Centrelink Q&A: Which concession cards do you qualify for?

Bernadette is over pension age but still working. Does she qualify for concessions?

Centrelink Q&A: Which concession cards do you qualify for?

Bernadette is over pension age but still working and wants to know what concession cards she may be eligible for.

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Q. Bernadette
I am 67 and am only working six hours a day because I can’t get a pension as my partner works. He is 11 years my junior and won’t be retiring for quite some time. Though we are partners, we still keep our will and finances separate as we both have two non-dependent children from previous marriages. I have worked and paid taxes all my life and find it very unfair not to be able to receive a pension card or health card. I am unable to get any discounts that a pensioner with a card can get. Am I entitled to anything at all?

A. As you are over the pension age and not eligible for a payment from Services Australia, you may still be eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

You still need to meet the income test to get a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, which for couples means that you must not earn more than $89,290 a year.

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.

If you and your partner are over the income limit for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, you may still be eligible for a 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.

You can read more about Seniors Card eligibility in your state and territory here.

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    Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer, financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.





    COMMENTS

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    Dave R
    6th Jul 2020
    10:29am
    Actually IMO it stinks that people over age pension age can not get a pension or benefits if they are part of a couple and the other partner is working and earning enough to disqualify them. This is yet another example of where a universal basic income would make things simple and equitable.
    Tzuki
    6th Jul 2020
    4:58pm
    Agreed! I have been in this position for ages...
    tisme
    6th Jul 2020
    11:08am
    it does stink especially when you have worked and paid tax. ( mum used to tell me thats how the system worked in England. )
    Franky
    6th Jul 2020
    11:27am
    It's about time we had a universal age pension, regardless of income and assets. Someone who saves and earns lots during their life paying lots of taxes is penalized for doing so when they should be rewarded! Crazy system here....To my knowledge there isn't another developed country that has their age pension assets and income tested
    McDaddy
    6th Jul 2020
    12:44pm
    Ours is much better than you think, only a handful of Countries have a Universal Pension, about 45 have a means tested Pension, we rank 3rd best system in the World.
    https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/042914/top-pension-systems-world.asp
    BillW41
    6th Jul 2020
    1:01pm
    Yes, the UK system pays full Government pension even if you receive a former employer pension and everyone is covered by the National Health Service. There is no means test. Even I, who only worked in the UK for 6 years (and bought an extra 3 years), receive a 25% UK pension although I've lived and worked in Australia since 1964 and my wife, who was born here and never worked in the UK receives a 12.5% British pension because she's married to me! The Aussie system is pretty poor - imagine how much of public servants' wages could be redirected to retired people if they simplified their methods and gave up checking on us all the time.
    Hoohoo
    7th Jul 2020
    2:24pm
    No wonder the UK are going down!
    mogo51
    6th Jul 2020
    1:05pm
    Whilst that is unfair, many people are in the same situation. My only suggestion is wrap a towel around your head, hire a boat and row into your capital city harbour flying a white flag with 'refugee' on it. You will then get everything you ask for.
    Hoohoo
    7th Jul 2020
    2:28pm
    You'll be locked up indefinitely without recourse to even a court hearing. Even if you and your family were fleeing persecution and threatened with death.

