Concession card fight

Mary has been told concessions don’t apply to her and she wants answers.

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Q. Mary
My husband has a health care card and I am listed as a secondary name on it. I applied to my electricity company AGL for a concession and they say the card has to be in my name as the bill is in my name. I argued that my name is on the card and the bill is for the property we both live at and the address is the same on the concession card. I can’t seem to understand the logic behind this. Perhaps I am missing something.

By the by, I don’t work and don’t receive income from anywhere. I have applied for the Age Pension and still have no result after four months. Apparently, my application requires a specialist team to work out whether I am entitled or not and it takes four months to do this.

A. Unfortunately your electricity company is within its rights to deny your concession in this instance.

Some other electricity companies will allow you to claim the concession, so it is possible to look at switching companies to teach them a lesson. You can find a good comparison site here (https://electricityandgas.com.au/).

When you are listed on your partner’s concession card, the concessions are at the discretion of the provider.

If you are satisfied with your current electricity provider, you can investigate switching the electricity account over to your husband’s name and you will then be eligible for the concession.

With regards to the wait time on your pension application, Services Australia says that the median time to process an Age Pension application is usually 49 days, but we have heard of cases where it has taken up to eight months or more.

Services Australia has been particularly busy during the COVID-19 crisis, so it is not surprising to hear that things are taking longer than usual, but hopefully you receive some good news on this front soon.

What concession problems have you encountered recently?

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Written by Ben

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