It can seem like there isn’t much help available when it comes to your retirement living expenses if you don’t qualify for the Age Pension.
But many people in this situation overlook the support a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) can provide. If you’re eligible, this concession card gives you access to cheaper healthcare, medications and, potentially, government services. And the good news is, 50,000 more retirees became eligible when new income limits took effect on 4 November 2022.
So, what is the CSHC and how do you get your hands on one?
You must meet all the following criteria to qualify for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card:
- You have reached your Age Pension eligibility age
- You’re not eligible to receive any payment from the Department of Human Services (including the Age Pension) or from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
- You’re an Australian resident and you live in Australia
- You satisfy an annual income test (that has different thresholds to the Age Pension income test).
The income test requires your adjusted taxable income combined with the deemed value of any Superannuation Account-based Pensions, to be under:
- $90,000 a year if you’re single.
- $144,000 a year for couples.
Centrelink deems income from any account-based income streams when it calculates your income for CSHC eligibility. Deeming assumes that financial investments are earning a certain rate of income, regardless of your pension payment amount or the actual earnings from your pension.
There is no assets test.
When applying for the CSHC, if you file a tax return you will be able to use a notice of assessment from the previous 2 years to determine your taxable income. If you no longer file a tax return Centrelink will accept an estimate of your taxable income.
If you think you might be eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, give the Muirfield team a call and we can review your circumstances.