Victorian Eyecare Service

For over 35 years the ACO has worked with the Victorian State Government to ensure that Victorians in need have access to affordable eye care. The Victorian Eyecare Service (VES) allows eligible Victorians to receive subsidised glasses, contact lenses and visual aids. During this time over two 2 million Victorians experiencing disadvantage have benefited from the service.

Am I eligible for subsidised glasses?

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 (for more than 6 months) (this condition has been waived until 31 December 2020) 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.

Where can I access the service?

Services are available in metropolitan Melbourne through the ACO’s network of clinics. In rural Victoria, we work with private practitioners who can assist you to get access to subsidised glasses or contact lenses.

What is the fine print?

  • VES benefits are only available to eligible patients
  • VES benefits are available only if glasses or a change of glasses is assessed by your optometrist as clinically necessary
  • 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.
  • Tints and photochromatic glass lenses are only available under the VES where there is a clear clinical need, determined by your optometrist
  • Photochromatic plastic lenses are not available under the VES
  • In most cases, ultra-violet and anti-reflective are not subsidised under the VES, unless your optometrist considers this as clinically necessary
  • 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
  • Lenses cannot be fitted to rimless or nylon rim frames under the VES
  • 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

$10 glasses are available for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Victoria, through the Victorian Aboriginal Spectacles Subsidy Scheme (otherwise known as VASSS).

You do not need a Pensioner Concession Card or Health Care Card to get $10 glasses under this program.

What does it cover:

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)

How do I get $10 glasses

Just ask your:

  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHO)
  • Aboriginal Health Worker
  • Participating optometrist
  • Diabetes worker
  • Or call us on 9349 7400

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.