After working hard and paying taxes for many years, surprise and gratification is something we commonly see when we inform clients they are eligible for a concession card issued by Services Australia (Centrelink).
Holding an eligible concession card can provide you with discounts across a range of services including gas, electricity, water and property rates, and health services.
Benefits vary depending on which concession card you hold. To ensure you are maximising the benefits available to you, the Victorian Government have released a guidebook – take a look here.
For those reading who do not reside in Victoria, we encourage you to check with your State Government to find out what concessions are available to you.
If you do not hold a concession card at present, we encourage you to reach out to your financial adviser who can help assess your eligibility. In light of the recent increase in income thresholds, you might be surprised by what is now available.
Below we briefly explain the eligibility for each card:
Low Income Health Care Card (LIHCC):
If you have recently retired or have a low income, it’s worthwhile checking your eligibility. To qualify, your income for the 8 weeks leading up to your application needs to be below $680 per week if you’re single or $1,166 per week as a couple. The income definition is extensive for the Low-Income Health Care Card. We encourage you to talk to your adviser to confirm what is counted as income for you.
Pensioner Concession Card (PCC):
Should you qualify for a pension with Services Australia, such as an Age Pension or Disability Support Pension, you will also be granted a Pensioner Concession Card. Pension entitlements are means tested under the income and assets thresholds.
Broadly speaking, as a single homeowner your income needs to be under $58,318 per annum and your assets need to be under $622,250 to qualify. As a member of a couple, who owns their own home, your combined income needs to be under $89,211.20 per annum and assets (excluding your home value) need to be under $935,000 to qualify. Talk to your adviser to see how the rules apply to you.
Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC):
A CSHC is a concession card we commonly consider for those of Age Pension age who do not qualify for an Age Pension. While there is no asset test associated with this card, your Adjusted Taxable Income and Deemed income from an account-based pension will need to be less than $90,000 per annum if you’re single, or $144,000 per annum for couples.