Concessions and Benefits for People With Cystic Fibrosis


These are concessions and benefits offered by Centrelink and other organisations.
For a list of CFQ support services, including the Physical Activities Subsidy click here.

Centrelink Essential Medical Equipment Payment

An electricity concession for people with a Health Care Card. Parents of children with cystic fibrosis who do not have a Health Care Card themselves are also eligible to claim this payment, as children who have a Health Care Card are eligible. You will receive $152 per year for each item of essential medical equipment you use. Check the eligible items list to see what you can claim: nebulisers, an enteral feeding pump, an oxygen concentrator and a BiPap machine are on the list. You can also receive a payment of $152 for medical cooling and heating as CF is considered a rare disorder of sweating. Claim through Centrelink Online Services or in person at a Centrelink Office. You will need your GP or specialist to complete the medical form. If you move house, you need to reclaim but you may be able to use your original medical form if nothing has changed.

Click here for the list of eligible equipment.
Access the Essential Medical Equipment Payment medical form by clicking here.

Queensland Government Medical Cooling and Heating Concession

An electricity concession for people with a Health Care Card who need cooling or heating for medical reasons and have an air conditioner. Parents of children who have a Health Care Card are eligible to claim this payment. Your name doesn’t need to be on the energy bill but you must be able to demonstrate that you contribute. You will receive $82.50 once every three months. Payments are made on a cycle where everyone gets paid at the same time, so it may be several months before you receive your first payment. The payment will be backdated to the date of claim. The claim form is online. Ask your specialist to complete the medical part of the form. If you move house, you can email the Department your new address and confirm that you have air conditioning in your new residence.

For more information click here.

Queensland Government Electricity and Gas Rebates

If you have a Health Care Card, you can receive an additional electricity concession by contacting your electricity retailer. It works out to about $330 per year and is taken directly off your bill. This used to be only for pensioners but the rules were changed in April 2017.
For people with a Pensioner Concession Card there is also a gas rebate of $70 per year.

For more information click here.

PBS Safety Net

The PBS Safety Net threshold is currently $1,494.90 per calendar year for general patients and $378 for concession card holders. Once you reach the safety net threshold, ask your pharmacist for a Safety Net card which will reduce the cost of medications to $6.30 per item for general patients and no cost for concession card holders. Couples and families with dependent children can combine their expenditure to meet the threshold sooner. If you go to more than one pharmacy, you can ask them for a record of your expenditure so you can combine the amounts.

For more information click here.

Queensland Health Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme

If you are a Queensland resident and need to travel more than 50 km to access a specialist health service, your local hospital will subsidise your travel. Patients who live in Mackay and further north can have their flights booked for them by their local hospital. For patients living closer to Brisbane than Mackay, ground transport will be subsidised. Application must be made before travelling so approval can be obtained. If claiming for the first time, we recommend visiting your local hospital Patient Travel Office to discuss how to claim. Explain that you or your child has CF, it is a lifelong condition and let them know how often you will be travelling. This will make it easier for them to correctly advise you how to claim. If you have difficulties, contact your hospital Social Worker or CFQ.

For more information and forms click here.

New South Wales Health Transport for Health (IPTAAS)

If you are a New South Wales resident and live more than 100 km from your specialist service, New South Wales Health will subsidise your travel. Ask your local doctor to complete a referral form when claiming the first time.

For more information and forms click here.

Queensland Government Get Started Vouchers

$150 per year is available for children aged 5 to 17 with a Health Care Card. The next round is open until September 27.

Use the club locator to find eligible clubs in your area.
For more information click here.

Variety Smile Medical Support Program Grant

Variety New South Wales administers a national Smile Program and Queenslanders are eligible. You can apply for a grant of $1,000 to assist with health care related costs for your child, including nebulisers, therapy, child care services, parking, tolls and petrol. If approved, the grant may be claimed by sending in receipts for reimbursement, or for more expensive items the supplier may be paid directly. A letter of support is needed. Email services@cfqld.org.au to request a letter of support.

For more information click here.
For the application form click here.

In Home Care

In Home Child Care may be available to families unable to access existing child care services. Provided by registered care providers, In Home Care attracts Child Care Rebate covering 50 per cent of out of pocket costs to a maximum of $7,500 per year. Contact providers directly if you are interested in accessing In Home Care for your child with cystic fibrosis or for their siblings when you have medical appointments for your child with CF.

For more information click here.

Chronic Disease Management Plan for Allied Health Services

A Medicare rebate is available for a maximum of five services per patient each calendar year. It includes physiotherapy and psychology services. There will be a gap to pay depending on how much the provider charges. Ask your GP if you would like to access this program.

For more information click here.

Better Access to Mental Health Care Program

A Medicare rebate for psychology services - 6 sessions per calendar year plus another 4 if you need them. You access these through your GP - book a long consultation so they can complete the assessment and referral forms. There will probably be a gap to pay depending on how much the psychologist charges. This program is available to anyone with mental health concerns including children, parents of children with CF, and adults with CF.

For more information click here.

Child Dental Benefits Schedule

Provides up to $1000 of basic dental services to children aged between 2 and 17 years for families receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A or some other Centrelink payments.

