Every little bit helps
Updated: Oct 9, 2020
Checking out concessions
It can be challenging understanding the plethora of government concessions and subsidies which are available as we get older. Despite good (and not so good) promotional campaigns and information directories, the full extent of what might be available can be well hidden – especially if you are not computer savvy.
Most people are familiar with the WA Seniors Card which provides discounts for local government and water rates; payment of an annual cost of living rebate and free off-peak metropolitan travel, amongst other things. However, there are many other benefits which are not so well known.
My aunt and uncle recently moved to the country. They were most grateful when I told them they should apply for a Country Age Pension Fuel Card, which provides eligible pensioners with up to $575 a year towards the cost of fuel and/or taxi travel. You don’t need to have a driver’s licence or car – you can use the card to purchase fuel for someone else to transport you. In fact, I would use my mother’s fuel card when I drove her to the city for medical appointments.
A stroke impacted my aunt’s mobility and ability to walk long distances. They had not previously considered a parking permit, but were pleased when I suggested they apply for an ACROD parking permit which enabled my aunt and uncle to park in the more convenient access bays. Permits are free, with eligibility based on having a severe walking restriction.
At the same time, I suggested that my aunt might be eligible for a Companion Card. This is available to someone with a significant and permanent disability which means they are not able to participate in community events or venues without a companion to assist them. Participating businesses and venues will issue a second entry for free to the card holder’s companion. Scheme participants include a wide range of cinemas, theatres, museums, parks and many other businesses. The next time my aunt is visiting Perth (utilising her Country Age Pension Fuel Card), I am looking forward to accompanying her to the movies as her companion (with any luck Little Women will still be showing) – and hopefully there will be a spare ACROD bay outside the cinema!
ConcessionsWA provides a helpful online resource on some of the concessions and subsidies available from the WA government.
Become a Live Well Longer member at www.livewelllonger.com.au to access further helpful practical information and free resources.