Seniors Benefits: Part 2 - Concessions Directory
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.
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.
A glossary of abbreviations used is as follows:
PCC - Pensioner Concession Card
DVA - Department of Veteran Affairs
TPI - Totally and Permanently Incapacitated
EDA - Extreme Disablement Adjustme
Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) holders are eligible for medication under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) at $5.80 per prescription. Your pharmacist can tell you which medicines are listed under the scheme. Premiums charged by manufacturers may apply to some alternative brands/medicines. Once you have spent the PBS Safety Net threshold amount on PBS medicines, you will receive free PBS medicines for the rest of the year.
Department of Health and Ageing: 1800 020 613
National Diabetes Services Scheme
To receive help from this scheme you must be an Australian resident who has been diagnosed with diabetes by a doctor or Credentialed Diabetes Educator (CDE) and have a current Australian Medicare card or a DVA file number. If you register with this scheme you can receive a range of Australian Government approved products at a reduced price.
National Diabetes Services Scheme: 1300 136 588
To be eligible for this concession you must be an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident who is over 21 years of age and be one of the following: a PCC holder, a DVA Gold Card holder, DVA White Card holder where the card is issued specifically for hearing reasons or a dependant of a person in one of these categories or a member of the Australian Defence Force.
The Office of Hearing Services provides vouchers which allow you to get hearing assessments and devices from hearing service providers of your choice. This includes the cost of fitting the device.
Office of Hearing Services: 1800 500 726 or TTY 1800 500 496
All PCC holders and DVA Gold Card holders are eligible to receive free ambulance transport in an emergency. You can also get free ambulance travel if it is recommended by your doctor.
Ambulance Victoria: (03) 9840 3500
PCC holders, DVA Gold Card and White Card holders are eligible to receive free eye examinations and low cost glasses. This is also available for children under the age of 16 if they are listed on your concession card.
If you live in Melbourne and need an eye examination, you should contact the Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital. If you live in Melbourne and need glasses, you should contact the Victorian College of Optometry. Rural residents should contact the Victorian Eye Care Service for both examinations and glasses.
PCC holders need to have held their concession card for at least 6 months to be eligible for low cost glasses through the Victorian Eye Care Service.
Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital: (03) 9929 8666
Victorian College of Optometry: (03) 9349 7455
Victorian Eye Care Service: (03) 9349 7434
Dental Health Services Victoria provides emergency and general dental care for PCC holders. This care is provided through public dental clinics in community health centres, rural hospitals and the Royal Dental Hospital Melbourne. Waiting lists apply for general dental care. Emergency relief of pain is generally available within 24 hours.
A flat-fee of $25 is payable at each visit. The most you will need to pay for a general course of care is $100.
Dental Health Services Victoria: 1300 360 054
Transport concessions are available for PCC holders, War Widow/War Veteran Victorian Public Transport Concession (VPTC) Card holders, War Veterans Travel Pass holders and EDA/TPI War Veteran Travel Pass holders. To be eligible for the War Widow/War Veteran VPTC Card you must be either a War Widow(er) living in Victoria, who has a DVA Gold Card embossed ‘War Widow(er)’ as a result of their partner’s war service/peacekeeping service overseas or a Veteran living in Victoria, who has undertaken war service/peacekeeping service overseas and has a DVA Gold or White Card.
You are not eligible for this card if you already have a Victorian Seniors Card, a Victorian Health Care Card, an Australian PCC, a Victorian public transport free travel pass or any other concession card valid for concession fares on public transport in Victoria.
Concessions may not apply to CountryLink, Great Southern Railway, airport services, tourist railways, privately run bus services and chartered trains, trams and buses. Please check with the relevant operator before booking or travelling.
Metlink Central Pass Office: (03) 9619 1159 or (03) 9619 1650
Multi-Purpose Taxi Program
To be eligible to receive the concession fare for the Multi Purpose Taxi Program you must live in Victoria and have a severe and permanent disability and have a disability that means you can't use public transport by yourself.
To become a member you also need to use a wheelchair all the time or hold a PCC or DVA Gold Card be able to show you have financial hardship by providing financial information.
The Multi Purpose Taxi Program gives members half price taxi fares. It pays up to $60 per trip and has a cap of $2180 per year.
Members are given a Multipurpose Taxi Program card that they have to show when they first get into a taxi. The cards cost $16.50 and are valid for six years.
Travel can be for any reason. The Multi Purpose Taxi Program does not cover trips that are covered by insurance or any other funding.
Victorian members can get the same discount interstate for a limited number of taxi trips.
Victorian Taxi Directorate: 133 677 Toll free: 1800 638 802
PCC holders are eligible to receive discounts from Australia Post for re-directing mail for PCC holders who change their address.
Australia Post will also deliver some items that aid the sight impaired free of charge, or at a discounted rate, for PCC holders.
Australia Post: 131 318
Telstra offer a number of concessions to PCC holders, including a discount on new telephone service connection fee and a reduction in your home line plan costs.
