Which concession card works best?
Concession cards are as valuable as any income support payment you will receive – the discounts offered by governments, local councils, utility companies and private businesses can amount to considerable savings over the year.
You can save on the cost of prescription medication, car registration, public transport, rates, energy bills and be eligible for bulk billing by medical practioners and these are just a few of the concession offered. As local governments and councils, and private business offer many of the concessions available, they will vary depending on where you live.
So, how do you know which concession card you’re eligible to receive? This is a question that is often asked of YourLifeChoices, as it’s common for an individual to receive one type of concession card, whereas their friends may have a different concession card.
There are several different concession cards available. However, the type of card is determined by the Centrelink or Department of Veterans’ Affairs benefits that you receive and the likelihood of being issued with the wrong card is very slim. The matrix below will give you an idea of which card you should receive based on your circumstances.
|Concession card||Associated benefit paid||Other criteria|
|Pensioner Concession Card||Age Pension
Disability Support Pension Carer Payment
Special Benefit Partner Allowance
|For certain allowances and benefits, you need to be over 60 to receive a Pensioner Concession Card|
|Health Care Card||Mobility Allowance
|Health care cards are issued to those who do not qualify for a Pensioner Concession Card and are under Age Pension age|
|Commonwealth Seniors Health Card||Issued to those over Age pension age who do not qualify for an Age Pension and have an income below the required thresholds|
|Low Income Health Care Card||Issued to those who do not receive any benefits from Centrelink but whose income is below the required thresholds.|
|Seniors Card||Eligibility criteria varies depending on your state and territory but in most cases, you need to be over 60 and not working full time.|
|Pensioner Concession Card (Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA))||Service Pension
|Issued by the DVA to those who receive benefits through this avenue rather than Centrelink|
|Repatriation Health Cards||There are three cards, Gold, White or Orange, which are issued depending on service or medical condition|
If you’re still not sure whether you have the correct concession card, our handy guide will help. The concession cards that are available are as follows:
1. Pensioner Concession Card (PCC)
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:
You may be able to retain your Pensioner Concession Card for up to 12 months if you stop receiving your Centrelink payment due to 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.
2. Health Care Card (HCC)
If you do not qualify for a Pensioner Concession Card, you may be entitled to an Health Care Card if you are below Age Pension age and receive one of the following payments:
A Health Care Card entitles you to the same benefits as a Pensioner Concession Card and you may be able to retain your Health Care Card for a short time if you stop receiving your Centrelink payment due to commencement of paid employment.
3. Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC)
Self-funded retirees who are of Age Pension age but do not qualify for the Age Pension, may be eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card if their annual adjusted taxable income is below the following thresholds:
- $86,076 (couples combined)*also Illness Separated, Respite Care or Partner in Gaol
Holders of a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card are entitled to discounts on prescription medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. You may also qualify for additional health, household, transport, education and recreation concessions that may be offered by state or territory and local governments and private providers.
4. Low Income Health Care Card
For those who do not qualify for any Centrelink benefits, it may be possible to receive a Low Income Health Care Card if your income is below the required thresholds.
To qualify for a Low Income Health Care Card, your income must be below the following thresholds for the eight weeks prior to making a claim:
$546 per week or $4368 over eight week period (singles)
$943 per week or $7544 over eight week period (couple)
Once you have received the card, you will be required to undergo a review every six months to assess your continued eligibility
Holders of a Low Income Health Care Card are entitled to discounts on prescription medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. You may also qualify for additional health, household, transport, education and recreation concessions that may be offered by state or territory and local governments and private providers.
5. Seniors Card
A Seniors Card is issued by state and territory governments and is available to those aged 60 and over who no longer work full-time. However, eligibility varies depending on the state or territory in which you reside, as do the concessions available to you, so it’s worth checking if you qualify. Concessions are provided by government agencies and private businesses. The main benefit is that Seniors Card holders are entitled to travel concessions in their home state and territory, as well as interstate.
Locate the Seniors Card office for your state or territory.
6. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Pensioner Concession Card
Pensioner Concession Cards are issued by the DVA to the following:
age pensioners who receive their pension through DVA
war widows and widowers receiving an income support supplement.
DVA Pensioner Concession Cards entitle holders to the same concessions as Centrelink-issued PCCs.
7. Repatriation Health Cards
The DVA also issues Repatriation Health Cards that entitle the holder to DVA funding for health care. There are three cards:
- Gold – these are issued to veterans, or the widow or dependant of a veteran and entitle the holder to funding for health care, whether their condition is related to service or not.
- White – these are issued to veterans for the treatment of service related conditions. It can also be used for the treatment of malignant cancer, pulmonary tuberculosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and/or depression whether or not caused by service.
- Orange – issued for pharmaceuticals only to Commonwealth and allied veterans and mariners who have qualifying service from World War I or World War II and are aged 70 or over.
Updated 12 September 2017
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