Seniors Benefits: Part 1 - Concessions explained
Did you know there is a range of benefits and concessions for which you may be eligible if you are a senior living in Victoria? In this three-part series of articles we discuss the range of benefits and concessions available to seniors residing in Victoria. You may be entitled to discounts on various items such as Council Rates, Water Rates, electricity, gas and telephone and reductions on public transport, taxi fares and driver’s licence and registration renewals, medical services and prescription medications. In part two we list a directory of concessions curently available and we discuss the benefits of applying for a Seniors Card in part three.
Please note all the concessions discussed are currently available but may be subject to change by the relevant authorities awarding the concessions at a later date.
Pensioner Concession Cards (PCC)
The Australian Government issues Pensioner Concession Cards (PCC) through the DVA to eligible persons on service pensions, age pensions, and income support.
PCC holders are eligible for a range of Australian Government concessions including the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, the National Diabetes Services Scheme, benefits through the Office of Hearing Services, and some discounts on Great Southern Railway services, Telstra and Australia Post services.
PCC holders in Victoria are eligible for one free return rail trip per year using V/Line, Countrylink and Great Southern Railways services. PCC holders are also entitled to reduced fares on public transport in urban and regional areas.
Holders of a Seniors Card are also eligible for greater discounts on metropolitan public transport.
PCC’s are not limited to use in Victoria and can be used on public transport in capital cities interstate (excluding Darwin) and on regional public transport in NSW.
Holders of PCC’s can also receive discounts on coach travel and 'The Spirit of Tasmania' ferry.
Other health concessions for PCC’s include discounts on dental and spectacles as well as free ambulance transport. And discounts on rates and utility bills and vehicle registrations.
Special Rate veterans
Special Rate Veterans (formerly Totally and Permanently Incapacitated TPI) are eligible for many concessions if the veteran holds a Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) or a Seniors Card or a Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) Gold card. Some may require proof of T&PI status.
Free travel on MET services and V/Line services is available for T&PI veterans using a MET travel pass. And like PCC holders, concessions are also available on many coach services and the “Spirit of Tasmania’ ferry.
Veterans also receive discounts on utility bills, vehicle registrations.
a rebate of up to 50% on local council rates; State Government concessions on water and sewerage; concessions on winter gas, electricity and LPG bills; concessions and exemptions on motor vehicle registration and third party insurance; and GST and stamp duty concessions on the purchase of private vehicles.
Victorian War widow(er)s may be eligible for a number of concessions.
Using the Gold Card, war widow(er)s may access pensioner transport concessions across Victoria, and widow(er)s of WWI veterans are eligible for limited free transport on the Great Southern Railway.
Discounts on rates, water, sewerage, electricity and gas, motor vehicle registration and third party insurance may also be available.
Most concessions in Victoria are offered by the state government and local councils. Many local councils offer concessions in addition to state concessions. Check with your local council to find out about other concessions in your area.