Low Income Health Care Card

You may qualify for a Low Income Health Care Card if your income falls below the qualifying limits.

Low Income Health Care Card

Even if you’re not eligible for any benefits from Centrelink, you may qualify for a Low Income Health Care Card if your income falls below the qualifying limits.

Holders of a Low Income Health Care Card are entitled to cheaper medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. You may also be entitled to concessions offered by private companies and concessions on energy bills, healthcare costs, public transport, water rates etc, but as these are issued by state, territory and local governments, they may vary depending on where you live.

To qualify for a Low Income Health Care Card, you must meet residency requirements and your eight-week income must be less than the amount which applies to your circumstance on the day you lodge your claim, i.e. you cannot have earned more than the income limit in the previous eight weeks.

Qualifying income limits from 20 March 2019

 Status  Weekly income  Eight-week period
 Single, no children  $561  $4488
 Couple, no children  $969  $7752

There is no asset test for the card but it is subject to a six monthly renewal. To renew your card your income must be no greater than quoted in the table above.

Once you have been granted a Low Income Health Care Card, your weekly income must not exceed the limits detailed below. If you exceed the limit, you lose the entitlement to use the card. You must advise Centrelink of any changes in your income and it will work out whether you still qualify to use the card.

Retaining income limits

 Status  Weekly income  Eight-week period
 Single, no children  $701.25  $5610
 Couple, no children  $1211.25  $9690

To find out more about claiming for a Low Income Health Care Card, the residency requirements and what is included as income, visit Humanservices.gov.au
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Updated 20 March 2019



    To make a comment, please register or login
    10th Sep 2018
    What they don't tell you is that you will have to fill out long complicated forms every renewal period so that retirees will not apply again. Unlikely anything has changed.
    10th Sep 2018
    How bloody ungrateful !

    The government offers the card which gives discounts to couples on $80k and still u find the need to whinge
    20th Sep 2018
    olbaid - where do you get $80k from?? You keep the card if your income doesn't go over $1200 per week = $62400 pa.

    Don't know if your trying to be an arse or just stupid, plenty of people get the card because of very low income, our income works out to be $21000 pa so we get a card and keep it as long as you fill out the massive form MICK is talking about. You than wait weeks, months, phone them, phone them again, get shitty with them and finally you receive the card in the mail months after the last one has expired, in the meantime you've had to pay full price for scripts, doctors, etc.

    And even after the last phone call and receiving the card it's now months later and our financial figures on Centrelink's website are still the old figures from 2016. Appears no one has processed the updated information. Centrelink is in a shambles, run down by this incompetent government, trying to save a buck at the cost of those who can least afford it.
    10th Sep 2018
    Has to be as you say Mick the paper work is just stupid there has to be a motive.Perhaps a few more by.elections are what we require.People are starting to wake up.
    10th Sep 2018
    Don't fill it out if you dont want the card.
    But for goodness sake stop whinging
    20th Sep 2018
    olbaid - going through these posts on YLC and it's YOU that does most of the whinging about everyone else's comments - take your own advice.
    11th Sep 2018
    I have no issue with the forms however I submitted a renewal on June 5 and three months later no news. No use contacting centrelink (if you can) as they don't know how the renewal application is progressing and then they will say that there is a backlog due to high demand.
    21st Sep 2018
    Just keep ringing them Glenn, I did, read my post above, they eventually just issued a card without updating our financial info. Tell them you have numerous upcoming expenses that you need the card for, see how you go.
    Big Kev
    11th Sep 2018
    And yet again, we have self funded retirees, caught in the tax trap, where their net income is less than the income limits but their gross income exceeds it.
    6th Mar 2019
    While I don't like filling in unnecessarily long forms, what I found most irritating was the fact that we didn't get our card until nearly 9 months after lodging the form, despite checking regularly with Centrelink. Every time we went there, we received the same answer, "It is still being processed." I have given up trying to contact them by phone because of the horrendous wait times. Centrelink is a national disgrace!
    6th Mar 2019
    & dont forget after six weeks OS you get to start the process again!! I'm elligble but will not apply for this card. Its little better than a joke. Also as its income based, why not accept taxation department assessments instead of pages of repeated waffle. cheers
    7th Mar 2019
    You mean a rational, logical efficient system? Tell then they're dreaming or is it deeming?
    9th Mar 2019
    They don't use ATO figures as they are looking at the last eight weeks of income, the point is some people get income ad hoc, a bit here, a bit there and the cards can be issued when eight weeks of income has been low enough, the ATO's figures are for the year obviously.
    8th Mar 2019
    And it takes ages to get the low income card , even a renewal takes a long time as they need the info all over again even real estate values .