Guide

Veterans

Programs, services and concessions for veterans and their families.

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The NSW Government is committed to ensuring our veterans, past and present, are honoured with dignity and respect. A range of programs, services and concessions is available for veterans and their families to help them transition from military to civilian life and to help them save on everyday costs.

Some services, programs and concessions are available to all veterans, while others are only available to veterans who meet specific requirements, such as holding a Gold Card embossed with Totally and Permanently Incapacitated (TPI) or Extreme Disability Adjustment (EDA).

To browse other NSW Government rebates and savings, visit Savings Finder.

You can apply for the programs, services and concessions listed on this page by phone or online, rather than visiting a service centre or other location.

Call Service NSW on 13 77 88 from 7am to 7pm (Sydney time), Monday to Friday.

Key contacts

NSW Office for Veterans Affairs (OVA)

The NSW Office for Veterans Affairs (OVA) manages state programs commemorating and assisting veterans in collaboration with all NSW Government agencies, the Commonwealth Government and community stakeholders. For more information, visit OVA's website or call (02) 8061 9288.

Commonwealth Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA)

The Commonwealth Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) has primary responsibility for supporting veterans in Australia. For more information, visit DVA's website, call 1800 555 254 or email GeneralEnquiries@dva.gov.au.

Ex-service organisations (ESOs)

Ex-service organisations (ESOs) provide support to current and former Australian Defence Force members, including:

  • lobbying services to promote improved conditions and entitlements for the serving and veteran community
  • advocacy support, particularly if you're seeking support and services from the Department of Defence or the Department of Veterans' Affairs
  • welfare support
  • home and hospital visits, and aged care support
  • financial assistance
  • employment and vocational advice.

Many ESOs also have Welfare Officers who can provide information about available community and government services.

Visit Ex-service organisations for contact information.

Programs and services

Veterans Employment Program
The Veterans Employment Program (VEP) provides support for veterans who are interested in pursuing a career in the NSW public sector. The VEP provides tools and resources to help them find and apply for roles that complement their military skills and experience.

TAFE NSW – Ranks to Recognition Program
TAFE's Ranks to Recognition Program provides veterans with access to free career counselling and recognition of prior learning. TAFE also offers 1,400 Smart and Skilled courses, ranging from a Cert I through to an Advanced Diploma.

Savings Finder
The NSW Government is helping you save money on everyday costs with more than 70 rebates and vouchers. For more information and assistance, you can:

Rent Choice Veterans Program
Rent Choice Veterans is a program for former members of the Australian Defence Force. The program supports veterans and their families who meet income eligibility limits to:

  • find a rental property
  • pay rent for up to 3 years
  • get a lease or stay in their current accommodation
  • gain work skills.

Veterans' Advocacy Service – Legal Aid NSW
The Veterans' Advocacy Service (VAS) is a statewide specialist service providing legal advice, assistance and representation to people who have served in the Australian Defence Force and their dependants.

Veterans Skills Program – fee-free training
Fee-free training for all veterans and their recognised partners. Learn new skills and qualifications to help you find the right job and have a rewarding civilian life. There are 750 fee-free training opportunities at Smart and Skilled vocational training providers funded by the NSW Government.

Health and wellbeing

National Centre for Veterans’ Healthcare (NCVH)
The National Centre for Veterans’ Healthcare is an outpatient service of Concord Hospital assisting veterans to achieve optimal mental and physical wellbeing through a case management led integrated healthcare model. Clinicians work closely with veterans and their family and carers in all aspects of their treatment planning and goal setting.

Veterans who are referred for treatment at NCVH from regional areas or from interstate are eligible to access the accommodation at Fussell House. Fussell House features 19 rooms (single, twin and family rooms) with common living, kitchen, dining and laundry spaces and an outdoor area for residents' exclusive use.

Get Healthy
The NSW Get Healthy Service is a free, phone-based health coaching service to help NSW adults aged 16 or over set and achieve their own health goals with the support and guidance of an expert health coach.

Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS)
If you are having issues with alcohol or other drugs, are concerned about someone else's alcohol or other drug use, or have general questions about alcohol or other drugs, you can call ADIS for support, information, counselling and referral to services in NSW. ADIS has a 24-hour support line at 1800 250 015 and a web chat service available from 8:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling
Open Arms is Australia’s leading provider of high-quality mental health assessment and clinical counselling services for Australian veterans and their families.

They are focused on meeting client needs through a combination of proven clinical practices and new and emerging evidence-based approaches. They provide free and confidential counselling, group programs and peer support to anyone who has served at least one day in the Navy, Army or Air Force and their families. Visit Open Arms or call 1800 011 046.

Safe Zone Support
Safe Zone Support is an anonymous counselling service that supports current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members, veterans and their families. The specialist counsellors have an understanding of military culture and experience. Visit Safe Zone Support or call 1800 142 072.

Concessions

There is a range of concessions and discounts available for veterans who meet the eligibility criteria. Please check each concession to ensure you meet the requirements.

Depending on your personal circumstances, you may qualify for additional concessions and rebates.

You can:

You can apply for the programs, services and concessions listed on this page by phone or online, rather than visiting a service centre or other location.

Call Service NSW on 13 77 88 from 7am to 7pm (Sydney time), Monday to Friday.

Travel concessions

Public transport cards and passes

Transport concession entitlement card for ex-defence personnel with a disability
If you're a war veteran with a service-related disability, you may be eligible for a transport concession entitlement card to access travel concessions on most public transport in NSW.

Pensioner Travel Vouchers
If you hold a NSW/ACT pensioner concession card or a NSW War Widow/er transport concession card, you can access 4 Pensioner Travel Vouchers each calendar year by registering your concession card with NSW TrainLink.

