Life support concession

Are you a concession card holder using a life support machine at home? If yes, you could be eligible for concessions on your electricity and water bills.

What does this concession apply to?

Mains domestic electricity accounts.

Mains water accounts (for haemodialysis machines only).

Who can apply for the concession?

An electricity or water account holder who:

  • Holds an eligible concession card (Pensioner Concession Card, Health Care Card, Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card) and
  • Uses an eligible life support machine or
  • Has a household member who uses an eligible life support machine.

What machines are eligible for the concession?

Approved machines are those that use at least 1,880 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. Machines already approved are:

  • Intermittent peritoneal dialysis machines (electricity)
  • Oxygen concentrators (electricity)
  • Haemodialysis machines (electricity and water).

Applications for other machines must be approved by the department.

Most continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) machines do not meet the 1,880 kilowatt hour threshold.

How much is the concession?

The electricity discount is the cost of 1,880 kilowatt hours (470 kilowatt hours per quarter) of electricity each year, calculated using the general domestic tariff of your retailer.

The water discount for haemodialysis users is the cost of 168 kilolitres (42 kilolitres per quarter) of water each year.

How do I apply for the concession?

For an application form phone:

  • Your electricity retailer or water corporation or
  • The hospital supplying the life support machine or
  • The Concessions information line 1800 658 521 (toll free).

The application form needs to be completed and signed by your doctor, nurse or hospital social worker confirming your use of a life support machine. Once completed, send the form to your electricity retailer and/or water corporation.

Your electricity retailer and/or water corporation will check your concession card details with Centrelink and apply the concession to your bill.

More information

Phone your electricity retailer or the Concessions information line.

  • Can my GP or usual doctor sign this form?

    Yes.

    The form can be signed by any doctor or nurse who can confirm that you are using the life support machine, or by a hospital social worker who assists with your life support machine.

  • My life support machine is not eligible for concession – do I need to complete this form?

    Even if you are not eligible for a concession, you can complete this form to let your electricity or water retailer know that a life support machine is used at your address.

    Your retailer will register your address as a life support equipment supply address. This is to ensure that you are given advance notice of any works in your area that may affect your electricity supply and are re-connected promptly after any outage.

  • My machine is not listed – is it eligible for a concession?

    Eligible machines are those that use a high level of electricity - at least 1,880 kilowatt hours of electricity annually.

    If you believe that your machine uses this much electricity, you can ask the department to consider your application. Send your application to the department, along with details of the electricity consumption of your machine, such as a copy of the specifications page in the manual.

  • I do not have a concession card but I use a life support machine – can I apply for the concession?

    No.

    The concession is only available for concession households.

  • Can the concession be backdated?

    Yes. The concession can be applied from the date of installation or for 12 months, whichever is shorter.

    If your concession card starts at a later date, the concession is only available from the card start date.

  • How is the concession calculated?

    The electricity concession is equal to the cost of 1,880 kilowatt hours of electricity annually.

    The water concession (for haemodialysis users) is equal to the cost of 168 kilolitres of water annually.

    Check with your retailers for details of how they will apply this. Some retailers will pay this as a quarterly lump sum and others will pay this as a daily discount.

  • Are there any other payments that can assist me?

    Yes. The Essential Medical Equipment Payment is an annual payment provided by Centrelink for Australians with higher than average energy costs because they rely on essential medical equipment in their home.

    This additional support is available to concession card holders (and their carers) who use essential medical equipment or who medically require heating/cooling at home to manage a disability or medical condition.

    For more information and to apply, see the Essential Medical Equipment Payment page on the Federal Government's Department of Human Services website .