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 2020

 Status  Weekly income  Eight-week period
 Single, no children  $570.00  $4560.00
 Couple, no children  $984.00  $7872

There is no asset test for the card but it is subject to a 12-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 from 20 March 2020

 Status  Weekly income  Eight-week period
 Single, no children  $712.50  $5700
 Couple, no children  $1230.00  $9840

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

 

Updated 11 March 2020

Related articles:
Age Pension increases 20 March 2020
Pension thresholds: 20 March 2020
JobSeeker changes: 20 March 2020

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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