Foster Child Health Care Card

Access to cheaper Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme medications for foster children in your care and other concessions offered by state or territory organisations.

Eligibility

You may be eligible for a Foster Child Health Care Card if you are a foster carer, or caring for someone else's child. You do not need to be a formal foster carer, for example, caring for a ward of the state, to be eligible. Anyone, such as a grandparent, sibling or aunt, who is caring for a child that is not their natural or adopted child, is an informal foster carer and may be eligible.

The card is:

  • not subject to an income or assets test
  • issued in the name of the child in your care
  • automatically reissued when expired if you are still eligible

Residence requirements

To be eligible for a Foster Child Health Care Card you must satisfy residence requirements. You must be living in Australia and:

  • have Australian citizenship
  • hold a permanent visa, or
  • hold a special category visa

You must also:

  • be physically present in Australia on the day you submit your claim, and
  • continue to meet the residence requirements for as long as you hold this card

Your foster child must meet the above residence requirements or be living with you, and your foster child must be living with you for as long as you hold this card.

Claiming

You may be eligible to claim a Foster Child Health Care Card from us.

If you are a foster carer, you can claim the card when you claim Family Tax Benefit for your foster child.

If you are not eligible for Family Tax Benefit you can claim the Foster Child Health Care Card either online or by using a paper claim form.

Before you start

Before you submit your claim, read the Information you need to know about your claim for Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, Low Income Health Care Card, Foster Child Health Care Card, Ex-Carer Allowance (Child) Health Care Card form.

Intent to claim

Register an intent to claim to let us know that you will be applying soon. An intent to claim will be automatically registered if you make an online claim for the Foster Child Health Care Card.

You can do this:

You will then be sent a claim form in the mail. Once you have registered your intent to claim, the claim should be submitted within 14 days. This will ensure you get a card at the earliest possible date if you qualified at the time of registration.

If you cannot register yourself, someone else can do it for you. Read more about someone to deal with us for you.

Claiming online

If you wish to claim online, you should:

  • register for online accounts
  • log on to your online account through myGov

Claiming with forms

Once you have registered your intent to claim you will then be sent a claim form in the mail. You can also print out the Claim for a Health Care Card form.

Support documentation

You may need to provide identity documents for you and your foster child when you submit your claim form. We will also let you know if there are other verification documents and forms you need to provide.

Submit your claim

If you completed your claim online you will need to provide us with your supporting documentation within 14 days.

Submit your completed forms, identity documents and any other documents we have asked for by post or to your nearest service centre.

Outcome of your claim

If your claim is successful, we will send a Foster Child Health Care Card in the mail.

The card is issued to you, as the foster carer, but only the foster child is named on and covered by the card.

Read about concession and health care cards for details about benefits and concessions, showing your card, what happens if you go outside Australia, and what to do if you lose your card.

You have the right to appeal any decision we make. Read more about reviews and appeals.

Renewing

Your Foster Child Health Care Card is valid for 1 year and is renewed automatically each year if you are eligible.

Travelling outside Australia

If you or your foster child leaves Australia to live in another country, your concession card will be cancelled on departure.

If your foster child leaves Australia temporarily, your concession card will remain current for up to 6 weeks. After 6 weeks your concession card will be cancelled and you will need to reapply when your foster child returns to Australia.

Tell us about your travel

You should tell us if you or your foster child is leaving Australia to live in another country.

Otherwise you do not need to tell us your foster child is leaving Australia. We will be advised automatically by Australia's immigration department when they leave Australia and when they return.

If you want to tell us about your travel plans, you can use your Centrelink online account through myGov to get tailored information on how your payments and concession cards could be affected.

Read more about payments while outside Australia.

Manage your money

Getting control of your money can be hard, but we’ve got some great advice and tools to help. Read more about budgeting, borrowing and credit, and managing debt, to help manage your money.

Page last updated: 28 April 2016