The reinstatement of Pension Concession Cards (PCC) was welcome news to those who lost them in January after the asset threshold rebalance. However, it did raise the question as to whether those who lost their PCC after this date would also have them reinstated.
We have asked the Department of Human Services to clarify who will have their cards reinstated, who won’t and why.
Whose cards will be reinstated?
From 9 October 2017, the PCC will be reinstated to around 92,300 former recipients, including 3600 Department of Veterans’ Affairs payment recipients. This effectively ‘grandfathers’ those former part-pensioners directly affected by the rebalancing of the assets test on the day it took effect – 1 January 2017.
Whose cards will not be reinstated?
People whose cards were not cancelled on 1 January 2017 but who subsequently lost their PCC due to a change in assets or income are not entitled to the PCC, unless they re-qualify under the current income and assets tests.
Why will people who have their pension cancelled after 1 January 2017 not be issued with a pensioner concession card?
The changes to the assets test effective from 1 January 2017 provide more help to people who have modest assets and less taxpayer support to those who can support themselves because of their significant assets.
People who move out of the pension system because of their changed circumstances, such as an increase in their assets, will not get the PCC. But they may be eligible for other concession cards, such as the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card if they have reached Age Pension age.