Low Income Health Care Card

Exemptions to the newly arrived resident’s waiting period

You may be exempt from a waiting period to get our payments or concessions when you arrive in Australia.

You may not have to wait if you're either:

  • an Australian citizen
  • a refugee or former refugee
  • a holder of a specific visa subclass and claim certain payments.

You may also not have to wait if you’re a family member of a refugee or humanitarian migrant. This is if you’re a family member at both the time:

  • that person arrived in Australia
  • you claim a payment or concession.

Exemption by payment types or concessions

Family Tax Benefit

You may not have to wait to get Family Tax Benefit Part A. This applies if you hold or have held a Special Category Visa subclass 444, or you start getting:

There is no waiting period for Family Tax Benefit Part B.

Parental Leave Pay and Dad and Partner Pay

You may not have to wait to get Parental Leave Pay or Dad and Partner Pay This applies if you hold or have held a Special Category Visa subclass 444.

You may also not have to wait if you’re getting an eligible payment from either:

  • your child’s date of birth or entry in your care until your Parental Leave Pay starts
  • the day before your Dad and Partner Pay starts

Some of the payments this applies to are:

If you have a newborn, or a child that enters into your care prior to 1 July 2019, you also may not have to wait.

Low Income Health Care Card

You may not have to wait to get a Low Income Health Care Card if you either:

  • have a child you could get Family Tax Benefit for in your care
  • are under 16, living with either an Australian resident or Special Category Visa Subclass 444 holder who’s residing in Australia.

Carer Allowance

You may not have to wait to get Carer Allowance if you start getting:

Bereavement Allowance

You may not have to wait to get Bereavement Allowance if you’re either:

You also may not have to wait if you were a family member of a refugee. This is if you’re a family member at both the time:

  • the refugee arrived in Australia
  • of your claim.

You must also have either:

  • became widowed while you and your partner were Australian residents
  • you were receiving Wife Pension when your partner died outside Australia.

Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance for job seeker

You may not have to wait, if since arriving in Australia as an Australian resident, you become a:

  • lone parent
  • principal carer.

You may also not have to wait if both of the following apply:

  • you’re a non-protected Special Category Visa 444 subclass holder
  • you resided in Australia for a continuous period of 10 years since 26 February 2001.

Farm Household Allowance and Parenting Payment single

You may not have to wait, if since arriving in Australia as an Australian resident, you become a:

  • lone parent
  • principal carer.

Sickness Allowance

You may not have to wait, if both of the following apply:

  • you’re a non-protected Special Category Visa 444 subclass holder
  • you resided in Australia for a continuous period of 10 years since 26 February 2001.

Mobility Allowance

You may not have to wait if you became handicapped while in Australia.

Special Benefit, Ex-Carer Allowance Health Card and Low Income Health Care Card

You may not have to wait if you’ve had a substantial change in circumstance since arriving in Australia as a resident.

Exemption by visa subclass

Check to see if your visa subclass allows you to get some payments and concession cards.

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, Low Income Health Care Card and all payments except Special Benefit and Bereavement Allowance

You may be able to get these if you have a visa subclass 852 - referred stay (permanent).

Carer Payment and Carer Allowance

You may be able to get these if you have either:

  • subclass 104 - preferential family, only if you're a carer or a special needs relative
  • subclass 116 - carer
  • subclass 806 - family, only if you're a carer or a special needs relative
  • subclass 836 - carer.

Family Tax Benefit, Dad and Partner Pay, Parental Leave Pay, Special Benefit and Low Income Health Care Card

You may be able to get these if you have either:

  • subclass 060 - bridging visa F
  • subclass 070 - bridging (removal pending)
  • subclass 449 - humanitarian stay (temporary)
  • subclass 785 - temporary protection
  • subclass 786 - temporary (humanitarian concern)
  • subclass 790 - safe haven enterprise.

Partner provisional visas

If you hold a visa subclass 309 or 820 - partner (provisional), you may be eligible for either:

However you may need to serve a waiting period from when you applied for your visa. 

Page last updated: 7 January 2019