Pensioner Concession Card
A concession card to get cheaper and some discounts if you get certain payments from us.
- you get a payment from us that has this card as an add on
Who can get it
You can get a card if you get:
- Age Pension
- Bereavement Allowance
- Carer Payment
- Disability Support Pension
- Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance and are single, caring for a dependent child and looking for work
- Parenting Payment single
Your Parenting Payment single ends when your youngest child turns 8. You can keep your card for 12 weeks after your Parenting Payment ends.
You don’t need to apply for a Pensioner Concession Card. We'll send you one if you are eligible.
What may be different
If you are 60 years of age or older you can get a card if for more than 9 months you have been getting:
- Newstart Allowance
- Parenting Payment partnered
- Partner Allowance
- Sickness Allowance
- Special Benefit, or
- Widow Allowance
You may also get a card if you have a partial capacity to work and you are getting:
If you find a job, you may be able to keep your card for a short time.
Pensioner Concession Card for non-pensioners - 9 October 2017
If we sent you a non-income tested Low Income Health Care Card, you will regain entitlement to a Pensioner Concession Card on 9 October 2017. This entitlement won't be backdated.
The issuing of the Pensioner Concession Card does not reinstate your pension payment.
You can use your Pensioner Concession Card in the same way as you did before your pension payment was cancelled.
We will send you your Pensioner Concession Card from 9 October 2017, cards may take up to 14 days to arrive in the mail. You can continue to use your non-income tested Low Income Health Care Card until your Pensioner Concession Card arrives in the mail. After you get your Pensioner Concession Card, your non-income tested Low Income Health Card won’t be valid.
With your card you can get:
- cheaper medicine under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
- bulk billed doctor visits – this is up to your doctor
- a bigger refund for medical costs when you reach the Medicare Safety Net
- help with hearing services – read more about the Hearing Services Program on the Department of Health website
- discounts to redirect your mail through Australia Post
Your dependent child may also be able to get some of these 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
- public transport fare
- motor vehicle registration
- train fare
Read more about what you can get where you live on the Australia.gov.au website.
Renewing a card
As long as you’re eligible, we'll send you a new card 4 to 6 weeks before the expiry date on your current card. The card is valid for 2 years.
You can use the Digital Wallet to show your concession or health care card with your smart device.
Some concession providers don’t accept digital cards. It’s a good idea to always carry your physical concession card.
How to get it
Get a digital copy of your health or concession card with the Digital Wallet in your Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.
- sign in to the app
- select Digital Wallet from the menu or turn your device sideways to change views
- your card will drop down from the top of the screen - swipe your screen up or down to display the front and the back of the card
If you have more than one concession or health care card, swipe the screen left or right to switch between cards.
If your card is no longer active, EXPIRED will appear across the digital card. An expired card will stay in your Digital Wallet for 28 days.
Change of circumstances
If you don’t tell us when these changes happen, you may be doing the wrong thing.
You must tell us if:
- you marry or start or stop living with your partner
- you start or stop being the main carer of a child
- your home address changes
- your income changes
- your assets change
- your partner’s income or assets change
- you don’t have to lodge a tax return
- your work or study load changes
- 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.
We will cancel you card if you stop getting a Centrelink payment. However, you may be able to keep your card for a short time after you return to work.
What 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.
Lost or stolen card
While travelling outside Australia
When you can keep your card
If you leave Australia for less than 6 weeks you can keep your card if your payment also remains current.
When you can’t keep your card
We’ll cancel your card if you leave Australia:
- to live in another country, or
- for more than 6 weeks
When to tell us about your travel plans
Tell us if you are leaving Australia for more than 6 weeks.
You should also check the rules for the payment you get.
How to tell us about your travel plans
The easiest way is through your Centrelink online account via myGov.
Learn how to register for an online account if you don’t already have one.
Contact us by phone or in person if you can’t use an online account. The easiest way is using your Centrelink online account through myGov.
If you can’t use an online account, tell us your travel plans by:
Read more about payments while outside Australia.
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.
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.
Green Army Programme
About the program
The Green Army Programme is administered by the Department of the Environment. It gives you the skills, training and experience to improve your employment prospects. The projects you participate in generate real and lasting benefits for the environment and heritage places.
You can apply if you're:
- aged 17 to 24 years
- an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia, and
- a school leaver, gap year student, graduate, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australian, person with disability, or an unemployed job seeker
If you’re aged 25 years or older and identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australian, you may still be able to apply. Your knowledge of Indigenous culture may help towards successful Green Army projects.
You don't have to apply for, or be getting, any of our payments to apply for the Green Army Programme. Read more about the Green Army and how to apply for positions on the Department of the Environment website.
You must tell us if you get an income support payment and will be participating in the Green Army. This is to ensure you don’t get a debt with us.
You’ll be advised in writing if you’re accepted into the Green Army. You need to bring this letter into a service centre within 14 days of starting the program. Failing to tell us may result in an overpayment that you’ll need to repay.
Green Army participation affects your payments
Your partner’s payments
The income you earn by participating in the Green Army could affect your partner’s payments. Contact us to find out more.
Income support payments
If you join the Green Army full time, your income support payment will be put on hold. You'll get an allowance from your Green Army Service Provider.
If you join the Green Army part time, you may be able to choose to either continue getting your income support payment or get a pro-rata allowance from your Green Army Service Provider.
This may apply if you:
- are a principal carer
- have a partial capacity to work, or
- are an early school leaver and have part time requirements because you are a principal carer or have a partial capacity to work
If you continue getting your income support payment, you will also get an Approved Program of Work Supplement of $20.80 per fortnight. If you are not sure which option is better for you, please ask us.
If your income support payment is put on hold because you get the Green Army allowance, you will not be able to use your Pensioner Concession Card or Health Care Card. However, you may be eligible for a Low Income Health Care Card.
This won't affect you if you're participating part time and continue to get your income support payment.
You may be eligible for Mobility Allowance to help with travel if you can't use public transport without substantial assistance due to disability, illness or injury.
Meeting your mutual obligation requirements
While you’re participating in the Green Army you’ll be meeting your mutual obligation requirements. You can stay in contact with your employment services provider for support if you wish. You may still need to attend appointments with us.
Restarting a payment after your placement ends
When your Green Army placement ends you should tell us if you want to get an income support payment again. Your Green Army Service Provider will give you a cessation advice, which you should bring into a service centre within 14 days of finishing your placement.