Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

A concession card to get cheaper health care and some discounts if you’ve reached age pension age.

Eligibility basics

  • over pension age
  • unable to get a payment from us or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
  • under the income test limit
  • meet residence rules

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card sample image

Eligibility & payment rates

Eligibility

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.

Non-income tested card

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:

You don’t need to meet the income test for these cards.

 

Benefits

With your card you can get:

Other benefits

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

Income test

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:

  • $53,799 a year if you’re single
  • $86,076 a year for couples
  • $107,598 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.

Adjusted taxable income

Your adjusted taxable income will be used to assess your eligibility for some payments, supplements, support and benefits.

Read more about adjusted taxable income

Residence rules

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.

Changes if you receive family payments

A number of changes affect you if you receive family payments.

Read more about changes to family payments

Claiming

Check if you're eligible before you start your claim.

Then:

  • 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

Next read more about claiming

Managing

Renewing a card

We renew cards each year in August if you’re eligible.

We’ll post you a new card before your old one expires.

Digital Wallet

Have your concession or health care card with you everywhere you take your phone.

Read more about the Digital Wallet

Try self service

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.

Change of circumstances

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.

Lost or stolen card

We can replace a lost or stolen card and post you a new card.

We can’t issue a replacement over the counter.

Request a replacement card:

While travelling outside Australia

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.

Read more about eligibility while outside Australia

Someone to deal with us on your behalf

If you want someone else to deal with us, you can authorise them to enquire, act or get payments for you.

Read more about someone to deal with us on your behalf

Resources

Other concession and health care cards

Concession and health care cards can help you access cheaper health care services and medicines.

Payment and Service Finder

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.

Start using Payment and Service Finder

Manage your money

 

We’ve got advice and tools to help you with budgeting, borrowing and credit, and managing debt.

Read about how to manage your money.

Page last updated: 20 September 2017