Spectacles Subsidy Scheme
Updated April 2016
What is it?
The Spectacles Subsidy Scheme provides eligible ACT residents with a subsidy of up to $200 once every two years.
Who is eligible?
Eligible people for the scheme must be residents of the ACT and hold a Pensioner Concession Card from either Centrelink or the Department of Veterans Affairs, or Healthcare Card which the holder has been entitled to for three months or more. Dependants of cardholders are also entitled to assistance under the Scheme if their name appears on the card.
How do I apply?
Application forms are available from any of the registered optometrists listed below under “Contact”.
Once the application form has been completed the provider will process the application in conjunction with the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate.
Who runs it?
Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate
Spectacles Scheme Administration
Ph: (02) 6207 7753 or (02) 6205 0534
Optometrists registered under the scheme
Provider Trading Name and Phone
- Andrew Watkins (02) 6247 7705
- Canberra Blind Society (02) 6247 4580
- Capital Eye (02) 6273 7458
- Curtin Optical Curtin Shopping Centre (02) 6281 1220
- Evans & McMahon City: (02) 6257 1103
- Evans & McMahon Tuggeranong (02) 6293 1171
- Eyecare on Q Queanbeyan (02) 6299 2020
- Focus Eyewear (02) 6295 6148
- Home Specs Scullin (02) 6278 4100
- Langley and Pino Eyecare - Westfield Belconnen (02) 6251 4441
- Langley and Pino Eyecare - City Walk (02) 6247 8448
- MacKinley Optical City (02) 6248 9100
- Matthew Arcidiacono Optometrists City (02) 6248 6130
- Matthew Arcidiacono Optometrists Woden (02) 6281 4817
- OPSM Canberra Centre (02) 6249 7344
- OPSM Cooleman Court Weston (02) 6288 0599
- OPSM Riverside Plaza, Queanbeyan (02) 6299 4411
- OPSM Tuggeranong Hyperdome (02) 6293 1444, (02) 6293 1133 or (02) 6293 3699
- OPSM Westfield Belconnen (02) 6251 8799, (02) 6251 9066 or (02) 6251 4245
- OPSM Woden Plaza (02) 6281 4817 or (02) 6282 1043
- Optorica Optometrist (02) 6288 3155, (02) 6288 4755, 17/41 Liardet Street, WESTON ACT 2611
- Peter Dodds Optometrist Erindale (02) 6296 3540
- Simpson optometry (02) 6162 0121
- Specsavers Canberra (02) 6262 9584
- Specsavers Tuggeranong (02) 6293 1590
- Specsavers Woden (02) 6281 1365
- Tony & Ross Hiew Dickson (02) 6247 9686
- Vision Australia (02) 6132 5804
- Vision City (02) 6249 7559
Frequently Asked Questions
ACT Concessions Program
Spectacles and Senior Spectacles Subsidy Schemes
What are the schemes?
The ACT Government administers various concessions under the ACT Concessions Program. The program aims to improve the affordability of essential services for residents of the ACT who are in need of assistance.
To promote optical health within the community the ACT Government provides two schemes: the Spectacles Subsidy Scheme and the Senior Spectacles Subsidy Scheme. These contribute to the achievement of the program’s aim by providing subsidised access to spectacles and contact lenses for pensioners, seniors and persons on low incomes.
What changes were made on 1 July 2014?
From 1 July 2014 the Spectacles Subsidy Scheme changed. The scheme now provides a concession of up to $200 per 24 month period on one transaction of spectacles and/or contact lenses. There are no longer any restrictions on the range of spectacles, the $22 co-payment has been abolished, and special consideration requests are no longer accepted. These changes provide more options to applicants, streamline the schemes’ administration, and entirely eliminate out-of-pocket expenses for those eligible applicants whose transaction value is $200 or less.
No changes were made to the Senior Spectacles Scheme. This scheme still provides a concession of up to $35 per transaction per 24 month period for those residents who hold an ACT Seniors Card.
What can I purchase?
The Spectacles Subsidy Scheme provides an eligible applicant a concession on the purchase of spectacles and contact lenses which have been prescribed by his or her optometrist.
The Senior Spectacles Subsidy Scheme provides a concession on the purchase of prescribed and non-prescribed spectacles and contact lenses. Unlike the Spectacles Subsidy Scheme, this scheme subsidises the purchase of sunglasses.
How much can I get?
The Spectacles Subsidy Scheme provides a concession of up to $200 on the purchase of prescribed spectacles and contact lenses made in one transaction per 24 month period. This single transaction can include more than one pair of spectacles and contact lenses. If the transaction’s value exceeds $200 you will be required to contribute the balance. For example, if you choose spectacles which are worth $250, the ACT Government will pay the first $200 and you must pay the remaining $50 to the optical provider. Alternatively, if you purchase, in a single transaction, a pair of spectacles and a pair of contact lenses with a total value of $320, the ACT Government will pay the first $200 and you must pay the balance of $120.
The Senior Spectacles Subsidy Scheme provides a concession of up to $35 per 24 month period on the purchase of prescribed and non-prescribed spectacles and contact lenses made in one transaction per 24 month period.
Am I eligible?
You are eligible for the Spectacles Subsidy Scheme if, and only if, you have not accessed the Spectacles Subsidy Scheme and Senior Spectacles Subsidy Scheme within the last 24 months; are a permanent resident of the ACT; and hold a Centrelink or Department of Veterans’ Affairs issued Pensioner Concession Card or Health Care Card, and have been entitled to the Health Care Card for a period of at least three calendar months. If you are a client of Companion House, this three month waiting period is waived.
You are eligible for the Senior Spectacles Subsidy Scheme if, and only if, you hold an ACT Seniors Card and have not accessed the Spectacles Subsidy Scheme and the Senior Spectacles Subsidy Scheme in the last 24 months. Please note that if you hold a Commonwealth Seniors Card, but do not hold an ACT Seniors Card you are ineligible for the Senior Spectacles Subsidy Scheme.
It is important to note that if you have accessed either scheme in the last 24 months you are ineligible for both schemes.
Can I access both schemes?
No, you are not permitted to access both schemes concurrently on a single transaction. It is important to note that when you access one scheme you become ineligible for both schemes for the following 24 month period.
How often can I access the schemes?
You can access either the Spectacles Subsidy Scheme or the Senior Spectacles Subsidy Scheme only once per 24 month period. If you have accessed either scheme within the last 24 months you are ineligible for both schemes until 24 months has passed.
Where can I access the schemes?
To administer the schemes, and to promote their accessibility, the ACT Government has partnered with numerous optical providers operating across the Canberra region. To find your closest optical provider please check the ACT Government’s assistance website at www.assistance.act.gov.au for a complete listing.
Where can I get more information on the schemes and the ACT Concessions Program?
For more information on the Spectacles Subsidy Scheme and the Senior Spectacles Subsidy Scheme, or for general information on the ACT Government’s Concessions Program, please visit the ACT Government’s assistance website at www.assistance.act.gov.au.