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June 19, 2020

VPTAS – The Victorian patients and carers guide to claiming accommodation assistance

This scheme subsidises the costs of travel and accommodation for Victorian patients that need to travel more than 100km for specialist medical care. Subsidies are to help cover the costs of staying in accommodation close to hospitals.

Frequently asked Questions

Am I eligible to apply for VPTAS?

  • The main eligibility criteria for VPTAS is travel between your home address and place of treatment. There are two cases being :
  • Treatment being more than 100km from your normal place of residence.
  • More than 500km of travel in a week for 1 or more weeks.
  • To claim VPTAS you also need to be a Victorian resident. You also need to be travelling to specialist medical or dental care that is not available closer to home.

Who decides if I am eligible to claim VPTAS?

  • Your medical specialist will need to confirm that it is a requirement for you to travel for specialist care.
  • The doctor must be an approved specialist under Medicare Australia and their details must be included on the form.
  • The form can be signed by the specialist or an authorised officer, such as a hospital social worker, practice manager, receptionist or nurse.

Am I eligible to claim the accommodation subsidy

  • If you are eligible to apply for VPTAS you can claim the accommodation subsidy during your stay.
  • You will need to stay in commercial accommodation (registered business with an ABN)

How far do I need to travel to claim VPTAS?

  • To claim VPTAS you will need to travel 100km one way (home to hospital) or 500km average over one week for one or more weeks (home to hospital).

Who can be an approved escort?

  • Usually it would be your husband or wife, carer or the parents of children under 18 years of age but can in certain circumstances be a relative or friend.

How much is the accommodation subsidy?

  • Patients are eligible to claim $49.50/night (incl GST) accommodation subsidy.
  • Patients travelling with an approved escort can claim $99/night (incl GST).
  • If you are an approved escort for a patient admitted to hospital you can claim an accommodation subsidy of $49.50/night (incl GST).

Is there are minimum stay to claim the accommodation subsidy?

  • No, any length of stay is claimable if you qualify.

Do I need to pay out of pocket accommodation expenses?

  • If your accommodation costs are more than the VPTAS subsidy, you will need to pay some out of pocket expenses.
  • Eg if your accommodation costs $175 per night and two of you are staying at the accommodation then you will need to pay the difference that is $175 – $99 = $76

What if I stay with a relative?

  • Not covered by VPTAS

When my husband is admitted to hospital can I claim the accommodation subsidy?

  • If you are the approved carer then you would be eligible $49.50
  • You would not be able to claim for your partner while they are an inpatient at the hospital.

Can I claim my train travel to Melbourne?

  • Yes, keep tickets and a log of your travel as these details will be needed on the form.

How about petrol costs – can I claim these?

  • Yes, keep a log of your travel as these details will be needed on the form. VPTAS will cover 21 cents per kilometre travelled and are based on Google Maps distances.

Are there any other costs?

  • You will need to pay the first $100 out of pocket costs in a treatment year.
  • Your treatment year starts from the date of the first appointment with the medical specialist.
  • This fee is waived if you are a primary card holder for the Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card.

Can I claim VPTAS if I am part of a clinical trial?

  • Participation in some clinical trials will deem patients’ ineligible to claim VPTAS.

Do I need to keep a diary of my travel?

  • Yes, please enter the details of your travel and accommodation on VPTAS form

Where do I get the VPTAS form