13th Mar 2018
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Pensioner Concession Cards: Eligible for a concession?
Author: Ben Hocking
How do I know which Concession Card I am eligible for?

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

Newstart Allowance
Sickness Allowance
Widow Allowance
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 
Newstart Allowance
Partner Allowance
Special Benefit
Widow 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
Age Pension
Widows 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:

  • 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 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:

  • Mobility Allowance 
  • Newstart Allowance
  • Partner Allowance
  • Special Benefit
  • Widow Allowance.


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:

  • $53,799* (singles)

  • $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:

  • $552 per week or $4416 over eight week period (singles)

  • $954 per week or $7632 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:

  • service pensioners 

  • 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 13 March 2018

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    COMMENTS

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    sunnyOz
    14th Mar 2018
    4:08am
    Not quite correct....says above that the Health Care Card gives you the same benefits as the Pensioner Concession Card. Many Councils decide themselves if they will give rates benefits to Health Care Card holders. My Council has some of the dearest rates in the state, yet will not offer any discount on rates to Health Care Card Holders.
    johnp
    14th Mar 2018
    3:28pm
    Agree with you sunnyoz. My council (Redlandsin Qld) also does not offer any discount on rates to Health Care Card Holders. Considering how high their rates are; then that is very regrettable. Worse than all the complaints that get publicized re electricity charges nationally. Which council area are you in ?
    sunnyOz
    15th Mar 2018
    1:19pm
    Yes johnp, spot on - same area as you.... Bloody disgrace the rates they charge! Recently I had to rent my house out for a while to work interstate. They charged me an extra outrageous 'fee' simply because I was renting house. Tenants get nothing extra. And to cop it off, tenants asked for bigger bin - again, I had to pay extra.
    My BIG mistake was letting Council know my address had changed - should have shut up as rates are emailed out. Never again.
    When I moved to Qld from Victoria some years ago, my ANNUAL Melbourne rates (12kms from city centre) were my QUARTERLY rates in Qld! I actually went to the local Council Offices to say they had made a mistake - but no... here get NO footpaths, NO house rubbish pickups, dog registration dearer, dog leash parks are smaller than my back yard. Have had faulty road side light for months - do you think I can get them to fix it? Side of road overflows because roads are never kerb swept. Rubbish has clogged up, water can't get down drain. Nothing done about it. We have grass stretching for metres growing along kerb gutters - nothing done.
    johnp
    15th Mar 2018
    3:14pm
    Hi sunnyoz. good comments and that was interesting re :
    "my ANNUAL Melbourne rates (12kms from city centre) were my QUARTERLY rates in Qld!".
    That would make your rates in Melb. about 1/4 those here in Qld (esp in regard to Redlands). Can you say what council area that was in Melb and the approx amount per qty or yearly ??
    Also I have been unable to find a site that does rates comparisons between the various councils. Like already available commonly for electricity charges, telecomms etc Likes of such as ISelect etc; but they wouldnt be interested as there is no commission. Its a natural monopoly and the only way to get something more reasonable is to move addresses.
    sunnyOz
    15th Mar 2018
    6:38pm
    johnp - was 15 years ago, almost to the day, and only shredded all of old paperwork about 12 months ago. Bought a house here, and questioned the conveyancor about the rates. So I went down to the Council offices with my rates Notice from City of Whitehorse both rates and water) thinking in my naivity there had been a mistake. Too long ago to remember figures, but I KNOW that my quarterly rates bill for Cleveland was my annual rates for Melbourne. May have changed since then, but I can remember being absolutely stunned at the difference.
    As I approach being fully on the OAP, my Vic friends joke that I will soon be moving back to Vict, solely because of the rates. And you know what? - they are not that far wrong! The rates here are obscene, and we get bugger all zilch! Oh - sorry -rubbish removed once a week. Recently went to the local tip (after moving back - cartons, junk, etc) - but hadn't changed my license over. Wanted to charge me entry. (long way to travel to get rid of rubbish - I was living 680 kms from Redlands). Refused, and had to make a trip to get my rates notice.


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