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.