Centrelink Q&A: Can Susanne get a Concession Card again?

Does Susanne qualify to have the card reinstated?

Concession Card eligibility queried

Susanne wants to know whether she is eligible to re-qualify for a Concession Card.


Q. Susanne
Is it possible for my husband and I to regain our Concession Cards after these and the Age Pension were taken away from us in June 2016 when we were part-pensioners?

My husband is nearly 93 and suffers with Alzheimer’s. I am about to turn 77 and have a lot of back problems. I’m a full-time carer receiving a carer’s allowance and I have a Health Care Card.

I read that if our Age Pension stopped prior to January 2017, we can have our Concession Card reinstated. Can you tell me if I am misinformed?

A. Centrelink advises that, as announced in the 2017-18 Federal Budget, the Federal Government restored the Pensioner Concession Card in October 2017 to people who stopped being eligible for a pension payment on 1 January 2017 due to the rebalancing of the assets test change.

Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen says: “As (Susanne) notes, the couple lost eligibility for the Pensioner Concession Card and Age Pension in June 2016 prior to the 1 January 2017 change. They would not have been eligible for the automatic reinstatement of the card.

“If Susanne’s husband is not currently in receipt of any payment from the department, he may be eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

“The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card offers cheaper health care and some discounts to people over Age Pension age who are not in receipt of a Centrelink or Department of Veterans’ Affairs payment, and fall under the income test limit.”

More information about the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card can be found here.

YourLifeChoices explains that Pensioner Concession Cards are issued by Centrelink to those receiving an Age Pension, Disability Support Pension or Carer Payment. You may also be eligible for a Pensioner Concession Card if you are over 60 and have been receiving any of the following payments for at least nine months: Newstart Allowance, Sickness Allowance, Widow Allowance, Special Benefit, Partner Allowance.

You may be able to retain your Pensioner Concession Card for up to 12 months if you stop receiving your Centrelink payment due to the commencement of paid employment.

As the holder of a Pensioner Concession Card, you are entitled to reduced-cost medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and various state and territory government concessions, such as reductions on property and water rates, energy bills, motor vehicle registration and public transport. State and territory governments and local councils offer different concessions.


All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer, financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.

If you have a Centrelink question, please send it to newsletters@yourlifechoices.com.au and we’ll do our best to answer it for you. 



    To make a comment, please register or login
    2nd Apr 2018
    NOTE TO ALL MPS and Super rich support teams and robots

    A pension is not welfare.

    For the retired and retiring people in your electorate do you think they really look forward and want 100++ visits to/from Centrelink and be part of 3 million waiting queues and lost calls?

    Most economist say we will save taxpayers money by dropping asset testing because of the massive overheads cost in running Centrelink and the 10,000 conflicting rules

    Do you or other MP like being part of the system that allows this indirect abuse of the elderly?

    This abuse is actually sponsored by our government and forced down to Centrelink and borders on a criminal act.

    Why do you as a compassionate person let this Centrelink abuse happen at taxpayers’ expense?

    You even stand to lose your chance at government unless all these criminal asset tests for a pension are dropped now.

    2nd Apr 2018
    What to do with the great wave of unemployed C/Link people. Think
    of all the offices throughout the land. They would immediately have to form another department to pay themselves the dole. A point to ponder surely, also what to do with all the empty offices.
    2nd Apr 2018
    2nd Apr 2018
    The Age Pension is considered welfare and as time goes by less people will need it, especially the full pension anyway. This does not mean that anyone receiving it is not entitled to it, but it will be a safety net in the future.
    2nd Apr 2018
    Has always meant to be a safety net McDaddy. Never meant to pay for all things we need today. When I joined the work force out of school 55 years ago the OAP was a given at 65 for men and 60 for women and was
    not called welfare. One was encouraged to save a bit on top of the pension. It was never intended to run private motor vehicles on it,
    was not possible then and a hardship now. This AP being welfare is a new "political" word play to call us oldies welfare people.
    2nd Apr 2018
    Yes, and even when compulsory super was first introduced, it was always touted as forgone wages to supplement the Pension. Never to fully replace it. The term Welfare implies that people did not work hard, pay taxes and contribute to the Country, and it’s just wrong. Likewise, the notion that in working hard and saving enough to buy your own average home, you’ve accumulated wealth and this needs to be sold, so you don’t access Welfare is terrible. It wasn’t what was promised, and the goal posts can’t keep being changed.
    2nd Apr 2018
    It’s a form of Welfare because it’s being paid to people to assist in their retirement as they can’t fully fund it themselves.

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