How to apply

To apply for the NSW Spectacles Program:

  • Make an appointment with an optometrist or optical dispense who provides the service. Download the current list of providers (PDF, 392KB)
  • Have your eyes examined. Most Program Providers are optometrists who can examine your eyes when you apply for the Program. When making your appointment, ask if you’ll need a new eye examination, and check whether your eye examination can be billed through Medicare
  • Obtain a Centrelink Income Statement (if receiving Centrelink benefits) or a recent payslip and bank statement (if earning a wage) and take it to your appointment.

At your appointment, your provider will use the information you have supplied to check your eligibility for the program and lodge your application, using Vision Australia’s online portal.

You will be asked to give verbal consent to the program’s terms and conditions (Word, 77KB). If your application is successful, your optometrist or optical dispenser will order your spectacles and let you know when they are ready to collect.

Participating providers will have a range of frames that they offer through the Program for you to choose from, while the government funds either single vision or bifocal lenses.

Optometrists may be able to supply other products such as multifocal lenses, transition coatings, or more expensive frames. However, as these products are not funded by the Program, they will attract a co-contribution cost. You should discuss any costs for products not funded by the Program with your provider before lodging an application.

If you are not eligible, your provider will provide you with the NSW Spectacles Program Ineligible outcome notification (Word, 87KB). If you wish to discuss this decision further please contact Vision Australia.

Who is eligible

Centrelink recipients

To be eligible for the NSW Spectacles Program, Centrelink Recipients must:
  • Be an Australian permanent resident and resident of NSW
  • Receive the maximum rate of a full benefit or pension (e.g. aged pension, disability support pension, newstart allowance etc.)
  • Receive no additional income aside from their Centrelink payment
  • Have cash/savings or assets less than $500 (if single) or $1000 (if married/partnered, or with dependents)
  • Be ineligible for any other spectacles subsidy schemes

Low Wage Earners

To be eligible for the Program as a low wage earner, an individual must:

  • Be an Australian permanent resident and resident of NSW
  • Earn less than the full Newstart Allowance (if under 65) or the full age pension (if over 65)
  • Have cash/savings or assets less than $500 (if single) or $1000 (if married/partnered, or with dependents)
  • Be ineligible for any other spectacles subsidy schemes

What information do I need to provide to apply?

Personal information

To make an application to the Program your optometrist or optical dispenser will ask you to provide personal details including your name, address, date of birth, gender, marital/de facto status, Medicare number and Pension type.

Centrelink Income Statement

If you receive a Centrelink benefit, you must provide a Centrelink Income Statement that is no more than 3 months old. The Centrelink Income Statement provides details of your income and assets. A Centrelink Income Statement can be requested by visiting a Centrelink office, using your Centrelink online account or via telephone, call 136 240.

Low income earners

If you are a low income earner, you must provide a Payslip to confirm your income and a bank statement to confirm your assets. Both of these documents must be no more than 3 months old.

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