Dental Costs on JobSeeker: Discover How to Save

Jobseekers guide to dental costs dental aware

If you have a Centrelink allowance, such as JobSeeker, you may want to know if it is possible to reduce costs for your dental work.

So, what are dental costs when on the JobSeeker allowance?

If you get the JobSeeker allowance, you will also have a Concession Card. This card allows you to go to the Dental Hospital, where you can get your dental work done, either partially or completely for free.

Today I will provide you with information about if and when you are able to minimise the cost of your dental treatments, such as;

  • Dental costs on a low income.
  • Dental costs for those on maternity leave.
  • How to lower dental costs.
  • Help to reduce dental costs when on a low income.
  • Is there government assistance with dental assistance.
  • Can anyone get assistance?
  • Does Medicare help at all?

Dental Costs on Low Income

If you have a low income, you can get the cost of your dental work performed absolutely free.

All you need is a Concession Card, which you will get from Centrelink if you are on JobSeeker, or similar.

The Concession Card means that you are allowed to attend any Dental Hospital.

Any treatment that is performed at a Dental Hospital, whether it is done by a student, a Dentist, or a specialist, is done so at no charge to you.

For exactly how to use your concession card at a Dental Hospital, see the sub-heading “How to Lower Dental Costs”.

Dental Costs for Those on Maternity Leave

Unfortunately, no.

There is no discount available for people on maternity leave – you will be required to pay full price for all of your dental treatments.

How to Lower Dental Costs

Generally, if you are on JobSeeker, JobKeeper, or any other Centrelink allowance, you can apply for and (most likely) receive a concession card.

You can then take this concession card to any Dental Hospital, where you will receive all of your dental work one hundred per cent free.

The only time that this may not work is if;

  • In the length of time, it takes you to move up the waiting list at the Dental Hospital, you may no longer be receiving your Centrelink payment.
  • If you are no longer getting an allowance from Centrelink (such as JobSeeker), you will not be able to use your concession card.
  • If your concession card is not authorised, you are no longer entitled to free treatment at the Dental Hospital.

So, whether you get into the hospital in the time that you remain on Jobseeker or similar, as the waiting list is so long, is the only potential pitfall.

Feel free to view our blog on Cheap Dentistry for more information on the Dental Hospital, including all other pros and cons, and how to find one close to you.

Help to Reduce Dental Costs When on Low Income

A private dental practice will not give you a discount for being on JobSeeker.

There are, however, several other ways that you can reduce the cost of dental work if you earn a low income.

I will list these for you below.

Visit Your Dentist Every Six Months

By simply going to your regular six-monthly check-ups at your dental clinic, you are reducing the risk of any oral issues arising, such as;

Oral diseases

If you do not treat tooth decay or periodontitis (gum disease), this can cause further problems, including;

  • Ulcers in your mouth.
  • Oral cancer.
  • Impacted or misaligned teeth.
  • Painful wounds to your mouth and teeth.
  • Difficulties with chewing or talking.
  • Feeling uncomfortable in social situations.
  • Toothaches.
  • Restrictions to your diet – That is, avoidance of certain foods, as they will cause sensitivities to your teeth.

As they say, prevention is better than cure.

This is very much the case when it comes to attending these appointments – you are saving yourself from many future costly and painful oral health problems.

Visit a Dental Hospital

If you earn a low income, you may have a concession card, provided by Centrelink.

This means that you are allowed to get your work done for free at the Dental Hospital.

For exactly how you can find a Dental Hospital in your area, you can view our blog on Cheap Dentistry.

Visit a Community Clinic

As well as the Dental Hospital, there is also another clinic that is free – these are known as Community Clinics.

These are also for those who cannot afford dental work or dental insurance.

To see if you are eligible to attend, and to find one in your region, you can visit The Department of Health’s website.

Is There Government Assistance with Dental Costs

Basically, as mentioned, the only form of Government assistance comes in the form of a concession card.

This concession card allows you access to the Dental Hospital, where you can get your dental procedures performed for free.

Though, if you have a child, they may be entitled to free Government-funded dental treatment.

There is what is known as the Child Dental Schedule Benefits (CDBS).

