13th Aug 2018
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Your partner may be eligible for concessions, even if they’re not on the pension
Author: Janelle Ward
Do you qualify for a PCC?

Age pensioner Bob has received a Pensioner Concession Card with his wife's name on it, even though she’s not on the Age Pension. He thinks it’s a mistake. Is it?

•••

Q. Bob
I received my Age Pension and my Pensioner Concession Card two weeks ago. I’m being paid the single couple rate. My wife is 58 and doesn’t qualify for any payment.

Today, I received another Pensioner Concession Card with my wife’s name on it. Is this normal or is it a mistake by Centrelink?

A. Yes, this is the norm. Because you are assessed as a couple, your wife is also entitled to receive concessions on health services on PBS medication. Bulk billing and reduced rate medical appointments are at the concession of the provider, as are many of the other concessions that you will be entitled to yourself.

If you have a Centrelink question, send it to newsletters@yourlifechoices.com.au and we’ll do our best to answer it, or find someone who can.

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    COMMENTS

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    Cowboy Jim
    13th Aug 2018
    11:01am
    When I turned 65 C/Link sent me the pension card with both our names on the card. That changed when she turned 65 as well and then she got her own card. Before then, the younger spouse had to file a low income health card request, renewable every 6 months.
    The older spouse has to fill in all the details of the partner's income and assets anyway, so everything is counted for a couple's pension, one qualified.
    Sundays
    13th Aug 2018
    12:25pm
    Theyve streamlined it now and younger spouse gets their own card just like the article says or they can request one. What is not streamlined are the waiting times for processing. It is very wrong to make vulnerable people wait several weeks for.new payments. A crisis which needs addressing
    Oldmanwombat
    13th Aug 2018
    12:08pm
    Good luck with getting anything out of Centrelink. 10 weeks ago we applied for a Health concession card and was told by CL that it would take 2-4 weeks to process .... that was 10 weeks ago! So, 4 weeks ago I logged into MyGov and sent them an email asking where our cards were ... still no response! Black Hole comes to mind?
    fairplay
    13th Aug 2018
    3:49pm
    Had the same problem, took 7 + visits to CL to make sure they had all the right info , only to be told THEY THOUGHT SO ....seems they just send on to the processing people who are somewhere else in the country. ! rang them twice over about 6 weeks only to be told they were still processing...got fed up with their seemingly lack of care so rang a local talkback radio show and guess what ...the phone rang within 48 hours and whilst we did not see our concession cards for about another 4 weeks we were kept abreast of what was happening .......seems we had not provided all the info and had another 2 visits to CL to sort out...THE SYSTEM is the problem ! We are expected to use THEIR system which is not user friendly and CL staff are not all on the same page when it comes to customer queries..most know a little about everything, but we found being very nice was the way to go, after all the staff are only trying to do a very difficult job with blunt tools !!!!
    Greg
    13th Aug 2018
    11:01pm
    We applied for the Low Income Health Care Card on 1st Dec, card finally arrived end April.
    Tricky
    13th Aug 2018
    3:15pm
    I am 67 yrs old with a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, my wife is 64 yrs is she eligible for the same concession card. I am not in receipt of age pension, neither work and we are assessed as a couple?
    Aloysius
    13th Aug 2018
    3:37pm
    Your wife will be eligible when she is 65 years and six months but it will take an indefinite time to be processed. You will be assessed as a couple.
    Aloysius
    13th Aug 2018
    3:33pm
    I have had a Seniors Health Concession card for a few years. We applied for one for my wife in February and are still waiting after 6 months. They have all our information but cannot give an estimate of how long it will take. They do not respond to emails and personal visits are met with "we can't tell you". A computer should only take a minute to process it.
    ozimarco
    13th Aug 2018
    3:57pm
    My wife and I are entitled to a Commonwealth Senior Health Care card (CSHC). We applied on the 6th of March and are still waiting. We have been to the local Centrelink office twice to inquire but all they can tell us is that our application is still being processed. In the meantime, we are still paying full price for our medications, shire rates, etc.
    My theory is that these unacceptable processing delays are a deliberate LNP government strategy to save money. My heart goes out to people without savings who are made to wait six months after applying for the pension. This is a cruel government and the sooner we kick them out the better.
    casey
    13th Aug 2018
    4:23pm
    Don't think you will get anything except cheaper medication.
    We have had a CSHC for a few years and can't get a discount on rates, rego, gas, electric, phone etc. Have asked a few times, but always told we are not entitled.
    Sevi
    13th Aug 2018
    4:10pm
    Just a quick question please,do you know if the ATO has stopped assessing married couples on a Pension and is assessing them individually please.
    SuziJ
    13th Aug 2018
    4:30pm
    Sevi, you'd have to contact the ATO in regards to this.


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