Low-Income Health Care Card – The Forgotten Concession

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As most retirees are aware, Centrelink’s Age Pension provides income support and access to a range of concessions for eligible senior Australians.   Unfortunately (or fortunately), you may find yourself deemed too wealthy for an Age Pension entitlement.

Many retirees consider this the end of the road in terms of subsidising the costs of retirement, however, self-funded retirees may still be eligible for a Low-Income Health Care Card (LIHCC).

Whilst the Age Pension has both an Assets and an Income test, the LIHCC is income tested only.  To qualify as a “low income earner”, your income must be below $556 per week as a single or $960 per week as a couple, during the eight-week period prior to applying for the card.

Examples of some of the types of income Centrelink assess, are as follows:

  • Employment income
  • Rental income
  • Reportable super contributions (e.g. salary sacrifice)
  • Deemed income from financial investments (e.g. bank accounts, investments and shares)
  • Deemed income from Account-based Pension income streams
  • Income from defined benefit income streams
  • Lump sum payments – compensation, redundancy, leave, or termination payments

Should you be deemed eligible for a Low-Income Health Care Card you will find yourself eligible for multiple concessions on your everyday livings costs, including:

  • Cheaper medicine under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
  • Concessions offered by private companies
  • Energy and electricity bills
  • State and Territory Government and local council concessions, such as:
  • Car registration costs
  • Water rates
  • Health care costs including ambulance, dental and eye care
  • Public transport costs
  • Stamp Duty costs

Whilst having the LIHCC won’t boost your bank account balance, it will ease everyday spending and help you to free up additional funds to provide for your other needs and wants.

If you think you might be eligible for a Low-Income Health Care Card, give the team a call and we can review your circumstances.

4 Comments

  1. Susan Hoath on September 23, 2019 at 10:01 am

    Good Morning,
    I have recently relocated from Melbourne to Brisbane and I am looking to buy a unit in Brisbane. I have been told that you assist with stamp duty if you possess a health care card. If this is true, what do I have to do to receive this benefit?

    • The Muirfield Team on October 2, 2019 at 3:27 pm

      Hi Susan

      Yes, some Centrelink concession cards provide stamp duty concessions which are different in each state.

      When purchasing a home you will need to advise your conveyancer that you hold an appropriate card that provides the concession.

      I trust that answers your question

      Regards

      Courtney

  2. John on October 22, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    Hi is the low LIHCC the same as the centerlink HCC

    • The Muirfield Team on October 25, 2019 at 9:06 am

      Hi John

      Centrelink have a number of different concession cards. They include;
      – Pensioner Concession Card (PCC)
      – Low Income Health Care Card (LIHCC)
      – Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC)

      Each have different eligibility criteria and benefits. The term Centrelink HCC is generally used interchangeably with LIHCC.

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