For more information click here.

Centrelink Child Disability Assistance Payment

A payment of $1,000 is made each July if you receive Carer Allowance to care for a child with cystic fibrosis.For more information click here.

Centrelink Carer Allowance and ex Carer Allowance Health Care Card

As cystic fibrosis is on Centrelink’s List of Recognised Disabilities, parents of all children with cystic fibrosis should be receiving Carer Allowance, a payment of $123.50 Per fortnight. This payment is not income tested. The criteria for Carer Allowance (caring for an adult) are very different and it is unlikely you will continue to receive Carer Allowance after your child turns 16. However, your child will be able to continue to have a Health Care Card as long as they are a full time student up to the age of 25.

Carer allowance information can be found here. Ex carer allowance (child) health care card information can be found here.

Centrelink Carer Payment

Carer Payment is a subsistence payment similar to the Age Pension and Disability Support Pension. If your child needs a lot of care and your family income is low, you may be eligible for full or part Carer Payment.

For more information click here.

Centrelink Carer Supplement

A bonus payment of $600 is paid each July for people receiving Carer Allowance. If you also receive Carer Payment, you receive a second $600 bonus.

For more information click here.

Centrelink Carer Adjustment Payment

This is a one off payment which families newly diagnosed with CF can apply for if their child is under 7 and they apply within two years of the diagnosis. To be your income needs to have been affected by the diagnosis. Families receiving full income support payments from Centrelink such as Carer Payment are not eligible.

Click here for more information.

Ronald McDonald Family Retreats

Six holiday retreats throughout Australia are available for families of children with a serious illness.

For more information click here.


Wish Granting Organisations 

Starlight Children's Foundation

Starlight's Wish Granting program is available to children and  teens dealing with long term, chronic health conditions.  Starlight Wishes come in all shapes and sizes, including travel wishes, hero wishes, experience wishes, and gift wishes. Referrals need to be made by a health professional.

To find out more about the Wish Granting Program visit  https://starlight.org.au/starlight-wish  and a  Family Relationship Coordinator will contact you.

Make a Wish Foundation

Children between the ages of three and 18 with a life threatening medical condition are eligible to receive a wish. Children are welcome to fill out the form themselves, however it must be signed by a parent or legal guardian. Visit https://www.makeawish.org.au/wishes/apply-wish

The Orange Pigeon - The Bucket List Foundation for seriously ill adults

Special wishes and comfort for seriously ill adults are provided by Orange Pigeon. Recipients can be nominated by anyone, including themselves. Visit http://www.orangepigeon.org.au/eligibility 


Disability Payments and Services

Centrelink Disability Support Pension

The Disability Support Pension is a subsistence payment for people unable to work more than 15 hours per week. Ask your doctor’s advice before applying.

For more information on the Centrelink Disability Support Pension click here.

Centrelink Mobility Allowance

For people with a significant mobility impairment, Mobility Allowance provides a small payment and a Health Care Card and is not means tested. You need to be working or studying for at least 32 hours every four weeks.. Talk to your doctor before applying.

For more information on Mobility Allowance click here.

Queensland Government Electricity Life Support Concession

If you have a Health Care Card, you can receive $173 per quarter towards the cost of operating a home oxygen concentrator. When your oxygen concentrator is supplied by the Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme, the forms to claim the concession are provided.

Click here for more information.

Queensland Government Companion Card

You may be eligible for a Companion Card if you need significant assistance to participate in community activities. When the person with a disability pays for entry, the card may provide free entry for the carer if the venue participates in the program.

Click here for more information.

Australian Disability Parking Permit

Disability Parking Permits are for people whose ability to walk is severely is restricted by a medical condition and can't safely walk from a car park to the entrance of a shopping centre. You would need to be on portable oxygen or approaching transplant listing to qualify for this.

For more information on Australia Disability Parking Permits click here.

Queensland Government Taxi Subsidy Scheme

To be eligible for half price taxi vouchers, you need to have a severe mobility impairment and be unable to walk 50 metres without stopping. You can apply for this when you are approaching listing for transplant.

For more information on the Taxi Subsidy Scheme click here.

Australian Government Continence Aids Payment Scheme

Assistance with the cost of continence aids if you have permanent and severe loss of bladder or bowel function.

For more information click here.

Queensland Government Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme Continence Aids Assistance Scheme

Further assistance with continence aids.

For more information click here.

Community care services

If you need help at home, you may be able to receive subsidised community support services such as cleaning, meal services, personal care and home maintenance. There is a small contribution requested for accessing these services.

If you are under 65 or an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person aged under 50, contact Community Care Access Point on 1800 600 300.

For more information click here.


Assistance for a Temporary Financial Crisis

Queensland Government Home Energy Assistance Scheme

Assistance with your energy bill if you have had an unforeseen crisis and have a concession card or low income.

For more information click here.

The Walter and Eliza Hall Trust

A one time only grant of up to $1,000 to assist with essential needs during an unexpected crisis. Applications must be made through a social worker. Contact CFQ to discuss your situation and obtain a letter of support. A detailed list of all of your income and expenses is required on the application form.

For more information click here.