GlassesSA helps South Australians obtain low-cost glasses or, for those with serious eye conditions, no-cost contact lenses.

About the program


If you are eligible for glasses, the maximum you will pay for a complete pair of standard glasses from a participating optometrist is:

  • glasses with single vision lenses - $25
  • glasses with single vision grind lenses - $30
  • glasses with bi-focal lenses - $50
  • glasses with multi-focal lenses - $100.

Optometrists will offer a selection of basic frames and standard single vision, single vision grind, bi-focal, or multi-focal lenses, for you to choose from.

GlassesSA will meet the co-payment for Aboriginal customers for standard glasses.

Thinner lenses (prescription requirements apply)

You may qualify for thinner lenses that fit the basic GlassesSA frames. Glasses with thinner lenses may incur a higher cost than standard glasses. GlassesSA will contribute $50 in additional costs for thinner lenses in basic frames. Any further cost will be at the customer’s expense. Costs may vary according to lens type, and between participating optometrists.

Optional children’s frame upgrades

Children (aged under 18 years at the time of approval) may choose to upgrade to frames outside the GlassesSA basic range. GlassesSA will contribute an additional $50 towards the cost of other frames. Any further cost will be at the customer’s expense. Available frames and prices may vary between participating optometrists.

Optional frame and lens upgrades

You can choose treatments, services or upgrades that are additional to the basic frames and lenses (anti-reflective lens coating, lens tinting, or higher cost frames) at your own expense. Availability and prices may vary between participating optometrists.

Optional use of own frames

You can use your own frames and receive only lenses through GlassesSA. The GlassesSA contribution remains as per the fee schedule for the relevant prescribed item. Any other costs will be at the customer’s expense.

How often can I get glasses?

If you are eligible for glasses, you are entitled to one new pair every three years or when clinically necessary.

Contact lenses

If you are prescribed contact lenses under GlassesSA, your lenses will be at no cost to you. Optometrists or ophthalmologists (eye specialists) cannot offer to upgrade to more expensive contact lenses, nor can the benefit under GlassesSA be used as a discount against other contact lenses, products or services.

How often can I get contact lenses?

If you are eligible for contact lenses, you are entitled to them as often as they are certified as being clinically necessary by the optometrist or ophthalmologist for one of the prescribed eye conditions.

Eligibility for glasses

Standard glasses

You must:

  • live permanently in South Australia


  • receive one of the following maximum rate Centrelink payments:
    • Carer Payment
    • Aged Pension
    • Disability Support Pension
    • JobSeeker Payment
    • Parenting Payment (single or partnered)


  • receive a maximum rate pension from the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA)


  • be under the age of 18 years and are the dependant of a person receiving an eligible payment.

Thinner lenses

You must:

  • meet eligibility criteria for standard glasses
  • have a lens prescription level of +5.00 or -5.00 with up to -2.50 cylinder, but with a combined power of +/-5.00.

People not eligible for glasses

These payments and cards do not entitle you to glasses under GlassesSA:

  • Centrelink Carer Allowance
  • DVA pensioners who are eligible for the DVA optical scheme
  • DVA Gold Card holders.

Eligibility for contact lenses

You must:

  • live permanently in South Australia
  • hold one of these cards:
    • Pensioner Concession Card
    • Health Care Card or be a person who is listed on a Health Care Card as a qualified dependant
  • have been diagnosed with one of the following prescribed medical conditions:
    • unilateral or bilateral aphakia
    • keratoconus, post corneal graft and corneal trauma
    • corneal pathology requiring therapeutic soft lens
    • aniridia and iris coloboma
    • ametropia (myopia or hypermetropia) of +/- 6 dioptres or more
    • anisometropia of 4 dioptres or more
    • requiring disposable lenses for use as bandage lenses or in such cases only where the use of conventional lenses may not be appropriate
    • other pathology that an optometrist or ophthalmologist certifies necessitates the prescription of contact lenses.
  • have contact lenses that have been prescribed by:
    • Flinders Medical Centre
    • the Women's and Children's Hospital
    • the Royal Adelaide Hospital
    • a country optometrist (an optometrist whose business address has a postcode greater than 5200 - your residential address must also have a postcode greater than 5200).

How to apply

Apply through a participating optometrist or ophthalmologist (eye specialist).

Glasses or contact lenses can only be provided by an optometrist or ophthalmologist who is authorised under the program, or a member of their staff.


Show your Centrelink or DVA card to the optometrist or a member of their staff.

Contact lenses

Show your Pensioner Concession Card or Health Care Card to the optometrist or ophthalmologist, or a member of their staff.




GlassesSA -  1300 762 577 during business hours

Interpreting and translating

To arrange an onsite or telephone interpreter, or to have a document translated, call the Interpreting and Translating Centre (ITC) on 1800 280 203

Related information

On this site

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Alternative version of documents

Many documents are displayed as PDF files. If you have problems accessing documents in the PDF format, you can request a copy to be made available in an alternative format.

Email or phone 1300 762 577 during business hours.

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Page last updated 29 June 2020

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