Concessions & benefits

These are some of the concessions and benefits offered by Centrelink and other organisations that people who have cystic fibrosis or their parents or carers may be eligible to apply for.

You can click the text in red for more information about a topic. All of the below information applies to both NSW and Victoria, except where noted otherwise.

Medications

  • Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Safety Net
    What it is: When someone (or a family) has spent a set amount (the PBS Safety Net threshold) on prescription medications, the price of medications are reduced for the rest of the calendar year.
    Eligibility: Everyone.
  • Low Income Health Care Card
    What it is: Reduces the cost of health care, including through cheaper PBS medications. You may also get a discount on electricity, gas and water bills and motor vehicle registration.
    Eligibility: Income must be below a threshold.
  • Ex-Carer Allowance (Child) Health Care Card
    What it is: Reduces the cost of health care, including through cheaper PBS medications. You may also get a discount on electricity, gas and water bills and motor vehicle registration if the bills and Card are in the same name. You need to renew the Card each year.
    Eligibility: People aged between 16 and 25 years of age who are a full time student and their parent or carer had a Carer Allowance Health Care Card for them on the day before they turned 16.

Travel and transport

  • Victorian Government Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme (VPTAS) (VIC only)
    What it is: A reimbursement of some of the cost of travel and accommodation for people who have to travel to access medical specialist services or specialist dental treatment.
    Eligibility: Victorians who travel more than 100km one way or an average of 500km a week for one or more weeks to access medical specialist services or specialist dental treatment.
  • Isolated Patients Transport and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS) (NSW only)
    What it is: A reimbursement of some of the cost of travel and accommodation for people who have to travel to access medical specialist services or specialist dental treatment.
    Eligibility: People living in NSW who live more than 100km from, or travel more than 200km a week to access, medical specialist services or specialist dental treatment.
  • Mobility Allowance
    What it is: Assistance with the cost of travel for work, study or volunteering when people can’t use public transport (or if there isn’t public transport near where they live) due to disability, illness or injury. If you get a mobility allowance you will also get a health care card.
    Eligibility: People aged 16 years of age or older who have a medical report from their doctor confirming they can’t use public transport without substantial assistance because of disability, illness, or injury when traveling to and from home for paid work, voluntary work, study or training, or to look for work (hours spent on these must be above a minimum threshold). People may also be eligible if there isn’t public transport near where they live.
  • Disabled Parking Click HERE for NSW info / Click HERE for VIC info
    What it is: A permit that provides parking concessions based on a person’s need for assistance, including being able to park in disabled parking bays.
    Eligibility: People who have a significant disability or illness that affects their ability to walk unaided or walk long distances. Confirmation from a Medical Practitioner is required.
  • Multi-Purpose Taxi Program (VIC only)
    What it is: A 50 per cent discount on taxi fares for people who are permanently and severely disabled people (Maximum trip and annual limits apply).
    Eligibility: Victorian residents who have a Pensioner Concession Card or are able to show financial hardship, and have a disability that affects their ability to use public transport independently. Confirmation by your doctor is required.
  • Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme (NSW only)
    What it is: A 50 per cent discount on taxi fares for people who are permanently and severely disabled people (Maximum trip and annual limits apply).
    Eligibility: NSW residents older than school age, who have a disability that affects their ability to use public transport independently. Confirmation by your doctor is required.

Income support

  • Disability Support Pension
    What it is: Financial support through a regular payment for people who are unable to work 15 hours or more a week as they have a permanent physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition.
    Eligibility: People aged 16 years of age or older who have a permanent and diagnosed disability or medical condition (a medical review is required to assess impairment), and who meet the income and assets tests.
  • Sickness Allowance
    What it is: A payment for people who temporarily can’t work or study because of an injury, illness or disability.
    Eligibility: People aged 22 years of age or older who have a job or are a full time student (and get ABSTUDY or Austudy), but temporarily can’t work or study because of an injury, illness or disability (a medical certificate from your doctor is needed), and who meet the income and assets tests.

Carer support

  • Carer Allowance
    What it is: A fortnightly payment for a person who needs to give additional daily care to someone who has a disability or serious illness or is frail aged, and a Health Care Card for your child.
    Eligibility: People who care for a child aged under 16 who has a disability or serious illness and lives with you (CF is on the Australian Government’s List of Recognised Disabilities). If caring for a person aged 16 years and older, the carer must provide constant care in the home of a person who has a severe disability or severe illness or is frail aged.
  • Carer Payment
    What it is: A payment for people who are unable to work in substantial paid employment because they provide full time daily care to someone with a severe medical condition, severe disability, or to someone who is frail aged.
    Eligibility: People who provide constant care in the home of a person who has a severe disability or severe illness or is aged. People must also meet the income and assets tests and not receive any another income support payment.
  • Carer Supplement
    What it is: An annual payment, paid in July, to people who receive carer support such as the Carer Allowance and Carer Payment. It is in addition to the other payments.
    Eligibility: There is no need to apply for the Carer Supplement. It will automatically be paid to you if you receive eligible carer support, such as the Carer Allowance and Carer Payment. People can get the supplement for each person they receive Carer Allowance for. Part time carers will receive a part rate of the Carer Supplement.
  • Child Disability Assistance Payment
    What it is: An annual payment to people who receive the Carer Allowance.
    Eligibility: There is no need to apply, it is automatically paid.

Bills and utilities

  • Essential Medical Equipment Payment
    What it is: A payment to help with energy costs to run medical equipment, medically required heating or cooling.
    Eligibility: People who need heating, cooling or certain equipment for their medical needs, or the needs of the person they care for. The person claiming the payment, or the person they care for, must have a Commonwealth Concession Card and pay the running costs of the equipment. A medical certificate is required. Some of the eligible equipment includes a parenteral or enteral feeding device, oxygen concentrators, nebulisers (used daily), and positive airways pressure devices.
  • Utility Relief Grants Scheme (VIC only)
    What it is:Help to pay a mains electricity, gas or water bill that is overdue due to a temporary financial crisis.
    Eligibility: Victorians who have a Commonwealth Concession Card or be registered with your utility company’s hardship program and part of a low-income household.
  • Energy Accounts Payment Assistance Scheme (NSW only)
    What it is: $50 voucher to help people in NSW during a short term financial crisis to pay their electricity or natural gas bill and stay connected.
    Eligibility: People experiencing financial crisis. The payment is made directly to the  energy provider.

Child care

  • Child Care Subsidy
    What it is: A payment to help with the cost of day care, outside school hours care, vacation care, pre-school and kindergarten for a child 13 years or under who is not attending secondary school.
    Eligibility: The payment is calculated based on your income and is paid directly to your child care provider to reduce the fees you pay.
  • Additional Child Care Subsidy
    What it is: Additional support for special circumstances.
    Eligibility: You need to be eligible for Child Care Subsidy and meet extra criteria, such as being a grandparent, transitioning to work, or experiencing temporary financial hardship.

Houeshold expenses

  • Rent Assistance
    What it is: Regular extra payment if you pay rent.
    Eligibility: You must be receiving certain payments from Centrelink. See the Centrelink website for more details.
  • Domestic Assistance or Home Care
    What it is: Subsidised domestic help and home care support.
    Eligibility: Assessed by your local council. Contact your nearest council service centre for more information.