Can self-funded retirees get a concession card?–Sept 2014

The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card can give self-funded retirees who do not qualify for a government Age Pension or Department of Veteran Affairs payment the entitlements that others receive from the Pensioner Concession Card. The concessions and discounts that may be available include Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme discounts, cheaper out-of-hospital medical expenses, concessional rail travel and extra health, household and transport discounts on offer at the discretion of state, territory or local governments and sometimes private businesses.

Many self-funded retirees can maintain their assets (there is no assets test) and continue to make quality investments rather than work out ways to reduce assets to “get on the pension” (and there are stories of some even chasing mere dollars a fortnight just to qualify for a Pensioner Concession Card).

The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card is available for people who have attained their Age Pension age and have an adjusted annual taxable income not exceeding $50,000 for a single person or $80,000 a year combined for a “couple living together”.  The adjusted taxable income limit for a “couple separated by illness” is $100,000 a year (a limit which also applies to couples separated through respite care or where one partner is in prison). These income limits are fixed in legislation and not subject to any form of indexation, and also increase by about $640 for each dependent child.

Apply to Centrelink only after attaining Age Pension age, but check with this office for more information, including what makes up “adjusted taxable income”.

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