What are the differences between concession cards?

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Sue wants to know the difference between the Pensioner Concession Card and the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.


Q. Sue
I read your article on eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card and wanted to know how that card differed from the Pensioner Concession Card? Which card is better?

A. The Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) enables more benefits than the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC), but it obviously has greater restrictions on eligibility.

Pensioner Concession Cards are issued by Centrelink to those receiving and Age Pension, Disability Support Pension or Carer Payment. You may also be eligible for a Pensioner Concession Card if you are over 60 years of age and have been receiving any of the following payments for at least nine months:

– Newstart Allowance
Sickness Allowance
Widow Allowance
Special Benefit
Partner Allowance. 

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. There is also assistance offered with hearing services.

Self-funded retirees who are of Age Pension age but do not qualify for the Age Pension, may be eligible for a CSHC if their annual adjusted taxable income is below the following thresholds:

– $55,808 (singles)
– $89,290 (couples combined)
$111,616 (couples separated due to ill-health).

CSHC holders are eligible for similar discounts to PBS medicines, but bulk-billed doctor visits are at the discretion of your doctor. There are also concessions on electricity, gas, water, dental and public transport in line with what is offered in your state and territory for holders of a PCC.

CSHC holders also receive a bigger refund for medical costs when they reach the Medicare Safety Net.

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Written by Ben


Total Comments: 11
  1. 0

    We could save some money by dropping the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card in some circumstances.

    • 0

      You obviously haven’t got one – we could also drop the pensioners concession card and thereby save even more money. Think about it.

    • 0

      No I can see the value for Pensioners, but not for most CSHC holders.

    • 0

      “But not for most” McDaddy? Who would you exclude, the ones barely holding on to being self-funded or the real fat cats? I could never understand the logic of it – being self-funded and not getting the full pension even every lay-about is entitled to in this country. Have the impression that self-funded people have contributed more to this country than myself. I do believe we owe them the cheaper medications we take for granted. If we do not look after them there will be a lot fewer of them in the future (the younger generation is not gullible).

    • 0

      If you don’t qualify for a Pension under current asset or income limits, then so be it. Not sure a bout your phrase” …self funded people have contributed more etc” If you look at my figures below, you can have a lot of wealth and still get the CSHC. The CSHC was brought in to appease wealthy people wo expected to get some sort of Government hand out when retired. In reality most have their wealth in Superannuation, mainly for the tax incentives.

  2. 0

    Councils generally do not give rebates for holders of the CSHC and that would make a difference for us in a smaller unit of $425 a year – for bigger properties I assume it would be more, not having been in that position.

  3. 0

    “Self-funded retirees who are of Age Pension age … may be eligible for a CSHC”

    But isn’t there an ASSETS TEST for the CSHC, not just an age and income test?

    Is there a Part 2 to this article?

    • 0

      There’s no asset test for that particular card only the income test. Obviously deeming is done on your financial assets but the income limits are generous.

    • 0

      and deeming is only done on your financial assets in Account based Super Pensions, not sums in bank accounts or shares etc etc.

    • 0

      A couple can have up to $4million deemed and still get one. Single about $2.5 Million. Cheaper medication and the $750 Economic Stimulus payment is the attraction.

  4. 0

    The PCC on the second list of payments DOES NOT mean that you’ll get a concession your car registration in NSW at least. I get a full concession on the car registration (not including CTP), and I’m on DSP, but my ex, who’s on JobSeeker has to pay the full fees, even though he’s entitled to the PCC.

    The CSHC isn’t valid for any concessions for registration in NSW.

    The information is located here: https://www.rms.
    Scroll down to ‘Pension Concessions’.



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