Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme
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The Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme (VPTAS) helps eligible people living in rural or regional Victoria with the cost of travelling long distances for specialist medical services. The scheme contributes to the cost of travel (including petrol for private cars, public transport fares and air and taxi travel reimbursement) and accommodation (if required). Assistance may also be provided to Victorian residents who are referred to an interstate specialist when the service is not available in Victoria or if it is the nearest location. The specialist must confirm in writing that you can’t get the service in Victoria.
- Travel reimbursement
- Accommodation subsidy
You may be eligible for subsidies if: you live in rural Victoria; your treatment is included in the list of eligible medical specialist treatments; you need to travel 100 kilometres or more one way or you need to travel (on average) 500 kilometres per week for five or more weeks in a row. Only the direct routes from your home address to the appointment and back to your home address are covered. No other travel is included. Refer to the rural areas map on the Department of Health and Human Services website to see if your home location qualifies.
How to access
In order to apply to receive a subsidy, you will need to complete a VPTAS claim form External Link .
Call 1300 737 073 .
Email: [email protected]
Visit the VPTAS website External Link .
The National Relay Service (NRS) External Link is available to help callers who are d/Deaf, or find it hard to hear or speak to hearing people on the phone.
The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) External Link is available (24 hours, 7 days) for callers who speak other languages. Call 131 450 .
If you are eligible for travel support you will receive:
- approximately 17 cents per kilometre if a private car is used (check with VPTAS)
- full economy class fare reimbursements for public transport
- air travel reimbursement – only if the journey exceeds 350 kilometres one way and a commercial flight is used
- taxi travel reimbursement – only to or from the nearest public transport when there are no other transport options.
If you are not the primary card holder of an approved pensioner concession card or health care card, you will pay the first $100 each treatment year for your travel and accommodation. After that time, you will get full assistance from VPTAS for the remainder of that treatment year. A treatment year starts at the date of your first appointment with your specialist (Note: costs are current at date of publishing and may change).
Use Visit Victoria's route planner External Link to work out your travel distances.
- Your local doctor can provide a referral to the closest specialist available to you. If you choose to travel to a different specialist, the subsidies will be worked out as if you were seeing the closest specialist.
- Your specialist will need to complete part of your claim form for the number of nights of accommodation required.
- Your specialist may also approve an escort (partner/carer) to accompany you. They must be 18 years of age or older.
- If you are applying for assistance because the service you need is not available in Victoria, your specialist must confirm this in writing.
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Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme (VPTAS)
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- Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme
- Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme (VPTAS) covers some travel and accommodation costs incurred by rural Victorians when they travel more than 100 kilometres one way for specialist medical treatment.
- To be eligible, patients must live in a designated rural area and not be undergoing clinical trials or accessing allied healthcare.
- An approved medical specialist or authorised officer must sign the claim form .
- Please contact the VPTAS office on 1300 737 073 or [email protected] if you have any questions.
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- Patient travel subsidies
Victorians who must travel long distances to receive specialist medical services can have their travel costs partly reimbursed.
The Victorian patient transport assistance scheme subsidises the travel and accommodation of rural Victorians, and an approved escort, who have to travel a long distance to receive approved medical specialist services.
For more information and to apply
For an application form, ask your local doctor, hospital social worker or phone the scheme's office on 1300 737 073 .
See the Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme page on the Department of Health website.
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- Multi-purpose taxi program
- Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
Last updated on 27/03/2023
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Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme
Victorian patients and carers guide to claiming accommodation subsidies
What is the VPTAS scheme?
The Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme subsidises the costs of travel and accommodation for residents of Victoria who need to travel long distances for specialist medical care.
Subsidies are provided to help cover the costs of staying in accommodation close to hospitals. Patients can also claim travel costs including private car and public transport costs.
VPTAS supports residents of Victoria travelling to hospitals in Victoria and other States. Interstate patients travelling to hospitals in Victoria must apply to the scheme in their home State.
In Victoria, the main eligibility criteria for VPTAS is distance. Distance is defined from the patient’s home address to the specialist medical facility (hospital or clinic) or dental facility. There are two distance eligibility criteria:
People travelling more than 100km from home to medical care (one way)
People travelling an average of 500km over a week for one or more weeks.
You also need to be a Victorian resident.
You must 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 needs to confirm you are travelling for specialist medical care. The doctor must be approved to practice as a specialist under Medicare Australia and their details must be included on the form. The specialist or an authorised officer, such as a hospital social worker, practice manager, receptionist or nurse may sign your form.
