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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 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
  • 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.

GP medical report form for discretionary medical card application (PDF, 97KB, 2 pages)

Page last reviewed: 20 January 2023