A concession card to get cheaper medicines and some discounts for foster children in your care.
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 to be eligible. Anyone, such as a grandparent, sibling or aunt, may be eligible if they care for a child that is not their natural or adopted child.
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
You will also need to meet residence rules.
On the day you claim this card you must be in Australia. You must also be an Australian resident and living in Australia.
To keep using your card
For as long as you hold this card:
- you must continue to be an Australian resident
- your foster child must be living with you
This card entitles the child in your care to cheaper medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
The card may also provide entitlement to some extra concessions from state and local government authorities and some private organisations. Health Care Card concessions vary in each state and territory. Please check with the organisation providing the concession.
If you're eligible for Family Tax Benefit, you can claim the card when you claim the payment for your foster child.
If you're not eligible for Family Tax Benefit, you can claim the card separately.
Before you start
Before you submit your claim, read the information you need to know about your claim for Foster Child Health Care Card form.
Intent to claim
Register an intent to claim to let us know you will be applying soon and we will send you a claim form in the mail.
If you start an online claim for the Foster Child Health Care Card, we will automatically register an intent to claim for you.
If you can’t register an intent to claim yourself, someone else can do it for you. Read more about someone to deal with us for you.
Start your claim online
If you already have a myGov account
Sign in to myGov to link to your Centrelink online account and do your Centrelink business.
If you have a Centrelink online account
To do your business online, you need a myGov account and a Centrelink online account.
If you don't have a myGov account, create one today. Once you have created your account, you can link it to your Centrelink online account. Watch the video and read more on how to link your online account to myGov.
If you don't have a Centrelink online account
If you’ve been a Centrelink customer before
You’ll have a Customer Reference Number. Use this to register for an online account.
This is anyone who’s had a payment or concession from us before, no matter how long ago.
If you haven’t been a Centrelink customer before
This is anyone who’s never had a payment or concession from us before.
Submit your claim online
If you are claiming online, you can submit your claim and most supporting documents electronically at the end of the process.
Read more about submitting your documents online.
Claiming with forms
Complete the Claim for a Health Care Card form you received in the mail or print one.
Submit your claim form
You may need to provide some other documents to support your claim including:
- confirmation of identity documents for you and your foster child
- any other documents we ask you for
Submit your confirmation of identity documents at a service centre within 14 days of submitting your claim.
Submit any other supporting documents by post or at a service centre within 14 days of registering your intent to claim.
If your claim is successful, we will send a Foster Child Health Care Card in the mail.
We issue the card to you, as the foster carer, but the card will only cover the foster child. The child’s name will appear on the card but yours won’t.
You have the right to appeal any decision we make. Read more about reviews and appeals.
Your card is valid for 1 year and renews automatically each year if you are eligible.
If you or your foster child leave Australia to live in another country, the 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 it will be cancelled and you will need to reapply when your foster child returns to Australia.
When to tell us about your travel
You should tell us if:
- you or your foster child are leaving to live in another country, or
- your foster child will be away for more than 6 weeks
Otherwise you don't need to tell us that you or your foster child are leaving Australia. Australia's immigration department will automatically advise us when you or your foster child leave and return.