More than 140,000 primary carers in Victoria play a critical role supporting others in the community, including people with a disability or mental illness, children in foster care, and an increasing number of frail aged.
The purpose of the Carer Card Program is to recognise the incredible unpaid work that carers do in our community.
The card will provide carers with:
- a wide range of discounts and benefits on offer from businesses, the local government and community organisations
- free travel on public transport on a Sunday plus two return off-peak travel vouchers each year.
To be eligible for a Carer Card you must be a resident of Victoria and either:
- the primary carer of a person with a disability, severe medical condition or mental illness, or someone who is frail aged or in need of palliative care
- a foster, kinship or respite carer.
Professional carers that receive a wage for providing care are not eligible.
When applying for a Carer Card you must complete an application form and establish your eligibility by either:
- providing your Centrelink Customer Reference Number (CRN) or your Department of Human Services Vendor Number if you receive a carer payment or allowance
- having a medical professional verify your eligibility.
Applications may take four to six weeks to process.
Carer Cards are valid for either one or five years depending on the situation.
The Carer Card program is not the Companion Card. The Companion Card is issued to a person who is unable to access a venue or event without attendant care.
The Carer Card is issued to the carer to recognise and reward the selfless hard work that they perform to improve the lives of others. Carers can use the card independently of the person under their care.
In most cases, the card will only be issued to the carer who is the main provider of care, support and assistance.
However, there are occasions when the needs of a person requiring care must be shared by more than one person. This may mean than even though two people are sharing the role, if this is the case, eligibility can be confirmed by a health professional.
A primary carer provides substantial support and assistance to someone in need of care at least several times per week with activities such as:
- personal care
- household tasks
- mobility and transport
- making and attending appointments
- monitoring medication
- emotional support
A kinship carer is responsible for the care and well-being of a child or young person if they are unable to live with their own parents.
Kinship carers are usually relatives, but may also be someone who has a significant relationship with the child, such as a friend of the family, or a neighbour.
Eligible Victorian residents who are carers are eligible for free travel on Saturday and Sunday on metropolitan trains, trams and bus services (Zones 1 + 2) and on regional bus services within the Ballarat Transit System; Bendigo Transit System; Geelong Transit System; and town bus services of Mildura, Moe, Morwell, Traralgon and Warrnambool.
From 1 July 2019 Carers who travel on a full fare Carers card will be entitled to travel on a Concessions card/fare. This will give half price public transport on weekdays and travel free during carers week, in addition to the free travel in two consecutive zones on weekends that carers are currently entitled to. Passengers who currently travel on Full Fare Carers Card can collect a Concession Carers card at any staffed ticketing window.
Please contact Public Transport Victoria on 1800 800 007 (6am - midnight daily) to check your eligibility for a myki coded with free Saturday and Sunday travel or visit the Public Transport Victoria website.
All eligible Victorian residents who are cardholders will be sent two Victorian off-peak free travel vouchers each year, generally these are posted in late December for use in the next calender year.
Please Note - Lost vouchers will not be replaced.
All cardholders, regardless of age, are entitled to use the two return travel vouchers received with their Carer Card for off-peak travel anywhere within Victoria.