Understanding Companion Cards: What They Are and How to Obtain One

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 Understanding Companion Cards: What They Are and How to Obtain One!

Understanding Companion Cards: What They Are and How to Obtain One!

07 April 2024 – Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

A Companion Card allows those with permanent disabilities to bring a companion along to events and venues without the extra cost.  It’s a key that unlocks a world of social activities, fostering a sense of independence and belonging in the community!

What is a Companion Card?  

Have you ever come across the Companion Card? It’s a fantastic initiative by the government designed to support individuals with disabilities. This program enables them to bring along a companion—be it a family member, friend, or a disability support worker—to various participating venues and events free of charge for the companion.

What’s exciting is that the list of participating places is continuously expanding. From movie theaters and rock-climbing centers to iconic locations like theme parks and cultural hubs, the options are diverse.

The Companion Card is recognized nationwide, though you need to apply within your state. The application process is fairly straightforward, typically taking about 4-6 weeks to complete. Here’s a simplified guide on how to obtain your Companion Card.

Eligibility Check 

Securing your Companion Card beings with confirming your eligibility and understanding the application process. It’s free to apply, and there is no age restriction which means that anyone with a permanent disability can benefit.

To apply for a Companion Card in Queensland you must first check that you meet the criteria:

  • Australian citizenship or residency in the state of application
  • A significant and permanent disability
  • The need for high-level support during social activities
  • A lifelong requirement for care

Keep in mind that NDIS eligibility doesn’t automatically translate to meeting the criteria for a Companion Card. It’s a separate assessment.

Application Form 

The next step is to obtain the application form.  We’ve included the form for Queensland in the links below.

Complete the Form

When it’s time to fill out the form, begin by completing and signing Section 1 of the application.  You may receive assistance from anyone during this process.

Then you will need to acquire two colour passport style photographs of yourself, taken against a plain background.

Health Professional or Service Provider verification

Once you’ve completed Section 1, take the form to your health professional or service provider to complete Section 2.

They will need to:

  • Verify your details.
  • Provide a written statement confirming your lifelong need for significant attendant care support.
  • Sign the back of your photos (follow the instructions on the Companion Card Application Form).

Submission Options 

When it’s time to submit your completed form, you have two options: in-person submission or via mail.  For in-person submissions, Queensland Government Services Centres (QGSC) are at your service in Brisbane, Cairns, and Maroochydore.

Alternatively, if mailing is your preferred method, send your signed application form and photographs to:

  • Companion Card Smart Service Queensland
  • PO Box 10817, Brisbane Adelaide Street QLD 4000

What Happens After You Submit Your Application! 

Be aware that processing can take up to six weeks.  Oh. and if you’re declined, don’t despair.  The letter with your decision will often include directions for appeal, giving you the chance to clarify information or provide additional evidence.

Remember to review your state’s renewal process, typically required every five years, ensuring uninterrupted access to your favourite venues.

Exploring Participating Venues! 

With your Companion Card in hand, a world of opportunities awaits.  Discover the growing list of participating venues where you can now enjoy stress-free access with your trusted companion by your side.

Here’s a few key places that accept a companion card:

  1. Movie Theatres: Hoyts and Event Cinemas
  2. Bowling Arcades: Zone Bowling
  3. Theme Parks: Movie World, Sea World and Wet’n’Wild
  4. Arts and Cultural Centres: HOTA (Home of the Arts)
  5. Transport: TransLink accepts the Companion Card in south-east Queensland.

Let’s recap! 

Opting to apply for a Companion Card today is an excellent decision.  It unlocks access to a wide range of venues, events, and activities for you and your companion.  The Companion Card is designed to foster inclusion, offer financial relief, and ensure equal participation.  Don’t hesitate to begin the application process – it’s a move towards deepening meaningful connections within the community.  A world of experiences awaits, just one ticket away.