Commonwealth Seniors Health Card may be key to $750 payment

Check your eligibility to ensure you don’t inadvertently miss out on stimulus.

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card may be key to $750 payment

Updated 6 July 2020

Everyone ticks off items on their to-do list at their own pace. Just ask my husband. But if your tardiness was set to cost you $750, it’s likely you might find the time sooner rather than later. Right?

With the new financial year comes a raft of changes to Age Pension thresholds, superannuation and banking, and fresh COVID stimulus payments. It’s time to assess whether you may now qualify for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC), which would make you eligible for the $750 payment.

The federal government’s second support payment is due to be sent to eligible Australians from 13 July. If you hold a CSHC, you automatically qualify for the payment.

Also, if your retirement income has suffered and you now qualify for an Age Pension, you will also meet the requirement for the stimulus. Disqualifying limits for the Age Pension changed on 1 July – find the details here – and revised deeming rates took effect on 1 May. Both may have had an impact on whether you are eligible for an Age Pension – or for an increase if you receive a part pension.

But here’s how to assess whether you qualify for a CSHC.

Services Australia advises that you must be of Age Pension age but not eligible to claim an Age Pension, and you must pass an income test, which looks at your adjusted taxable income and a deemed amount from account-based income streams.

If you are a single, you must earn no more than $55,808 a year; if a couple, no more than $89,290 a year, and if a couple separated by illness, respite care or prison, no more than $111,616 a year. If you have a child in your care, you are entitled to add $639.60 per child.

Services Australia will look at your account-based income streams, such as pensions and annuities. It says the balance of an account-based income stream is subject to deeming – currently 2.25 per cent for amounts above $51,800 for singles and for amounts above $43,100 for couples. But deeming will only apply if:

  • you bought or changed the investment on or after 1 January 2015
  • you own it and Services Australia granted your CSHC after 31 December 2014
  • your partner owns it and he or she is 60 or older.

There is no assets test for a CSHC.

The government advises that the second $750 payment will be made available to the same recipients who were eligible for the first payment – and who are eligible for a qualifying payment or card on 10 July – with the exception those who are receiving the Coronovirus Supplement on that date. This will exclude the following payment recipients:

  • JobSeeker Payment (and the payments transitioning into JobSeeker Payment including Sickness Allowance, Wife Pension and Bereavement Allowance)
  • Youth Allowance for jobseekers, students and apprentices
  • Parenting Payment (Partnered and Single)
  • Austudy
  • ABSTUDY Living Allowance
  • Farm Household Allowance and
  • Special Benefit.

About 6.6 million Australians received the first $750 payment and about five million are expected to receive the second payment.

Services Australia says the funds will start appearing in accounts from 15 July.

The payment is not counted as income for social security and family tax benefit payments, aged care fees and charges and veterans’ payments. It is tax exempt and Services Australia will not use it to pay off any existing debts.

Personal finance specialist Noel Whittaker says the CSHC could be worth more than $6000 a year to recipients, singling out the reduced cost of medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme as a key component.

“It’s been a tough year for retirees, with dividends slashed or suspended, stock markets around the world plunging and rents vanishing if you are a landlord. Any assistance you can get is well worth the time spent in making an application,” he says.

Have you done the sums to see if you now qualify for a CSHC? Are you aware of the additional benefits of the card?

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    To make a comment, please register or login
    3rd Jul 2020
    What is the difference between the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card and the Age Pension Concession Card?
    3rd Jul 2020
    You can get a Commonwealth Seniors Health card even uf yoy are not on the Age pension.
    3rd Jul 2020
    More concessions if you have a Pension Concession Card.
    3rd Jul 2020
    stupid story. The $750 is NOT being paid to jobseeker,youth allowances and all of the people currently getting the extra $550 a fortnight. Thye all got it last time before the $550 payment kicked in. The write of this article just redid the article when it all first came out.
    3rd Jul 2020
    They said the same a week or so ago on a similar topic. You would think someone would be checking before putting stuff in print
    Janelle Ward
    3rd Jul 2020
    Quite right Leek and Skiing. I've updated that article now. Thanks for pointing out the eligibility change for the 2nd payment.
    3rd Jul 2020
    I don’t think jobseeker people are getting this next $750.
    3rd Jul 2020
    Hi Paddington. I thought that Jobseeker people do still get the $750- as long as they meet the conditions. That is those that have CSHC card or even a say a part aged pension. But if I am wrong would appreciate some explanation if anyone on this forum knows more.
    3rd Jul 2020
    Jobseeker, Austudy, ABSTUDY and Parenting payment recipients do not qualify this time around. Part Age Pensioners do however. YLC should update to provide accurate information.
    3rd Jul 2020
    johnp - no, they don't get it. From the DSS site - "The second Economic Support Payment is for people receiving a qualifying payment or card on 10 July 2020 so long as they do not receive the Coronavirus Supplement with their payment".
    The coronavirus supplement is the extra $275 a week, so no, Jobseekers don't get it.
    12th Jul 2020
    Thanks to you both ;-)
    3rd Jul 2020
    I assist my elderly aunt in her dealings with Centrelink. She is a self funded retiree and before Jan this year was just on the borderline of not receiving $1 of part pension. But with all the changes, particularly with deeming, and huge loss with super, we reapplied in mid March, just before they announced the 2 x $750 payments. Still waiting to hear.
    IF my aunt is eligible for a part pension, and thus the Pensioner Concession card, but they do not advise us for a number of weeks, will she still be eligible for the $750 payment? Is her eligibility back dated to when she applied, or when they approve? She MAY have been eligible before March 25th (eligibility date) even for the first one.
    3rd Jul 2020
    it should have been processed by now, you need to check if anything outstanding. POI, Tax notice of assessment, Income Stream info? Are you her nominee or just helping?
    3rd Jul 2020
    Is anybody able to answer a couple of questions please?
    My husband's short term contract has ended and we no longer have any income. Based on all the rules of asset test we are WELL below thresholds. I am entitled to pension from late November and he is entitled from June next year. Is there any form of health card or support or entitlements we may be eligible for. It's very confusing with each rule and regulation. We own our own small mortgaged tiny home. Thank you.
    3rd Jul 2020
    I believe he would be entitled to jobkeeper if he has an ABN number, but someone else here may know more me.
    3rd Jul 2020
    Try for the low income health care card, Curious. Was in the same position once - no money but the card. If you want more job seeker allowance is the go - was Newstart in my day. Things change.
    4th Jul 2020
    Thank you Mariner and Johnp, appreciate your feedback.
    10th Jul 2020
    Its a complicated system designed to employ as many public servants as possible.

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