Department of Veterans' Affairs
What are optical services?
Optical services include clinical testing of the eyes for defective vision and the supply of suitable spectacles, contact lenses or low-vision aids.
Who is eligible?
If you have a Repatriation Health Card – For All Conditions (Gold Card), the Department of
Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) will pay for optical services available through DVA arrangements that meet your clinical needs.
How do I access this service?
You can make an appointment directly with an optometrist who participates in DVA arrangements, without a referral. If you feel you need to see an ophthalmologist, you should discuss this with your optometrist who will provide you with a referral if necessary.
Spectacles, contact lenses and low-vision aids will only be dispensed by optometrists or optical dispensers who have agreed to supply under DVA arrangements.
Once you have your optical prescription, you may take it to any optical dispenser who has agreed to supply under DVA arrangements. It is not necessary to have your spectacles or other visual aids dispensed by the optometrist who issued your prescription.In a two–year period you may receive:
- one pair of bifocals, trifocals or progressive power lenses; or
- one pair of reading and one pair of distance spectacles.
Note: If there is a significant prescription change, you may receive replacement lenses before the two–year period is over. In these instances new lenses will be fitted to existing frames where possible.
You are able to choose any appropriate spectacle frames from your optical dispenser that are within the DVA price limits and quality standards.
Co-payment spectacle frames
You may choose to be provide with spectacle frames outside of the optical dispenser’s DVA range. If you choose this option, you will be required to pay the gap fee for these frames. DVA will not reimburse you for this gap fee.
Do I need to pay for the consultation?
No your optometrist will bill DVA directly for any consultations. This represents the full fee for the service provided. If you are billed for a consultation do not pay the account and contact DVA immediately.
If you choose frames or lenses from outside the DVA range of ‘no-gap’ items, then you may be required to pay part or all of the extra cost. In these instances you will be advised of any addition costs associated with your preference, and any gap you accept will not be able to be reimbursed by DVA.
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