About Companion Card
What is the Companion Card?
Companion Card is a not-for-profit program, funded by the NSW Government and managed by National Disability Services.
The card itself is the size of a credit card, with the name and a photo of the holder — who is the person with disability. When the holder buys a ticket for themselves at selected venues and facilities around NSW, their companion will get free entry.
What is a companion?
A companion can be a partner, family member, friend, volunteer or paid carer.
Who is the Companion Card for?
To be eligible for a NSW Companion Card, the applicant must:
- Be a permanent resident of Australia, residing in NSW
- Demonstrate that they have a significant, permanent disability
- Demonstrate that, due to the impact of the disability, they would be unable to participate at most community activities without attendant care support
- Demonstrate that the need for this level of attendant care will be life-long.
Attendant care includes significant assistance with mobility, communication, self-care or planning and problem solving where the use of aids, equipment or alternative strategies does not enable the person to carry out tasks independently. Attendant care does not include providing reassurance or encouragement nor can it be for infrequent or unexpected events or medical emergencies.
The Companion Card cannot be issued to people who only require attendant care for social support, reassurance, encouragement or just-in-case-type of scenarios.
The Companion Card is not issued to every person who has a disability. The card is issued to people who can demonstrate that they would not be able to participate at most venues and activities without a companion, and that this need is life-long. A Companion Card cannot be issued if the applicant may become independent in the future as a result of treatment or management, training, recovery or developmental improvements. A Companion Card can only be issued when an ongoing need for a companion can be demonstrated.
FAIR TICKETING FOR PEOPLE WHO REQUIRE A CARER
The Companion Card is a NSW Government initiative. The Companion Card is issued to people who have a significant, lifelong disability and will require attendant care for the rest of their life. The Companion Card allows a person’s carer free entry into participating venues and events, promoting the rights of people with disability to fair ticketing and making community access more affordable. Companion Cards are not means tested and those assessed as eligible have the card for life.
Why did the Companion Card scheme start?
It is unfair and discriminatory for people with significant disability, who cannot manage on their own away from home, to have to pay twice whenever they go somewhere — once for themselves, and once for their companion (their partner, friend, carer or family member).
A person with disability has the same right to participate in the community as a person with no disability. This right is protected under section 4a of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 and section 8 of the Commonwealth's Disability Discrimination Act 1992.
That's why the NSW Government started the Companion Card scheme in 2009.
Where can I use the Companion Card?
Businesses, venues and facilities that accept the Companion Card are called affiliates. There are many affiliates across NSW and around Australia — all types of places and attractions, from zoos to theme parks, sports stadiums to buses, trains and ferries. You can find the full list of NSW affiliates on the internet at www.nswcompanioncard.org.au
Or check the national website, http://www.companioncard.gov.au , for interstate affiliates.
How do I use the Companion Card?
You or your companion show your Companion Card when you're booking or buying tickets from an affiliate. If you're booking on the phone, be sure to tell the operator you have a Companion Card before you pay. You will then be given a second ticket for your carer or companion at no charge. (If you've booked on the phone, you'll need to show your card once you get to the venue.)