Please ask your medical specialist or staff at the clinic to assist you with this process. You can also contact the VPTAS Office directly for further information. Once your form is submitted to the VPTAS Office, they will process your application and confirm your eligibility and reimbursements.
Please note, MediStays does not approve your application.
How much is the accommodation subsidy
The subsidy varies depending on your situation:
Patients not admitted to hospital may be eligible to claim up to $49.50/night (incl GST) accommodation subsidy.
Patients travelling with an approved escort
Patients not admitted to hospital who are travelling with an approved escort may be eligible to claim up to $99.00/night (incl GST).
If you are an approved escort for a patient admitted to hospital you can claim an accommodation subsidy of up to $49.50/night (incl GST) .
When to submit a VPTAS application form
If you are eligible to apply for VPTAS, post your hard copy, signed form and MediStays tax invoice to the VPTAS office when your stay has finished.
Do I need to keep a diary of my travel?
Yes, please enter the details of your travel and accommodation on VPTAS form Page 2. Please check the VPTAS form for further instructions
Other frequently asked questions
Unfortunately, VPTAS do not allow pre-approval of accommodation subsidies for Victorian patients and carers.
However, MediStays is here to support with you discounted accommodation until your VPTAS submission is approved. Please visit our blog on how to c laim VPTAS here .
Every property on the MediStays website can be booked for your accommodation and VPTAS claim.
No, VPTAS entitles you to claim all accommodation costs, including one-night stays
As escort is a person approved to travel with the patient. This may include your husband or wife, carer or the parents of children under 18 years of age.
A person can have more than one escort if they are under the age of 18 years, certain conditions apply.
Accommodation in private homes is not covered under the VPTAS scheme.
You must claim the subsidy for the state or territory where you live (not the location of your treating hospital).
Participation in some clinical trials will deem patients’ ineligible to claim VPTAS. Please discuss this with your medical specialist if unsure.
As stated on the VPTAS website, in general, you will not be eligible to claim VPTAS if you:
- participate in clinical trials or experimental treatments that are medical research studies that aim to find a better way to manage a particular disease
- live in states or territories other than Victoria (unless they are a living organ donor to a Victorian patient)
- are away from their permanent place of residence when the treatment episode begins, such as when on holidays or while visiting friends or family either within Victoria or interstate
- are undertaking a journey to or from outside Australia for medical treatment
- are accessing allied health (for example, audiology, physiotherapy, podiatry, speech therapy)
- are accessing general practitioner (GP) services
- are eligible to claim assistance under another state or territory or from a registered benefit organisation including the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
- were injured in a motor vehicle accident and are covered by the Transport Accident Commission
- were injured at work and are covered by WorkSafe
- have received or claimed by way of compensation, damages or other payment in respect to the illness or injury being treated.
If your accommodation costs are more than the VPTAS subsidy, you will need to pay some out of pocket expenses. For example, if a patient and escort stay in accommodation close to hospital at $140/night, they will pay $41 per night for accommodation. VPTAS will subsidise the remaining $99/night.
You will need to pay the first $100 in a treatment year. A 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.
A treatment year starts from the date of your first appointment.
The $100 co-payment fee is waived if you are a primary card holder for the Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card.
Yes, if you are an approved escort you are eligible to claim the accommodation subsidy. For example, you may drive your husband to the hospital and book accommodation with MediStays until he is discharged. You are eligible to claim $49.50/night accommodation subsidy in this situation.
Yes, VPTAS covers public transport costs. Keep a copy of your tax invoices and record details of your journey (dates) on the form. If you are eligible to travel on V-Line for free, please state ‘V’ in the transport type.
Yes, VPTAS covers petrol costs. If you travel in a private car, you are eligible to claim 21 cents per kilometre. Google maps is used to calculate the distance from your home address to the hospital/clinic address. You do not need to provide tax invoices for petrol costs.
Please contact the VPTAS office directly for further information on 1300 737 073 or [email protected] if you have any questions.
The website is here.
Once your form is submitted to the VPTAS Office, they will process your application and confirm your eligibility and reimbursements.
For long stays, you may also apply in advance or in regular intervals.
How MediStays can help…
Checking your eligibility after booking.
When you book accommodation with MediStays, you can choose to tell us your postcode. This enables us to guide you on your eligibility for VPTAS and send you the link for the relevant VPTAS paperwork.
Which MediStays accommodation is eligible?
