The Companion Card Program enables people with disability who require life-long attendant care support from a companion to participate at most venues and activities to do so without incurring the cost of a second ticket for their companion.
The program aims to support greater social inclusion for people with a disability and their carers and provides businesses with a practical way to meet some of their obligations under anti-discrimination legislation. The ACT Companion Card Program was commenced in 2009 and is recognised nationally in all States and Territories.
What is a Companion Card?
The Companion Card is a credit-card sized photo ID card issued to people with a significant disability who require attendant care support from a companion to participate at venues that have signed on as a participating Business Affiliate. Cardholders present their Companion Card when booking or purchasing a ticket from a participating Business Affiliate. The Business Affiliate will recognise the Companion Card and issue the cardholder with a second ticket for their companion at no charge.
A Companion Card is issued in the name of the person who has the disability. There is no income, asset tests or fees associated with the application process.
The ACT Companion Card Program is an ACT Government initiative administered by the Community Services Directorate (CSD) in partnership with Access Canberra, under a licensed agreement with the Victorian Government.
Who is eligible for an ACT Companion Card?
To be eligible for a Companion Card in the ACT, an applicant must demonstrate that they meet all four of the eligibility criteria prior to a Companion Card being issued. The presence of any disability alone does not entitle an individual to a Companion Card.
Criteria 1 - Applicants must be a permanent resident of Australia, residing in the ACT;
Criteria 2 - Applicants must demonstrate that they have a significant, permanent disability;
Criteria 3 - Applicants must demonstrate that, due to the impact of the disability, they would be unable to participate at most community venues or activities without attendant care support; and
Criteria 4 - Applicants must demonstrate that the need for this level of attendant care will be life-long.
What is attendant care support?
Attendant care includes significant assistance with mobility, communication, self-care or planning and problem solving, where the use of aids, equipment or alternative strategies does not enable the person to carry out tasks independently. Attendant care does not include providing reassurance or encouragement nor can it be for infrequent or unexpected events or medical emergencies.
The Companion Card cannot be issued to people who only require attendant care for social support, reassurance, encouragement or just-in-case-type of scenarios.
The Companion Card is not issued to every person who has a disability. The card is issued to people who can demonstrate that they would not be able to participate at most venues and activities without a companion, and that this need is life-long. A Companion Card cannot be issued if the applicant may become independent in the future as a result of treatment or management, training, recovery or developmental improvements. A Companion Card can only be issued when an ongoing need for a companion can be demonstrated.
How to apply for a card
Applicants should complete the cardholder application form. Detailed information about the eligibility criteria and the application process is provided in the cardholder handbook.
Further information, handbooks and application forms are available from: ACT Companion Card Program
Access Canberra Phone: (02) 6205 4333
National Relay Service: 133 677
© Australian Capital Territory 2016.
© State of Victoria, Australia. Reproduced with permission of the Department of Health & Human Services. Unauthorised reproduction and other uses comprised in the copyright are prohibited without permission.
The Companion Card® is a registered trade mark owned by the State of Victoria.
The ACT Companion Card Program is an initiative of the ACT Government through the Community Services Directorate in partnership with Access Canberra.