Low Income Health Care Card

Income test

To get a Low Income Health Care Card your income must be under the limit.

How the income test works

We assess the gross income you earnt for the 8 weeks before you submit your claim. This is to see if you can get the card.

Your income must be below the amount in the table for your situation.

Status Weekly income Income in an 8 week period
Single, no children $556.00 $4,448.00
Couple combined, no children $960.00 $7,680.00
Single, 1 dependent child $960.00 $7,680.00
For each extra child, add $34.00 $272.00

If you’re a couple with children

Add the extra child rate for each child you have to the couple combined rate in the table. This will give you the amount your income should be below to qualify for the card.

What type of income we assess

Examples of income we assess are:

  • employment income - wages, salary and self employment income
  • employer provided fringe benefits
  • rental income
  • reportable super contributions, salary sacrifice
  • Centrelink pensions, benefits and some supplementary payments
  • Paid Parental Leave payments
  • Department of Veterans' Affairs payments
  • deemed income from financial investments - bank accounts, managed investments and shares
  • deemed income from account-based income streams
  • income from income stream products - super pensions and defined benefit income streams
  • foreign income
  • private trusts and companies
  • compensation, including periodical and lump sum
  • New Enterprise Incentive Scheme
  • lump sum payments - compensation, redundancy, leave, or termination payments

How we assess lump sum payments

We assess lump sum payments as income for 12 months from the date you get them. This includes:

  • compensation payments
  • redundancy payments
  • lump sum leave payments

We’ll assess redundancy and lump sum leave payments. This is only if you take leave and don’t return to the same employer once it’s ended.

What you need to do to renew the card

When you apply to renew your card each year you need to:

  • pass the income test again
  • be in Australia

We’ll tell you when it’s close to expiry.

What you need to do to keep the card

To keep the card, your gross weekly income mustn’t go over the limit below. This is in any 8 week period, before your card expires. If it does we may cancel your card. We’ll send you a letter to let you know.

Status Weekly income Income in an 8 week period
Single, no children $695.00 $5,560.00
Couple combined, no children $1,200.00 $9,600.00
Single, 1 dependent child $1,200.00 $9,600.00
For each extra dependent child, add $42.50 $340.00

If you’re a couple with children

Add the extra child rate for each child you have to the couple combined rate in the table. This will give you the amount your income should be below to qualify to keep the card.

If your income changes, you must tell us. We’ll work out if you can keep your card.

Page last updated: 9 November 2018