Travel to visit veterans in hospital long-term

If you’re a New Zealand veteran in long-term hospital care, we may be able to help with visitors’ travel costs.

Veterans & visitors covered

Veterans covered

To get visitors’ travel funded, you must be:

  • in hospital for at least 28 days; and
  • a veteran covered by Scheme One.

To be covered by Scheme One, you must have:

  • Scheme One service (in Viet Nam, or before 1 April 1974); or
  • Scheme One entitlement (an entitlement already granted under Scheme One).

Visitors covered

To get help with their travel visiting you, visitors must be one of:

  • your spouse or partner
  • your child or dependant
  • someone in a special relationship with you, whose travel it would be reasonable for us to help with.

For visitors who’re not your partner, child or dependant, we’ll look at:

  • their relationship with you (for example, ex-partner; long-term friend)
  • support they give you (emotional, social, spiritual or economic)
  • your circumstances (for example, other relationships and support).

You choose whether we’ll consider a visitor’s claim, by signing the claim form. If you’re not legally able to make decisions:

  • your next of kin, or person with legal authority to make your decisions, can sign the claim for you
  • we’ll consider claims from your spouse, partner, children or dependants, where there’s no one with authority.

Costs covered

We’ll pay up to $2,000 in a 12-month period for your visitors’ travel-related costs. For example:

  • veteran, from country town, in hospital an hour’s drive away — we may help with partner’s costs driving between hospital and home
  • veteran with child living overseas  we may help with child’s airfare.

Costs must be actual and reasonable. We may help with the travel itself, accommodation and meals, and out-of-pocket costs.

Actual travel

Travelling costs we help with include fuel, public transport fares, and sometimes airfares.

We pay:

  • private vehicle — (for round trip) $0.62 per km for first 200km; then reducing to $0.27 (except in some exceptional situations)
  • public transport (bus, rail, ferry) — fare paid
  • other kinds of travel — what’s reasonable.

When calculating distance, we take the shortest road distance between start point and hospital. We use:

Meals and accommodation

We may be able to help with your visitors’ meal & accommodation costs.

We assess these case-by-case, focusing on what’s most helpful for you and your visitors (within the cap on travel-related costs).

Out-of-pocket costs

We’ll only reimburse out-of-pocket costs if they:

  • were directly linked to the travel (for example, parking or road toll fees)
  • couldn’t be avoided (except by paying more in other travel costs)
  • are supported by proof (for example, pay-and-display parking ticket).

Claims

Once costs are incurred, deadline for claiming them is last day of the following month. We must get the claim by that date.

Claim form (Visitors' Travel) [PDF, 262 KB] must be signed by visitor and veteran—or person with authority to act for veteran. We’ll also need (originals or certified copies):

  • proof (usually, admission/discharge sheet) of your stay in hospital for at least 28 days, unless the stay’s already on our records
  • itemised tickets/receipts, showing amounts paid, when they were paid, and what for.

Sometimes we may ask for further evidence, to verify the costs or their purpose.

More information

One-page summary

Related information

  • Children's Pension — support payment for child, where veteran has severe, service-related impairment
  • Children's Bursary — study payment for child, where veteran has severe, service-related impairment (or is on Veteran's Pension or Weekly Income Compensation)
  • Reviews — your rights if you disagree with our decision about whether you qualify
  • Complaints — your rights if you're unhappy with how we've administered your travel

Relevant legislation

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