All properties listed on the MediStays website are eligible – simply book on our website and submit your MediStays tax invoice with your application form.
Are you a patient or carer travelling for medical care?
Our Care Navigators can assist with accommodation and funding support.
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Are you eligible for a travel or Accommodation reimbursement from the Victorian Government?
Travel reimbursement applies if you are a resident in rural Victoria in a designated area (Please see map below) and traveling at least 100km one way to see a medical specialist for medical treatment.
Accommodation reimbursement applies if you receive accommodation assistance up to a maximum of $41.00 per night. This may be available to the applicant and their approved escort if:
- they stay in commercial accommodation – that is, any accommodation that is registered as a business and has an Australian Business Number (ABN)
- the specialist completes the VPTAS claim form stating the number of nights of accommodation required
- the specialist approves that partner or carer can accompany the applicant (they must be 18 years of age or older).
Check VPTAS website for more information
What is the VPTAS process?
People who wish to receive VPTAS assistance need to take the following steps:
- Check you are eligible.
- Find out what assistance is available.
- Find out who can be an approved patient escort.
- Fill in the VPTAS claim form.
- Have the VPTAS claim form completed by an approved medical specialist.
- Send the VPTAS form and required receipts to the VPTAS office.
The Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme’s (VPTAS) guidelines and feedback policies are now available for download in 11 different community languages from the Health Translations website.
Your family doctor will advise you as to your eligibility in obtaining Victorian rural patient transport assistance reimbursement. The scheme can also provide accommodation reimbursement to assist in covering the costs of your medical care if you are traveling over 100km
Our approved medical specialists must sign the claim form before you lodgement.
VPTAS travel and accommodation claim form
Map of 5 rural Victorian regions shown in blue that are eligible for the VPTAS scheme
Applying online is the easiest and fastest way to make a claim, approved claims will be paid straight into your bank account.
Make a claim now launch
Did you know you don’t need to complete all six forms when making an IPTAAS application?
We have different form combinations for each travel and accommodation situation. Each form below has a small summary to help you know when to complete it. If you’re still unsure, call our team on 1800 478 227 or use the form finder below by selecting a button and we’ll help you find the form combination that is right for you.
Use the checker below to find the right IPTAAS form you should use
Are you wanting to claim a travel subsidy before an appointment and/or treatment?
Has the patient submitted a claim for this medical practitioner or health service in the last 2 years, do you want to obtain a bulk billing conditional approval, do you want to submit an bulk billing invoice, are you submitting an application on behalf of the patient, you will need to complete, you will need to complete either, all iptaas forms.
Form 1 Travel and accommodation claims download
Form 2 Additional travel and accommodation download
Form 3 Application to bulk bill accommodation download
Form 4 Application for advance travel assistance download
Form 5 Referral details for online users download
Form 6 Travel and accommodation assistance for donors download
We have different form combinations for each travel and accommodation situation. Each form below has a small summary to help you know when to complete it. If you’re still unsure, call our team on 1800 478 227 and we’ll help you find the form combination that is right for you.
Form 1 Travel and accommodation claims
You should use this form if:
- this is the first time you have applied for assistance from IPTAAS to travel to this practitioner or health service
- you have not submitted an IPTAAS referral for this practitioner or health service in the last two years
- your personal details have changed since the last time you submitted a claim and you have not updated them using our online services
Form 2 Additional travel and accommodation
You should use this form:
- if you have previously submitted a claim to this practitioner or health service
- as a supplement to Travel and accommodation claims form if you would like to claim in transit travel or more than one trip
- to complete your claim if you received advance travel assistance
- to complete your claim if you bulk billed your accommodation
Form 3 Application to bulk bill accommodation
- you are staying in the accommodation facility for three or more consecutive nights
- you are applying to bulk your accommodation costs
Form 4 Application for advance travel assistance
- you are a concession card holder or experiencing financial hardship and are applying for travel assistance before your trip
- Do not use this form if you have already travelled to your appointment.
Form 5 Referral details for online users
You should use this form if you are submitting a claim using our online services and:
- you have not submitted an IPTAAS referral for this practitioner or health service in the last two years
Form 6 Travel and accommodation assistance for donors
- you donated an organ or tissue to a NSW resident.
Do not use this form if:
- the person you donated to is not a NSW resident
- you are a transplant recipient
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Find the forms that support your Medicaid transportation request. If you need assistance, please contact us or your local provider .
- Physician Referral Form- Editable
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