For your child to be suited to be given any of the benefits of the CDBS, they must be;

  • Aged between two (2) and seventeen (17) for at least one (1) day of the calendar year.
  • Entitled to Medicare.
  • Receiving a payment from the Australian Government, OR
  • Have a parent receiving a payment from the Australian Government, for at least one (1) day of the calendar year.

So, you, as their parent, must also meet specific income tests and residence rules.

You can check if they are eligible, and find out how to claim, at the Australian Government Services Australia website.

The benefits of CDBS include that your child can receive up to $1000 of dental work over two-years, either in a public or private clinic.

The CBDS will not cover cosmetic treatments but will allow for dental work that protects your child’s oral health and prevents any oral diseases from occurring.

If you live in Victoria, the Government also has a free dental care plan available for your child, known as the Smile Squad.

This enables all children in public schools in Victoria to get their teeth checked for free every year, with their parents’ permission.

Children will also get any follow-up treatments for free that are required.

Can You Get Assistance for All Types of Dental Treatment?

Simply put – yes.

All types of dental treatments can be provided at the Dental Hospital if you are on JobSeeker.

Though a lot of work at the Dental Hospital is done by students who are learning their job, they also have experienced Dentists’ and specialists.

So, there is a possibility for all procedures to be performed, as there is a different range of skillsets that will provide treatment.

The only downside is that you do not get to choose what procedure you receive.

As all Dental Hospitals are funded by the Australian Government, the treatment they will provide at the time all depends on the money they have available.

Can Anyone Get Assistance?

No, not just anyone and everyone are allowed to get treatment at the Dental Hospital.

You must have a concession card from Centrelink – this is what permits you to get treatment.

Those who have a concession card might include the following people;

  • On JobSeeker.
  • On JobKeeper.
  • With a Health Care Card, or
  • With a Pensioner Concession Card.

There are many different types of concession and health care cards that Centrelink offers people who meet certain eligibility criteria.

I will list all concession and health care cards below;

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

Ex-Carer Allowance (Child) Health Care Card

Foster Child Health Care Card

Health Care Card

Low Income Health Care Card

Pensioner Concession Card

It is important to check with Centrelink to see if you are eligible

If you are looking for a free online tool to search for possible payments and services on offer, you can head to Centrelink’s Payment and Service Finder.

Does Medicare Help at All

The assistance provided by Medicare is limited. They will only cover certain dental treatment – those that they consider essential.

For adults, this is just for dental x-rays.

You will also find that they will only cover the cost of these sometimes, not others.

X-rays have gained a bad name over the years, so if you want to learn more about them, you can read our post about if it is Necessary to Take a Dental X-Ray.


The JobSeeker payment is financial assistance provided by the Australian Government.

You may be eligible if you are;

  • Aged between twenty-two (22) – sixty-six (66).
  • Looking for a job OR
  • Sick or injured, leaving you unable to do your regular work or study for a brief period of time.

If you would like to know more about the JobSeeker allowance, visit the Australian Governments website.

With the JobSeeker allowance comes a concession card, which allows you free treatment at the Dental Hospital.

It is worth noting that with any publicly funded dental care, such as the Dental Hospital, you can be on the waiting list for a huge length of time.

This means that either;

  • Your dental issues could potentially worsen whilst you wait, or
  • You may no longer be on the JobSeeker allowance. This means you will not have a concession card, so are no longer entitled to free treatment.

I hope this post helps you to find a solution to your dental care while on Job Seeker.

Keep safe and look after yourself.

Andrew Adams

By Andrew Adams

Created at October 29, 2020, Updated at June 30, 2021


  • Avatar

    Alison Muirhead11 months ago

    If a town does not have a dental hospital, is it possible to use any dentist in that town?

    • Avatar

      Dental Aware Team5 months ago

      Hi Alison, So sorry for the late response! We hope you have found a way to get treatment but to answer your question, dentists in your local area will most like charge for their services, unless you have private health insurance, which can cover certain treatments. Best to call around and ask. In terms of a Dental Hospital, please call your local health service to see if you qualify to access these services. Hope this helps and take care!