NSW Spectacles Program - Subsidised glasses for Centrelink recipients
To be eligible a person must provide a Centrelink income statement that shows:
- They receive a full Centrelink pension or benefit
- They have no additional income (maintenance up to $427 annually is not considered additional income)
- They have savings/assets less than $500 (single) or $1000 (couples or parents/dependents). Household, personal items, car, boat or caravan are not assessed in these asset limits
Anyone can apply for the Program by making an appointment with a participating optometrist and taking along a copy of their Centrelink income statement (optometrists and sample statement are attached). The optometrist will perform an eye exam (usually bulk billed) and use the income statement to lodge a claim for subsidised glasses through our online portal.
The program funds single vision or bifocal glasses. This includes reading glasses or a standard pair of distance glasses.
The program unfortunately can’t fund multifocals, or transition coatings. However, an applicant can purchase these as extras if they choose. They can also purchase a more fashionable frame and still receive lenses at no cost, if they don’t like the frames offered through the program. Some applicants also choose to bring their own set of frames and have subsidised lenses fitted.
Vision Australia has been delivering this Program for just over three years, by partnering with optometrists throughout the state. What we’ve found in that time is:
- That women fleeing violence will sometimes have out-of-date or unresolved savings or assets on their income statements that are difficult to correct because of their circumstances.
- That people who are experiencing homelessness have some difficulty in accessing services related to vision correction and/or eye health due to their circumstances.
NSW Spectacles Program Team