benefits on offer through the more than 500 businesses participating nationally. Cardholders can access discounts on retail shopping; travel including tours, accommodation and car rental; entertainment such as eating out and events; and trade services such as health club memberships, legal services, car repairs and more. View the full list of participating businesses for more information and remember this is updated regularly so it’s worth checking back to see what new offers have been added. How to apply for the Veteran Card Applications can be lodged online immediately through the My Service portal, for those who have a myGov account. If you don’t, the portal will prompt you to set one up first, which may seem daunting but is actually a really useful way of tracking what’s going on with your various government payments and benefits. Once the myGov account is set up you can go ahead and apply for the Veteran Card through My Service. Detailed instructions can be found at the bottom of the How to Apply page online. If the online option is not available to you, or you simply find the idea of it too daunting, we are here for you! You can access support to help you with your application by contacting us at Carry On Victoria on +613 9629 2648.