Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
A concession card to get cheaper health care and some discounts if you’ve reached age pension age.
- over pension age
- unable to get a payment from us or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
- under the income test limit
- meet residence rules
Eligibility & payment rates
You can get a card if you:
- have reached age pension age
- don’t qualify for a payment from us or the Department of Veterans' Affairs
- meet an income test, and
- are an Australian resident currently living in Australia
You must tell us your and your partner's tax file numbers, unless you are exempt.
We may have cancelled your pension on 1 January 2017 because of changes to the pension assets test.
If so, you would have been sent a non-income tested:
- Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, or
- Low Income Health Care Card
You don’t need to meet the income test for these cards.
- With your card you can get cheaper medicine under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
- bulk billed doctor visits – this is up to your doctor
- a bigger refund for medical costs when you reach the Medicare Safety Net
Your state or territory government and local council may offer you more. They may lower your:
- electricity and gas bills
- property and water rates
- health care costs, including ambulance, dental and eye care
- public transport fare
Read more about what you can get where you live on the australia.gov.au website.
You may need to show your:
- Medicare card to get Medicare services
- Commonwealth Seniors Health Card to get other benefits
You must meet an income test to get the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. We review this test on 20 September each year in line with the Consumer Price Index.
The income test will look at your:
To pass the income test, you must earn no more than:
- $52,796 a year if you’re single
- $84,472 a year for couples
- $105,592 a year for couples separated by illness, respite care or prison
Add $639.60 to these amounts for each child in your care.
There is no assets test.
Account based income streams
We look at your account based income streams as part of the income test. Account based income streams include account based pensions and account based annuities.
The balance of an account based income stream is subject to deeming. Deeming assumes that financial investments are earning a certain rate of income.
Deeming rules will only apply if:
- you bought or changed it on or after 1 January 2015
- you own it and your Commonwealth Seniors Health Card was granted after 31 December 2014
- your partner owns it and they are 60 years old or more
Read about account based income streams on the Department of Social Services website.
Your adjusted taxable income will be used to assess your eligibility for some payments, supplements, support and benefits.
To be eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, you must be in Australia on the day you claim and be:
To keep using your card
You must continue to be an Australian resident for as long as you hold this card.
What may be different
Newly arrived residents generally have a 104 week waiting period, with some exemptions.
Check if you're eligible before you start your claim.
- find out what you need before you start your claim
- fill in your claim form
- submit the form and other documents we ask for
- wait for us to assess your claim and tell you the result
We renew cards each year in August if you’re eligible.
We’ll post you a new card before your old one expires.
Have your concession or health care card with you everywhere you take your phone.
Do your Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support business using self service options, including our Express Plus mobile apps, online accounts and phone self service.
Read more about using self service.
We need to know about changes that could stop you from having a card.
If you don’t tell us when these changes happen, you may be doing the wrong thing.
You must tell us if:
- your personal circumstances change
- you change your address
- your income changes
- you return to work
- you don’t have to lodge a tax return
- your care arrangements change
- you are leaving Australia
- anything else happens that might change your payment
How and when to tell us
The easiest way to tell us about changes is through our self service options.
You need to:
- tell us within 14 days of the change
- make sure your details are up to date in myGov
It’s never too late to report a change.
If you don’t tell us
If you don’t tell us about changes in your life, we may pay you too much. If this happens you’ll have to pay the money back, plus a fee.
If you deliberately don’t tell us about changes, we could charge you with fraud.
Read how to avoid fraud.
To remain eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card while you are outside Australia, you must continue to meet the qualification rules for this card.
If you want someone else to deal with us, you can authorise them to enquire, act or get payments for you.
Concession and health care cards can help you access cheaper health care services and medicines.
Find, estimate and compare payments and services you may be eligible for. You can also work out what a change in circumstance might mean for the payments and services you currently receive from us.