    You should try it mogo51 - it might be the only way you'll unlearn your one-eyed racism.
    Mariner
    7th Jul 2020
    4:08pm
    Be fair - hoohoo. One is still allowed to have an opinion here - where they come from you do not. Or of course you might be one of them.
    dabi56
    6th Jul 2020
    3:00pm
    The over 60s card. In Queensland to get one that will give me rate reductions and reduced public transport fares I have to be receiving some kind of Federal Government Welfare. But in Victoria you just have to be over 60 and not working full time, I have a Victorian 63 year old friend who works 32 hours a week and has one. Strange thing is Victorian Over 60s card holders can come to Queensland and get concessional public transport but I being an over 60s Queenslander just working 4 hours a week can't. I rang the State government department that handles this and the public servant I spoke to agreed with me that it was an anomaly. I wrote to the State Minister and I just got back a letter telling me about all the great things they are doing but never addressing my concern.
    Mariner
    7th Jul 2020
    9:05am
    All you have to get in Qld is the low income health care card at age 60 and you get the Seniors Card. Unless you work in a good job full time you most probably qualify for one. I did with ease; it does require a lot of form filling, you will acquire a Centrelink number which will then stay the same when you go on age pension. Filling in these forms will help you later when applying for the pension as C/L has all your information already. You will not get welfare but you will get cheaper power and council rates in some municipalities, ask them about it. All my mates in Vic and NSW had a Senior Card at 60 and used them when visiting me in Queensland.
    dabi56
    7th Jul 2020
    9:21am
    Wish that were true Mariner but I am 64 years old earn $200 a week from a casual job but get no welfare from the Federal Government, I do not qualify for a low income health care card as I have too much in savings.
    In Victoria to get the over 60s card you do not need to be on a low income health care card, you just need to be over 60 and working less than 35 hours a week. Qld recognizes over 60 cards from other States so when my millionaire Victorian friends visit me they get concessional public transport but I don't.
    Mariner
    7th Jul 2020
    10:07am
    dabi56 - quite right about Vic and NSW re Senior Card. I qualified in Qld for the card but shifted to NSW. I applied for the one in NSW and it is a piece of cake (working less than 35 hours a week and no questions about excess savings etc). Things were better for the oldies in Qld when old Joh was in charge - for a start I was able to have a beer on Sunday as well. Lived in Melbourne for 8 years with total Sunday pub shut down and no Sunday paper either.
    McDaddy
    7th Jul 2020
    11:42am
    So dabi56 you must have a bit over $800k in savings, so you are serious saying you want a Low Income Health Card. You'll get a Commonwealth seniors Card probably when you are Pension Age, but I think you'll survive until then.
    Jacky
    6th Jul 2020
    3:16pm
    If all people of pension age got the pension, everybody would be more inclined to work hard and save because they would not be penalised for it. It would be a fair system and save the worry of trying to get the pension.
    Bundabergian
    6th Jul 2020
    4:01pm
    We just squeak past the limit on income so my hubby gets a tiny part pension. (I of course am too youthful!). However that pension card (which also covers me) is priceless. $6.60 for our meds, bulk billing in a lot of cases. It was worth all the blood sweat and tears to get through the humiliating debacle that is centrelink.
    I was recently interviewed for a job that paid a pittance, I would love to do a little job but we would have been worse off!
    I am with all of you calling for a universal pension for all. Cut the bureaucratic nightmare that is centrelink and save money that way. How much simpler it would be if, as ATO have all our details from our tax return, they see our age and non working income and just send us a pension!
    ...Yeah dream on!
    Mariner
    7th Jul 2020
    9:10am
    I like the universal pension as well but we have to take into consideration that in most countries with universal pensions the recipients have to pay tax on it; also the tax exempt threshold is lower than here so even if you have nothing but the full pension you are still on the taxation list.
    el
    6th Jul 2020
    7:48pm
    Is anyone doing the sums? How are our kids and grandkids taxes going to pay for a pension that goes to those who already have a comfortable income and many assets? And while they still accumulate funds for their own retirement... and while they are repaying the govt for their tertiary education ? It is painful now for some (who otherwise would not have a care) because the return on investments is minute (even wont bring a good income). And, yes, couple is treated as 'a couple' - because they are - they share their dwelling overheads etc. What would be the position of the single aged persons relative to the couple with this rragement - as their overheads are higher per head than the couple? Would those arguing for this support similar treatment for a supporting parent in a relationship with a waged person (if they promised to keep their income separate)? How about a higher unemployment benefit - one that actually allows people to live and afford to catch transport when seeking a job (they dont have that for free?
    Ducky
    7th Jul 2020
    5:38am
    We operate on a very, very unfair system, I went for eight years without a pension because my husband refused to retire and then I was refused his money by Centrelink. I worked for 54 years and paid tax but that doesn't count.
    McDaddy
    7th Jul 2020
    8:56am
    So your Husband earned more than app $85000 PA and you're upset that you didn't get a pension, that if he retired and you got the max Pension as a couple, would be $37k combined. Also the Gov doesn't save up your tax and pay it to you as a Pension, they use it for other things along the way.
    Mariner
    7th Jul 2020
    9:15am
    Ducky - you could have rented a room permanently at one of your kids' houses (or friends) for $120 a month, claim you are separated and get your own pension with the benefits. I know it is not legal but is quite common where we live. Just do not tell anyone about it.
    kram
    7th Jul 2020
    10:56am
    I thought that a retired couple could only get $25k but McDaddy says it can be $37k.
    I am one of those idiots who worked too hard and am just over the asset limit by owning a small factory which if rented would only give a small income
    I'm in my 70s and can't sell it or give it away so I still work as all my assets don't bring in $37m.
    Yes, the system stinks.
    McDaddy
    7th Jul 2020
    11:38am
    Why can't you sell it?
    BillW41
    7th Jul 2020
    12:23pm
    One aspect I should have mentioned: because we are overseas residents, our UK pensions are set at age 65 level and will never increase.
    McDaddy
    7th Jul 2020
    12:42pm
    The UK Pension system is regarded as a poor model globally, much worse than Australia's system.
    as per this Global Pension Index
    https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/042914/top-pension-systems-world.asp#the-top-3-pension-systems
    Mariner
    7th Jul 2020
    4:22pm
    Same here BillW41 same amount since 2013, changes a bit with the exchange rate.


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