NSW blinded soldier travel pass
If you're a war veteran with severe vision impairment as a result of your war service, you can apply for a NSW blinded soldier pass to access transport concessions on trains, buses, most ferries and light rail.

WW1 veterans' widows travel pass
If you're the widow of a First World War (WW1) veteran, you may be eligible for transport concessions on trains, buses, most ferries, and light rail.

Victoria Cross or George Cross recipients' travel concession card
If you're a recipient of the Victoria Cross or the George Cross, or the spouse or widow/er of a recipient, you may be eligible for transport concessions on trains, buses, most ferries and light rail.

Gold Opal card

Gold pensioner Opal card
Holders of a Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Pensioner Concession Card can apply for the gold pensioner Opal card. This card gives you unlimited travel for no more than $2.50 a day on public transport services in and around Sydney. If you hold a NSW Seniors Card, you can apply for a gold seniors Opal card.

Gold Opal card for DVA Gold Card holders
If you hold a Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) Veteran Gold Card or Gold Health Card, you can apply for a Gold Opal card.

Gold Opal card for NSW war widows or widowers
If you have a NSW war widow/er transport concession card from the DVA, you can apply for a gold Opal card and pay reduced fares on trains, buses, most ferries and light rail.

Regional seniors travel card

The regional seniors travel card provides eligible seniors living in a designated regional area of NSW with a $250 prepaid card to help pay for fuel, trains, coaches and taxis. The card is currently available to people who have reached the Age Pension age and hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card or receive an eligible pension from Services Australia or the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Taxis, tolls and parking

Taxi transport subsidy scheme (TTSS)
The TTSS provides a book of subsidy taxi dockets to support you if you are unable to use public transport because of a severe and permanent disability.

E-Toll/Easy Toll account concession
As a DVA Gold Card holder, you may be eligible for certain concessions on a new or existing E-Toll or Easy Toll account, such as fee reductions and exemptions.

Mobility Parking Scheme (MPS) permit
The MPS provides parking concessions to people with a mobility disability. After successfully applying, you’ll be issued with an MPS permit and an Australian Disability Parking permit. You can apply for an additional MPS permit in special circumstances.

Concession car parking at NSW public hospitals
Patients, carers and concession card holders may be eligible for reduced fees when accessing public hospital car parking.

Licence, registration and driving concessions

Driving licences and tests
Eligible DVA card holders and clients do not have to pay for licences, driving tests, riding skills tests and for certain log books.

Vehicle registration, transfer and tax
Eligible DVA card holders do not have to pay for vehicle registration fees, conditional vehicle registration fees and the motor vehicle tax. DVA pensioners pay no stamp duty or transfer fee when transferring a motor vehicle rego.

General boat driving licence
To drive a vessel at more than 10 knots on NSW waters, you need a general boat driving licence. DVA card holders may be eligible for a 50% discount on the licence fee.

Private mooring licence 
A private mooring licence is an annual licence that allows you to moor your vessel on navigable waters. DVA card holders may be eligible for a 50% discount on the licence fee.

Recreational fishing licence
You need a recreational fishing licence when fishing in NSW waters. If you hold an eligible DVA card, you do not have to pay the recreational fishing licence fee.

Vessel registration
Eligible DVA card holders who operate a vessel that requires registration may get a 50% discount on the registration fee.

Firearms licence
As a DVA card holder, you may be able to claim a fee exemption for an A, B or H firearm licence.

Energy and utilities concessions

Seniors Energy Rebate
If you’re a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) holder, you may be eligible for a $200/year rebate to help cover the cost of your electricity.

Pensioner water rebate
As a DVA card holder, you may qualify for a rebate on your water bill.

NSW Gas Rebate
If you hold a DVA Gold Card or Pensioner Concession Card, you may be eligible for a $110/year rebate on the cost of your natural gas bill.

Low Income Household Rebate
If you hold a DVA Gold Card or Pensioner Concession Card, you may qualify for the Low Income Household Rebate to cover the cost of your energy bills.

Medical Energy Rebate
If you’re unable to self-regulate your body temperature, you may qualify to receive up to $285/year in rebates to cover the cost of your energy bills.

Business concessions

Private businesses, such as telecommunications and postal services providers, may offer discounts or concessions to veterans in NSW. Please contact your provider directly to enquire about available concessions.

Other concessions

These concessions may apply to you depending on your personal circumstances. Please check each concession to ensure you meet the eligibility requirements.

Council rate rebates
Concessions on council rates may be available to pensioners, veterans and war widow/ers or wholly dependent partners. Please contact your local council directly for more information.

Companion Card
A Companion Card is for people with a significant and permanent disability. When a cardholder buys a ticket at selected venues and facilities around NSW, their carer or companion will be given a second ticket at no charge.

NSW Seniors Card or Senior Savers Card
Both the NSW Seniors Card and NSW Senior Savers Card give you discounts and special offers at over 7,400 businesses across NSW, including shops, restaurants and professional services. The NSW Seniors Card also provides public transport concessions.

NSW Photo Card
A NSW Photo Card can be used as photo identification if you do not have a NSW Driver Licence or to prove your identity in situations not related to driving. You may qualify for a free NSW Photo Card if you hold an eligible DVA card.

NSW National Parks concession pass
A NSW National Parks concession pass gives eligible veterans and pensioners free car entry into 45 national parks that charge entry fees.

Making a Will
Having a will is the only way you can ensure that when you die, your estate will be distributed according to your wishes. NSW Trustee & Guardian offers free will preparation services to eligible pensioners, including those receiving a DVA pension.

Making a Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a legal document where you nominate a person or trustee organisation to manage your assets and financial affairs in case you’re unable to do so – for example, if you are travelling or ill. NSW Trustee & Guardian offers eligible pensioners free preparation of their Power of Attorney document.

Last updated: 11 April 2022