Cards and concessions
There are a number of financial concessions available which are operated by both State and Federal Government.
If a person with a disability is receiving the Disability Support Pension, they should also receive a Pensioner Concession Card. A Pensioner Concession Card provides discounted medicine under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, bulk billed doctors visits (this is at discretion of the GP) and access to the Hearing Services Program. Additionally, the Pensioner Concession Card may mean you are offered discounts or rebates on utility bills, property and water rates, public transport fares and motor vehicle registration. If you are someone who requires a consistent temperature due to your disability, you may also be eligible for the Medical Cooling and Heating Electricity Concession Scheme.
If you’re not accessing the Disability Support Pension, you may be eligible for a Health Care Card, or a Low Income Health Care Card which provides some of the benefits the pensioner concession card provides, but not all. A service available to both Pension Concession Card and Low Income/Health Care Card holders is the Spectacle Supply Scheme which covers the cost of a basic pair of prescription spectacles.
In Queensland, there is the Companion Card which is for people with disability who have a lifelong need for ‘attendant care support’ to participate in the community. The Companion Card enables the person accompanying a person with disability to receive a second ‘companion’ ticket at no charge at participating venues and on public transport.
When it comes to public transport, Queensland has a variety of concessions. There is discounted travel for people with concession cards, however there is also the TransLink Access Pass which provides free travel for those who can travel independently but are unable to touch on or off using a go card. For those who are vision impaired, the Vision Impairment Travel Pass provides similar support to the TransLink Access Pass. The Taxi Subsidy Scheme and Lift Payment subsides taxi travel (half of the total fare, up to $25 per trip) for people with severe disabilities and provides a lift payment of $20 when a wheelchair accessible taxi is required.
For further information about concessions and rebates, visit the Queensland Government website, Smart Savings. Additionally, the Queensland Government has a very helpful Concession Finder which identifies applicable concessions based on individual circumstances.