Priority Assist

What is Priority Assist?

Priority Assist is a service available to eligible customers who have their fixed home phone service with Telstra. Priority Assist is available to customers who have (or have someone living at their home who has) a diagnosed life-threatening medical condition, and whose life may be at risk if they don’t have access to a working phone service.

If a registered Priority Assist Customer reports a problem with their home phone line and doesn’t have another working phone service (either from us or another provider), we'll attend to the fault with the highest practicable level of service. For Priority Assist Customers who need a phone line connected at their address for the first time, we’ll connect their service as quickly as practicable.

Priority Assist is available to eligible residential customers who have their fixed phone service with Telstra or to Small Business customers who run their business from a residential address and are using a Telstra fixed phone service which is not provided through our Digital Office Technology range of plans. 

Priority Assist covers one home phone line only and doesn’t apply to internet services or mobile phones. There are no additional charges for registering for Priority Assist status.

Who is eligible?

Any Telstra customer who’s been diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition, or who is living with someone who has, is eligible for Priority Assist. For example, Priority Assist Customers may be:

  • Patients at high risk of respiratory emergencies
  • Patients at high risk of cardiovascular emergencies
  • Patients at risk of life-threatening hypoglycaemia or epilepsy
  • Patients at high risk of obstetric and neonatal emergencies
  • Patients with high-risk mental health disorders
  • Technology-dependent patients who are at high risk
  • Dependent patients who live alone, without support or in remote locations.

As the list above is a general guide only, please check the Priority Assist brochure (PDF, 611KB) or Priority Assist brochure (docx, 29KB) for a detailed list of eligible conditions.

Priority Assist service levels

Telstra will provide Priority Assist Customers with the highest level of service practicably available at the time of receiving a new service connection request or fault report. Telstra will usually connect or repair a service within 24 hours in urban or rural areas, or within 48 hours in remote areas (this is known as the “PA timeframe”). Telstra may also offer the customer the use of a temporary interim service if we think we will be unable to meet the PA timeframe. 

The following table summarises our performance in connecting services and repairing faults for Priority Assist Customers in the most recent quarter. Where the customer is offered an interim service or there is an exemption in place (such as where there is an extreme weather event causing a mass outage of services) the timeframe is suspended.

Priority Assist Performance Information
July – September 2019
  Connections completed within PA timeframe Fault repairs completed within PA timeframe
TOTAL 98.5% 98%
Telstra Network 99.08% 95.79%
NBN Network 98.33% 99.04%

How do I apply?

If you are eligible for Priority Assist status, you can apply by completing the Priority Assist application form (PDF, 52.8KB) or Priority Assist application form (docx, 21.6KB) and posting it (no stamp required) to:

Telstra Operations

Priority Assistance

Reply Paid 83702

Hobart TAS 7001

How can I get immediate assistance?

If you think you may be eligible for Priority Assist and you need immediate assistance with a fault or new line connection, please call us on 13 2203 (faults on your existing line) or 1800 331 286 (new line connections).

How long will I stay registered for?

Once your application has been approved, you'll stay registered as a Priority Assist customer for up to three years on your fixed voice service.

We may provide you with a permanent Priority Assist status should you, as the account holder, have a life-threatening medical condition that is confirmed by a medical practitioner as a permanent condition. This means you will not be required to reapply for Priority Assist every three years, unless you cancel your existing fixed voice service, transfer the ownership of the service to another person, or move to another carrier.

Unfortunately, we are unable to apply a permanent Priority Assist status where the patient (person with the life-threatening medical condition) is not the account holder. We are also unable to apply a permanent Priority Assist status where you (as the account holder) have a life-threatening medical condition which is not permanent.

In these cases, we will register you with Priority Assist for up to three years. We will contact you when your three-year registration period is nearing its end to ensure you reapply for Priority Assist if it is still required.

Is this information available in a more accessible format?

Please call 1300 112 376 to request this information on Priority Assist in the format you need.

Can I apply for Priority Assist to the phone line service I am taking over as part of the Change of Ownership process?

The Change of Ownership form includes fields where you can indicate that you require Priority Assist and if you are not already registered for Priority Assist, you must also submit a Priority Assist application form, along with any required documentation, to the email, fax or post details on the form within 28 days of submission of the Change of Ownership form.

Where can I find more information?

For more information on Priority Assist and how it can help you, please refer to the following web pages:

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