National Disability Insurance Scheme
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) enables eligible people with a disability, their families and carers to design, plan and implement their own supports and services. It includes relationship-based support, local decision-making and early engagement in good planning processes. See more at: ndis.gov.au
Disability Support Pension (Blind)
The Disability Support Pension (Blind) is a payment issued by Centrelink to men aged 16 to 65 years and women aged 16 to 60 – 65 years (depending on birthdate) who are legally blind. This pension is free of income and asset testing and is not taxable. In some circumstances pensioners who are vision impaired continue to receive this payment beyond 65 years of age. See more at: humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/disability-support-pension
Age Pension (Blind)
The Age Pension (Blind) is a payment issued by Centrelink to men and women of pensionable age who are legally blind. This pension is free of income and asset testing, but may be subject to taxation. See more at: humanservices.gov.au/customer/subjects/payments-older-australians
Carer Payment and Carer Allowance
Carer Payment and Carer Allowance payments are made by Centrelink to people who provide a high level of personal care and supervision. These payments may be made to carers of both adults and children. See more at: humanservices.gov.au/customer/subjects/payments-carers
Adaptive Equipment Assistance
Grants for the purchase of equipment for use by people who are blind or vision impaired may be obtained through a variety of organisations. Assistance may be provided for the purchase of equipment to improve an individual’s independence such as:
- Video magnification systems
- Text to speech scanning systems
- Specialised computer access software and hardware
- Braille-related technologies.
Contact your local vision support service for further information.
Pensioner Education Supplement
This fortnightly Centrelink supplement helps students, who are already receiving a Centrelink payment, with additional ongoing study costs. To be eligible, a person must be enrolled in an approved secondary or tertiary course, and undertaking at least 25% of the course’s normal full time study load. A lump sum Education Entry payment is also provided upon commencement of an approved course. See more at: humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/pensioner-education-supplement
Disability Employment Services help people with disability find work and keep a job. Through Disability Employment Services, people with disability, injury or health condition may be able to receive assistance to prepare for, find and keep a job. Providers are a mix of large, medium and small, for-profit and not-for-profit organisations that are experienced in supporting people with disability as well as providing assistance to employers to put in place practices that support the employee in the workplace. See more at: jobaccess.gov.au
Travel and Transport
The Mobility Allowance is a payment issued by Centrelink to people over 16 years of age, who spend at least eight hours per week in employment (paid or voluntary), vocational training, secondary education or job seeking and who cannot use public transport without substantial assistance. See more at: humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/mobility-allowance
A Travel Pass may be issued by the State/Territory public transport authority or by a vision assistance service on behalf of the authority. A Travel Pass entitles the person, and his or her guide, to travel freely on metropolitan buses, trains, trams and ferries. Some free country and discounted interstate and international travel may be included.
The Companion Card can be issued to people with a significant and permanent disability who require attendant care support from a companion to assist them on public transport and/or to access community activities and venues. Cardholders present their Companion Card on transport or at an affiliated venue or event that charges an admission fee. Affiliated organisations and businesses will admit the cardholder’s companion at no charge.
The Companion Card is issued in each State or Territory and whilst able to be used when travelling interstate, it must be issued in the home state of the applicant.
For details of each state or territory companion card refer to: companioncard.gov.au
Airlines can offer a wide range of services to help customers who are blind or vision impaired. This can include help with booking, assistance checking in, boarding, during the flight and once you reach your destination. Check with your airline or the airport for further information.