Following on from our article last month outlining the features, benefits and eligibility requirements of the Low Income Health Care Card (LIHCC), in this article we are going to look at a secondary card, the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. Whilst this card does not provide the same wide ranging benefits as the LIHCC, it has a far more generous income test.
What is the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card?
The Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card (CSHC) is a concession card for those who have reached Age Pension age and are not eligible for an Age Pension entitlement. Please note, if you already have a Pensioner Concession Card or Low Income Health Care Card there are no additional benefits to the CSHC.
In addition to being over Age Pension age, to qualify for a CSHC you must:
- Not be receiving a payment from the Department of Veterans’ affairs (DVA).
- Not exceed the income test limit, (note: there is no asset test).
- Meet Australian residency requirements.
The income test requires your adjusted taxable income combined with the deemed value of any Account-based Pensions, to be under:
- $54,929 a year if you’re single.
- $87,884 a year for a couple.
- $109,858 a year for a couple separated by illness, respite care or prison.
Adjustable taxable income in most cases is the sum of your taxable income, fringe benefits, tax-free government pensions, reportable super contributions and net investment losses. 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.
As a holder of the CSHC you will receive cheaper medicine under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme as well as Stamp Duty concessions if buying property. Depending on your state or territory government your local council may offer you additional concessions on varying services or expenses.
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.