- Cancer Information
- Practical concerns
- Cancer and your finances
- Reducing debts and expenses
- Travel costs
Having cancer treatment can mean a lot of travel to and from your medical appointments. There are several ways to save on travel costs.
Learn more about:
- Making a patient transport claim
- Using your Pensioner Concession Card
- Checking if you’re eligible for the Mobility Allowance
- Asking about parking concessions
Make a patient transport claim
People who need to travel away from home for treatment may have extra expenses. There is financial help available for transport and accommodation costs.
Every state and territory has a government scheme that provides financial help to people who need to travel long distances for specialist medical treatment that is not available in their local area. Many schemes also assist with the cost of accommodation.
The eligibility rules are different for each state and territory. In general, you must be a permanent resident of the relevant state or territory and need to travel a significant distance to the closest available specialist treatment.
Most patient transport assistance schemes are subsidy schemes – they pay a part of your travel and accommodation costs, but you need to pay the rest. Usually, you will need to pay the upfront costs in full and get reimbursement later. If you have a pension or health care card, you may be able to apply for assistance before you spend the money.
If you meet the eligibility criteria, you and your doctor will need to complete a form. You may also need to provide original tax receipts and medical certificates to support your application.
In NSW, the scheme is called the Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS). Visit the IPTAAS website for the eligibility criteria and to register. For help, call 1800 IPTAAS (1800 478 227).
Use your Pensioner Concession Card
If you receive certain payments from Centrelink, you will automatically receive a Pensioner Concession Card. This may mean you can get lower fares or free travel on public transport and discounted car registration. Carry your card with you and ask for the concession fare when you use public transport. When renewing your car registration, claim the concession rate if you are eligible.
Check if you’re eligible for the Mobility Allowance
If you are receiving certain Centrelink payments and the cancer or its treatment means you cannot use public transport without a lot of assistance, you may be eligible for the Mobility Allowance.
This allowance only applies if you are travelling to work (paid or voluntary), study or training, or to look for work. It is a regular extra amount that is paid with your main Centrelink payment each fortnight.
Check if you are eligible for Mobility Allowance and submit an online claim. You can also call Centrelink on 132 717. You will need to provide a medical report from your doctor.
Ask about parking concessions
You need to pay for parking at many hospitals and treatment centres. Reduced parking fees are often available to help cover the cost of parking for people who are having ongoing cancer treatment, hold a pension card or are in financial hardship.
Talk to your treatment centre about whether they offer concessional parking rates and how to get them.
Podcast: Coping with a Cancer Diagnosis
Rania Tannous, Head of Legal, Corporate, Legal and Governance, AMP; Patricia Troll, Senior Legal Counsel, AMP Financial Services Legal, Legal and Governance, AMP; Lynette Brailey, Program Coordinator, Financial Assistance Service, Cancer Council NSW; Stephen Bray, Financial Planner, FM Financial, TAS; Angela Daly, Senior Social Worker, Cancer Services, The Adem Crosby Centre, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, QLD; Sandra Hodge, Consumer; Sandi Johnson, Consumer; Antony Mitchell, Financial Counsellor, Financial Counselling Program, Cancer Council VIC; Lucy Pollerd, Social Worker, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Heather Richards, Consumer; Deb Roffe, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA.
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