Victorian Eyecare Service

The Victorian Eyecare Service (VES) is a State Government program providing low-cost eye care and visual aids (glasses, contact lenses) to people experiencing disadvantage or other barriers to eye care services. Together with the Department of Health, we work to ensure VES is available to those who need it.

The service provides:

  • Subsidised eye care services
  • Low-cost glasses or contact lenses
  • Victorian Aboriginal Spectacles Subsidy Scheme (VASSS)

In Melbourne, VES is available exclusively through the ACO’s fixed clinics.

For regional and rural services across Victoria, we coordinate with private optometry and ophthalmology clinics to ensure access is available throughout the state. While VES is not available in all rural locations, all VES eligible Victorians can access metropolitan services provided by the ACO.

About VES

Unlike some other subsidy schemes, the VES is not means tested. You are eligible for subsidised glasses if you are a permanent resident of Victoria and:

  • you hold a Pensioner Concession Card in your own name, or
  • you hold a Health Care Card in your own name or are listed on the Health Care Card as a dependent, or
  • you hold a Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) Gold Card in your own name.

Click below to find out whether your card is eligible.

Services are available in metropolitan Melbourne through the ACO’s network of clinics if you live in one of the following postcodes:

  • 3000 – 3115
  • 3121 – 3136
  • 3121 – 3136
  • 3247 – 3430
  • 3775
  • 3800 – 3806
  • 3644

The ACO partners with a number of reputable private optometry practices who will be able to assist you. The cost of your consultation is normally bulk billed under Medicare and subsidised glasses will be available under the VES.

Contact your local VES optometrist to make an appointment and remember to let the practice know you want to access the VES. Take your Pensioner or Health Card, along with your Medicare card, with you to the Appointment. After your appointment, the optometrist will submit your VES application for subsidised glasses.

Check the directory to find your nearest VES optometrist.

  1. VES benefits are only available to eligible patients
  2. VES benefits are available only if glasses or a change of glasses is assessed by your optometrist as clinically necessary
  3. There is a limit on the number of glasses you can receive under the VES. In a two year period you can receive one pair of reading glasses plus one pair of distance glasses, OR one pair of progressive or bifocal glasses.
  4. Tints and photochromatic glass lenses are only available under the VES where there is a clear clinical need, determined by your optometrist
  5. Photochromatic plastic lenses are not available under the VES
  6. In most cases, ultra-violet and anti-reflective are not subsidised under the VES, unless your optometrist considers this as clinically necessary
  7. If you wish to use your current glasses frame it must be of assessed by your optometrist as being of suitable condition and quality to be used with new lenses
  8. Lenses cannot be fitted to rimless or nylon rim frames under the VES
  9. If you lose or break your VES glasses within two years, these can be replaced or repaired. A surcharge will charged to you. Please note that this is limited to one replacement every two years

Victorian Aboriginal Spectacles Subsidy Scheme

The Victorian Aboriginal Spectacles Subsidy Scheme (VASSS) is administered by the Australian College of Optometry in partnership with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and a network of optometrists across Victoria.


You can choose from a range of metal and plastic frames approved by community Elders.  Depending on your prescription, single vision lenses for long distance and/or reading, bifocals or multi-focal lenses are available.

Please note: transition lenses and spare pairs are available at extra cost (ask your optometrist for details)

Just ask your:

  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHO)
  • Aboriginal Health Worker
  • Participating optometrists
  • Diabetes worker

Or call us on (03) 9349 7400

VASSS is available at all ACO clinic locations. Find your local clinic below.

The ACO partners with a number of reputable private optometry practices who will be able to assist you.

Check the directory to find your nearest VASSS optometrist.

Rural VES enquiries

If you would like further information about the VES in rural Victoria please contact us: