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 hip pocket.
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 it could make a decent difference to your bank account.
Vehicle and mobility equipment related 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.
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. As a specialist insurer for people living with disability, Blue Badge Insurance recognises its customers are safer drivers. That is 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, like this program in South Australia which provides 50% off car rego.
- Stamp duty. This may be discounted or waived altogether, depending on what state you live in. 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 safety considerations.
- Accessible parking. Access to disabled-friendly parking is available in every state via the Australian Disability Parking Scheme. Confused about the differences in disability parking permits? We get to the bottom of it here.
If public transport is more your speed, you may be eligible for some solid discounts.
- 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 may seem like a distant dream in these wacky COVID times, but hopefully it won’t be long until we’re back in the air. For travel within Australia, Qantas customers needing to travel with a carer may be eligible for reduced fares for both themselves and their carer.
Disability discounts at home
Home life for many people living with disability comes with a unique set of challenges – and costs. Here are some ways to help ease the financial load.
- 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 a range of 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. These too may be discounted for eligible people. Find out 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, just ask Google.
Confused about accessing the NDIS? Check out our starter’s guide here.
- 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.
With the added cost of living for people living with disability, tax savings can make a significant difference. You might be entitled to:
- 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
If you or a love one living with disability want to upskill, the good news is there are discounts to be had.
- 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. Here are just three of the ways carers of people with disability can save.
- National Companion Card Scheme. Under this scheme, eligible carers get free or heavily discounted access to events and venues at participating vendors. 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 – 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 so you can focus on what matters.