From essential services to entertainment, there are a whole host of disability discounts that can help ease the cost of living for people living with disability.
The reality for many people living with disability is an elevated cost of living. From specialised equipment to personalised care, the unique needs of people living with disability can have a negative impact on the purse.
Of course, there are Government support payments for people living with disability. And the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). But did you know there are a whole string of discounts and concessions available, too? Once you start to dig, it might be surprising what you find.
Don’t worry – we have done some of the digging for you on ways you or a loved one might be able to save. Obviously not all apply to everyone living with disability. And this list is in no way exhaustive, but if you are eligible for even one disability discount it could make a decent difference to your bank account.
Vehicle and mobility equipment related disability discounts
Buying a new car can be expensive for people living with disability. Especially when that car must be modified according to a unique set of needs. The cost of wheelchair ramps, disability converted cars, or wheelchair accessible vehicles can be eye-watering. But vehicle and transport disability discounts are fairly easy to come by, and can help you save some cash.
Most states offer significant vehicle and parking concessions for people living with disability who hold a Pension Concession Card (PCC). Some areas you can save are:
- Car insurance. Blue Badge Insurance knows people living with disabilities are safer drivers. That’s why we discount our comprehensive car insurance premiums by up to 25% for Disability Parking Permit Users. We also offer insurance for converted cars, wheelchair accessible vehicles and mobility equipment such as wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
- Vehicle registration. This may be discounted heavily. For instance, this program in South Australia providing 50% off car rego.
- Stamp duty. Depending on what state you live in, you might be eligible for a disability discount on stamp duty. Or it may be waived altogether. Click here for NSW and here for Victoria.
- GST exemptions. This covers purchasing or leasing a new car and also includes some car parts. See if you are eligible here.
- Luxury car tax exemption. Oftentimes, cars that are modified for people living with disability fit into the ‘luxury car’ category. You may be exempt from paying luxury car tax. If you are looking to modify a vehicle, be sure to read our article on whether your car will be safe after modifications.
- Accessible parking. Access to disabled-friendly parking is available in every state via the Australian Disability Parking Scheme.
- Hospital parking. NSW residents with a Disability Parking Permit can benefit from concession parking rates at public hospitals with disability hospital parking.
Disability discounts on travel expenses
If you’re less into driving and more into public transport, you may be eligible for some solid disability discounts. After all, trains, buses, and planes can be expensive!
- Public transport concessions. Every state in Australia has a program that offers discounted or free access to public transport for people living with disability. Click here to find out the specifics for your state.
- Taxi subsidies. Discounted taxi fares are available to mobility equipment users throughout Australia. The subsidy varies from state to state, so click here for the full lowdown.
- Qantas Carer Concession Card. Air travel is back on the cards after COVID lockdowns. For travel within Australia, Qantas customers needing to travel with a carer may be eligible for reduced fares for both themselves and their carer.
- Greyhound Australia. People with disabilities travelling on Greyhound buses qualify for a discounted fare for their carer or support worker.
Oh, and check out our guide to travelling with a disability and travelling with a wheelchair or mobility scooter. There are some useful trips which could make it easier to navigate public transport. Easier AND cheaper? Win!
Disability discounts at home
Home life for many people living with disability comes with a unique set of challenges. From home modifications to grocery delivery, everyday life can get expensive.
But there are disability discounts available to help ease the financial strain at home. Here are some of the best ones:
- Medical equipment running costs. Most Australian states offer electricity subsidies to people needing to run medical equipment in their homes. Click here for more information.
- Phone discounts. Telstra offers discounts on phone connection, home and mobile phone plans for people with a valid health care card.
- Council rates. Some states offer concessions on rates, including South Australia and the Northern Territory.
- Electricity and water. Eligible people may find discounts with these too. Explore what your state offers here.
- Grocery delivery. Priority for home delivered groceries for NDIS participants was established during COVID-19. The delivery fee may be claimable under the NDIS.
- Meal delivery. Home meal delivery services are subsidised under the NDIS for eligible participants. The cost of meal preparation and delivery is covered, with only the cost of ingredients remaining to be paid. This may be as little at $1.50 per main meal. There are numerous major meal delivery companies that are registered NDIS providers. Accessing the NDIS can be a minefield, but is worth the hassle.
- Postage costs. Australia Post offers a discount on stamps, mail re-directing service and the delivery of approved items for vision impaired people.
- Appliance replacement offer. This NSW Government scheme enables people with concession cards to replace older, inefficient fridges and TVs on the cheap. Those who are eligible can save 40% on a new fridge and 50% on a new TV. Click here for more info.
As you can see, disability discounts at home are significant. Joining the NDIS is a great first step.
We all want to save some cash when it comes to tax return time. However, there are additional costs of living for people with disabilities, as we’ve mentioned above. So being able to save on tax makes a huge difference.
Your entitlements could include:
- Tax-free income. Most Government pensions and payments are tax-free for people living with disability. Find out more here.
- Tax offsets. There are a number of tax subsidies that can reduce the amount of tax payable on your taxable income to zero.
Training and education discounts
Do you or a loved one living with disability want to upskill yourself? They say knowledge is power, after all. Good news! There are disability discounts available here too.
If you’re looking to further your education, do some training, or get more qualifications, here are some of the discounts people with disability may be entitled to:
- Pensioner Education Supplement. People who would like to study (or currently are) and receive a pension payment might be eligible for a pensioner education supplement. This payment can help cover some of the costs associated with your study, like books and equipment. You can learn more here.
- Free or discounted training courses. In some states, Pension Concession Card holders may be eligible for free or discounted education and training at TAFE and other Registered Training Organisations.
Discounts for carers
Simply put, carer access is often synonymous with disability access. And because carers are often so integral to helping people with disability grow their independence, it’s important they’re able to access things at disability discount rates too. Or at least at good rates! Otherwise, you’d have to pay double for everything. Once for the carer, and once for the person living with disability.
Here are just three of the ways disability discounts can help carers reduce costs:
- National Companion Card Scheme. Under this scheme, participating vendors give eligible carers free or heavily discounted access to events and venues. This includes sporting matches, fitness facilities, cinemas, culture and performing arts, museums and more.
- Carer Business Discount Card. This Queensland scheme provides disability carers with discounts on a range of goods and services at participating businesses.
- Tax offsets for disability carers. Carers may be able to reduce the amount of tax payable on their taxable income via the carer’s tax offset.
So there you have it. As we mentioned, these disability discounts aren’t exhaustive. There are likely many others locally. And even nationally.
But it’s a good start, and demonstrates there are plenty of ways to save that you simply may not have known about. Whether it’s your electricity bill, your car rego, or your education, these disability discounts can help to lighten the load.
And again, we discount our comprehensive car insurance premiums by up to 25% for Disability Parking Permit Users. We also offer well-priced insurance for converted cars, wheelchair accessible vehicles and mobility equipment such as wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
Time to get a quote?