What is the Companion Card?
The Companion Card program is a not for profit program funded by the NSW Government.
A Companion Card is for people with significant and permanent disabilities that need a carer with them at all times to participate in community based activities and venues. It aims to promote the rights of people with disability to fair ticketing and make community access and participation more affordable.
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.
Companion Cards are not means tested and those assessed as eligible have the card for life.
Who is the Companion Card for?
To be eligible for a NSW Companion Card, the applicant must:
- Be an Australian citizen or resident, and live in NSW
- Have a significant and permanent disability
- Demonstrate that, due to the impact of their disability, they would be unable to participate at most community venues or activities without attendant care support
- Demonstrate that the use of aids and other technologies does not meet their attendant care support needs
- Demonstrate that their need for this level of attendant care will be life-long.
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.
What is attendant care support?
Attendant care includes significant assistance with mobility, communication, self-care or planning 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.
Who is a companion?
A companion can be a partner, family member, friend, volunteer or paid carer.
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. See a list of affiliates.
Or check the National Companion care website 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.
Companion Card Cardholders must comply with the Companion Card Cardholder terms and conditions at all times.