Telstra: 132 200
Water, Sewerage & Storm Water Rebates
PCC holders and DVA Gold Card holders can receive a 50% discount off water and sewerage charges up to an annual maximum. The annual maximum concession is increased each year in line with inflation. To claim this concession, show your concession card when you pay the bill, or contact your water supplier to register to have concessions automatically deducted from your bill.
The concession can be claimed directly from your water supplier – check your water account for details of who to contact.
This concession helps with the costs of buying non-mains water for properties not connected to reticulated or mains water for PCC holders and DVA Gold Card holders. This includes buying carted water for rainwater tanks, or buying water via a billing agent or water cooperative. The concession does not apply if you buy the water for commercial purposes.
Up to 3 rebates can be claimed each financial year. The rebate is indexed each year in line with inflation.
Contact the Concessions Unit at the Victorian Department of Human Services on 1800 658 521 to apply for this concession.
A 50% discount off council rates up to a maximum amount is available for PCC holders, War Widow’s pension recipients and veterans receiving disability pension at the TPI rate. The maximum amount is increased each year in line with inflation.
Application forms are available from your local council. Once completed, the concession will be automatically deducted from the rates notice.
PCC holders and DVA Gold Card holders may receive reduced stamp duty charges when buying a new home to live in. No stamp duty will be charged if the new home is worth $330,000.or less. A partial discount is given for properties worth over $330,000 but under $750,000.
Application forms are available from the Victorian State Revenue Office.
Annual Electricity Concession
PCC holders and DVA Gold Card holders receive a 17.5% discount off electricity bills all year round.
The concession is provided by all electricity retailers and eligible cardholders will automatically have the Annual Electricity Concession deducted from their bill.
Non-Mains Energy Concession
PCC holders and DVA Gold Card holders receive an annual rebate for people who use LPG for domestic heating or cooking, or are individually metered for electricity but who pay a caravan park or accommodation proprietor or use an alternate fuel such as diesel, petrol or heating oil as their main domestic energy source.
Off Peak Energy Concession
This concession gives a 13% discount on the off-peak tariff rates on all quarterly electricity bills to PCC holders and DVA Gold Card holders.
Present your card when paying your account or contact your electricity supplier.
Electricity transfer fee waiver
This concession means you do not have to pay the fee that is normally charged when there is a change of occupancy at a property. It is available for PCC holders and DVA Gold Card holders.
Contact your electricity retailer to apply.
Medical Cooling Concession
PCC holders and DVA Gold Card holders can receive a 35% discount off electricity costs from 1 November to 30 April each year. The concession is available for cardholders with medical conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, motor neurone disease, scleroderma and lupus. There are around ninety medical conditions that qualify for this concession. For details of these conditions please contact the Concessions Unit at the Victorian Department of Human Services on 1800 658 521.
Application forms are available from your electricity retailer, MS Society Office or by contacting the Concessions Unit at the Victorian Department of Human Services on 1800 658 521.
Life Support Electricity Concession
PCC holders and DVA Gold Card holders can receive a quarterly rebate on electricity bills. The rebate is available to cardholders if they, or a member of their household, uses a life supporting machine. This includes oxygen concentrators and haemodialysis machines.
Application forms are available from the hospital supplying the life support machine, the electricity retailer or by contacting the Concessions Unit at the Victorian Department of Human Services on 1800 658 521.
Motor Vehicle Registration Fee concession
PCC and Gold Card holders can receive a 50% reduction on the motor vehicle registration fee part of the registration bill. Either the cardholder or their partner must be the registered driver of the vehicle. There is a limit of one vehicle per concession card.
Totally and Permanently Incapacitated (TPI), Extreme Disablement Adjustment (EDA) and General Rate veterans receive a 100% reduction on the Motor Vehicle Registration Fee and a 50% reduction on the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) charge.
VicRoads: 131 171
Motor Vehicle duty (stamp duty) concession
Eligible veterans and MRCA clients do not have to pay motor vehicle duty (stamp duty) when they buy a new or second hand motor vehicle. There is a limit of one vehicle per concession card.
VicRoads: 131 171
Transport Accident Commission (TAC) insurance charge Concession
PCC holders, DVA Gold Card holders, Veterans receiving disability pension at the TPI rate and Veterans receiving disability pension at the EDA rate are eligible to receive a 50% reduction of the TAC charge component of the registration bill. There is a limit of one vehicle per concession card.
VicRoads: 131 171
Motor Vehicle GST exemption
Once every 2 years or 40,000 km, eligible veterans are entitled to GST exemption on the purchase of a new car. GST exemption is also available on spare parts necessary for the running of a motor car.
Australian Taxation Office: 132 861
Recreational Fishing Licences
This concessions means PCC holders and Veterans receiving disability pension at the TPI rate do not need to purchase a fishing licence. It does not apply to inland amateur netting licences. Contact the Victorian Department of Primary Industries to apply.
Victorian Department of Primary Industries: 136 186
Concessions are available to PCC holders on cat and dog registrations. The concession varies between councils. Contact your local council to apply.