Essential Medical Equipment Payment

Helps with the additional cost of running essential medical equipment, medically required heating or cooling, or both.


You may be eligible for this payment if you or the person in your regular care at home:

  • are covered by a Commonwealth concession card issued by us or the Department of Veterans' Affairs
  • provide proof that the heating or cooling or specified equipment is medically required
  • are responsible, either wholly or partly, for meeting the energy costs associated with running the equipment


For medically required heating or cooling this proof has to be certification from a Medical Practitioner.

For specified equipment, this proof can be certification from a Medical Practitioner or evidence that the essential medical equipment currently qualifies for assistance under one of the state or territory government schemes, or the Department of Veterans' Affairs Rehabilitation Appliances Program.

You may need to prove that you, or the person you care for, contribute to the payment of the home energy account.

Payment rates

The Essential Medical Equipment Payment is an annual payment of $152 for people who have extra home energy costs from the use of essential medical equipment to manage their disability or medical condition. To get this payment, you must submit a claim.

Equipment and medical conditions that attract a payment


Only eligible equipment will attract an Essential Medical Equipment Payment.

Eligible equipment includes:

  • home dialysis machine
  • home ventilator
  • home respirator
  • home parenteral or enteral feeding device
  • oxygen concentrator
  • heart pump
  • suction pump
  • infant apnoea monitor - prescribed by a medical practitioner following apnoeic episodes
  • nebuliser - used daily
  • positive airways pressure device
  • phototherapy equipment
  • airbed vibrator
  • electric wheelchair
  • insulin pump

To be eligible, a form of energy, such as electricity, natural gas, liquid petroleum gas, diesel, heating oil, petrol or kerosene, must power the equipment. Non rechargeable batteries do not meet this requirement.

These items (except electric wheelchairs) currently attract subsidies under the various state and territory government life support equipment subsidy schemes.

If an item is not listed it will not attract an Essential Medical Equipment Payment.

Alternative names for essential medical equipment

Some essential medical equipment is known by alternative names.

Read more about alternative names for essential medical equipment.

Medical conditions

You may be eligible for the payment if you have a medical requirement for heating, cooling or both in the home to regulate body temperature because you have one or more of these specified medical conditions:

  • spinal cord injury at or above the T7 level
  • stroke
  • brain injury
  • a neurodegenerative disorder
  • the Muscular Dystrophies
  • full thickness burns covering more than 20% of your body surface area
  • rare disorders of sweating including congenital absence or mal-development of sweat glands
  • chronic erythrodermas

Residence requirements

If you or the person you care for meet all the requirements to get a qualifying concession card, you will also meet the residence requirements for the payment.

You must be in Australia to claim this payment. Payment is made annually and you must be in Australia on the anniversary date of payment each year.


You can apply for the Essential Medical Equipment Payment online.


Use your Centrelink online account through myGov to start a claim for the payment. Once you have completed your claim online, you can upload any supporting documentation through your Centrelink online account or bring the supporting documents requested on the claim form to a service centre within 14 days.

If you already have a Centrelink online account

You can log on to your Centrelink online account using your Customer Access Number (CAN) and password. Select Apply for a Payment then Make a Claim from the menu to start your claim.


If you do not have a Centrelink online account

If you have a Customer Reference Number (CRN), you can complete your registration now.

If you don't have a CRN, visit your nearest service centre to provide your identity documents, receive a CRN, and start using our online services.

Once you have registered you can use the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.


Read more about information you need to know about your claim.

Additional forms

You may need to complete the:

You do not need to reapply in future years unless your personal circumstances change.

To get this payment, you must be in Australia on the date you apply for the payment and on the anniversary of this date in the following years.

Dependent children cannot claim this payment.

Travelling outside Australia

The Essential Medical Equipment Payment cannot be paid outside Australia.

If you leave Australia to live in another country you will not be eligible for your next annual Essential Medical Equipment Payment.

When to tell us about your travel

You should tell us if you are leaving Australia and:

  • are going to live in another country, or
  • will not be in Australia on the anniversary of the date you applied for this payment.

Otherwise you do not need to tell us that you are leaving Australia. Australia’s immigration department will advise us when you leave Australia and when you return.

The easiest way to tell us about your travel plans is to use your Centrelink online account through myGov. You can get tailored information on how your payments and concession cards could be affected. You may need to phone us to discuss your circumstances further.

Read more about payments while outside Australia.

What to do if your account is overdrawn

There is support available to help you manage your money if you have overdrawn your bank, building society or credit union account.

Read more about what to do if your account is overdrawn.

Manage your money

Getting control of your money can be hard, but we’ve got some great advice and tools to help. Read more about budgeting, borrowing and credit, and managing debt, to help manage your money.

Page last updated: 21 April 2017