Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Companion Card

14 Sep 2014For years I have been needing to get myself a Companion Card as my carer can get in at a cheaper price or for free when I go to the movies, the tennis or man other events.

Most times the attendants at venues see that I am in a wheelchair and that I do have a carer with me and they give me the discount, however, some places demand that I show proof by showing them my Companion Card which I think is rather frustrating.

In order to get a Companion Card many hoop have to be jumped and that is why it has taken me so long to get one. I downloaded the form about 18 months ago and I have even tried to throw it out a couple of times only to have my husband retrieve it from the recycling bin and placing it back on my desk.

Finally I decided to bite the bullet and do what I had to do to get the form filled in and sent which was quite an ordeal.

My husband asked what the issue was with filling in the form, etc., and sending it? At the end of the process he understood my frustration.

Firstly, I could not fill in the form myself as it only came in .pdf format. I overcame that by having my husband fill it in for me.

Secondly, I had to send two passport photos along with the application. When I went to get my photo taken at the Post Office I was sitting too low in my chair and so I had to sit up very straight and try to stay still. The Post Office give you six photos at a cheaper price than a camera shop who charge more and only give you four photos. The lady at the Post Office wanted to send me to the camera shop but I insisted on persevering at the Post Office and we finally got a decent shot.

Thirdly, I had to go and get the form filled in by my GP who only treats me for colds and common everyday ailments. Finally we got the form filled in satisfactorily by the GP and the photos signed but not without feeling like I had to prove I again need a carer when attend some events.

The application for my Companion Card has been accepted and Ive got my card - YAY!

If you want to get a Companion Card, go to: http://www.companioncard.gov.au/ to find out more.





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Previous Comments

Marie Vonow from Gawler posted on 14 Oct 2014
I am a carer for my sister who has cerebral palsy and uses a manual wheelchair to get around. My sister needs someone with her whenever she goes out. Like you Kelly, I have had the application form sitting around for a couple of years. It is not a five minute job to fill out the application form.At last I have filled it out and had the necessary parts completed by an authorised medical person. We were fortunate enough to get the passport pics taken at a shop where there was no problem about height. I have posted the application form and trust I will soon receive a Companion Card in the post. I know that some people who need a companion to help with their needs on outings may not look like they have a disability and so there is the need for some people to have a card as proof. However, there are other people who obviously need assistance. It is frustrating in those situations to have to jump through hoops to get 'proof' of the obvious. I guess it would be seen as unfair to have a different set of rules for these people.

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