What counts as income?

Vicki wants to know if she and her husband are eligible for the CSHC but doesn’t know how their payments from their superannuation funds are assessed.


Q. Vicki
Both my husband and I are 67 years old, retired and receive fortnightly payments from our superannuation funds. What we would like to know is if we would be eligible to apply for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) and what constitutes income in this instance when we submit our application. We also have income from an investment property of approximately $15,000 each and no other forms of income. Are we going to qualify for the CSHC as we are not registered for any other payments from Centrelink?

A. The income test for the CSHC will look at both your adjusted taxable income and a deemed amount from account-based income streams.

Account-based income streams include account-based pensions and account-based annuities. The balance of an account-based income stream is subject to deeming.

Deeming assumes that financial investments are earning a certain rate of income.

The income deemed by Centrelink to be received from financial assets is then added to income that you may receive by any other means, in this case your investment property.

Taxable income is your gross income minus allowable deductions. It’s the income you have to pay tax on. It includes income from your investment property.

Income under the tax-free threshold still counts as taxable income.

To pass the income test, you must earn no more than the following:

  • $55,808 a year if you’re single
  • $89,290 a year for couples
  • $111,616 a year for couples separated by illness, respite care or prison.

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Disclaimer: 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.

Written by Ben


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