- receiving certain income support payments
- meet age and work requirements
Eligibility and payment rates
Eligibility for Pensioner Concession Card
You can get a Pensioner Concession Card if you receive any of these payments:
- Age Pension
- Bereavement Allowance
- Carer Payment
- Disability Support Pension
- Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance (job seeker) if you are single, caring for a dependent child, and looking for work
- Parenting Payment (single)
You may also get a Pensioner Concession Card if you are aged over 60 and for more than nine months have been receiving:
- Newstart Allowance
- Parenting Payment (partnered)
- Partner Allowance
- Sickness Allowance
- Special Benefit
- Widow Allowance
You may also get a Pensioner Concession Card if you have a partial capacity to work and you are receiving:
If you find a job, you may be able to keep your Pensioner Concession Card for a short time.
From 1 January 2014, customers who are no longer eligible for Parenting Payment Single, due to their youngest child turning eight years of age, will still be entitled to their Pensioner Concession Card for a period of 12 weeks from the date their payment is cancelled.
Benefits of a Pensioner Concession Card
A Pensioner Concession Card entitles you to reduced-cost medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
You may also be entitled to various concessions from the Australian Government. These could include:
- bulk billing for doctor's appointments (this is your doctor's decision)
- more refunds for medical expenses through the Medicare Safety Net
- assistance with hearing services through the Office of Hearing Services
- discounted mail redirection through Australia Post
You may get some of these Australian Government concessions for a dependent child.
You may also be entitled to various concessions from state and territory governments and local councils—these could include:
- reductions on property and water rates
- reductions on energy bills
- reduced fares on public transport
- reductions on motor-vehicle registration
- free rail journeys
Pensioner Concession Card concessions are different in each state and territory and vary between local councils.
Other benefits while receiving a Pensioner Concession Card
If you have a Pensioner Concession Card, you will be receiving a payment or services, such as:
Claiming a Pensioner Concession Card
If you are receiving an eligible Centrelink payment, you automatically receive a Pensioner Concession Card.
If you continue to be eligible, we automatically send you a new card each year in the month in which you were born.
You always have the right to appeal any decision we make. Read more about reviews and appeals.
Managing your card
Digital concession cards
If you already have a Low Income Health Care Card, you can also access a digital image of your card from your Digital Wallet on your Centrelink Express Plus mobile app. The Digital Wallet allows you to present your Low Income Health Care Card using your smart device.
To access the Digital Wallet, eligible customers need to download the latest version of the Centrelink Express Plus Mobile app.
Access your digital Low Income Health Care Card by logging on to your app and selecting Digital Wallet from the side menu or simply rotating your smart device on its side. Your card will:
- drop down from the top of the screen
- swipe vertically to show the front and the back of the card, and
- shimmer slightly
If you have more than 1 concession card, you can swipe horizontally to access the card you need.
The Digital Wallet provides real time concession entitlement. If your Low Income Health Care Card is no longer active, EXPIRED will appear across the card and will be displayed for 28 days before it’s no longer available through your app. This will give you time to reapply if necessary.
There may be circumstances where you should continue to use your physical Low Income Health Care Card. If your Digital Wallet is not accepted by a concession provider, please contact us with their details by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Change of circumstances while receiving a Pensioner Concession Card
You need to tell us if your circumstances change when you are receiving a payment. For example, if:
- your personal circumstances change
- you change your address
- your income changes
- you do not have to lodge a tax return
- your care arrangements change
- your work or study load changes, or
- you leave Australia
If you stop receiving your Centrelink payment, we will automatically cancel your Pensioner Concession Card.
You may be able to keep your card for a short time after returning to work.
If you do not tell us about the changes within 14 days your payment may be affected. You may be overpaid benefits and you will probably have to pay the money back.
If you deliberately do not tell us about changes, you could be charged with fraud, and a recovery fee may be imposed.
Lost or stolen card
Health Care Card and Pensioner Concession Card while travelling outside Australia
If you leave Australia to live in another country your concession card will be cancelled when you leave.
If you leave Australia temporarily, your card will remain current for up to 6 weeks provided your payment also remains current.
If you remain overseas for longer than 6 weeks and your payment remains current your concession card will be restored on your return to Australia. You can continue to use your existing card on your return to Australia.
If your payment is suspended while you are overseas and is restored on your return to Australia your concession card will be restored with your payment. You can continue to use your existing card on your return to Australia.
If your payment is cancelled while you are overseas and you reapply for your payment on your return to Australia, a new concession card will be sent to you if you receive a new payment.
Advising us of your travel outside Australia
You do not need to tell us if you are leaving Australia. We will be advised automatically by Australia’s immigration department when you leave Australia and when you return.
A guide to concession cards booklet
Find out more by reading the A guide to concession cards booklet.
Select the options that describe your circumstances then explore a suggested list of possible Centrelink and Medicare payments and services online.
Select your state and topics of interest to find links to government and community organisation support.