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Discretionary medical cards

You may not qualify for a medical card based on the means test. But if you have medical expenses, you may qualify for a discretionary medical card.

A discretionary medical card gives you the same services as a means-tested medical card.

The cyber attack on our IT systems has caused some disruption to our services. It is not possible to register online at the moment.

The discretionary medical card assessment process

The application process is the same for a means-tested medical card. But you can also provide information about your family's medical expenses.

These include:

  • attending your GP
  • medications or appliances
  • hospital treatment

Medical expenses

Include evidence of medical expenses in your application.

Medical expenses include:

  • copies of receipts for prescribed medicines
  • copies of receipts or bills from your GP, consultant or other healthcare professional
  • copies of hospital bills for inpatient stays or attendance at the emergency department
  • evidence of purchase or renting healthcare appliances. For example, a CPAP machine or independent living equipment

Medical officers and deciding officers will then assess your application.

How long cards are issued for

Discretionary medical cards are issued for a specific time frame. The time frame will depend on your circumstances.

Include a medical report

Include a medical report if you want to be assessed for a discretionary medical card.

We might write to ask you for a medical report if you have included medical bills in your application.

The medical report can include information from:

  • GP
  • Hospital consultant
  • Public health nurse
  • Social worker
  • Therapist
  • You, your carer or family members

Below is a standard medical report template form your GP can fill in.

page last reviewed: 19/08/2019
next review due: 19/08/2022