3.9.1.20 Qualification for LIC

Qualification (1.1.Q.10) criteria

To qualify for a LIC, a person must meet the criteria listed in the following table. Where more detail about a criterion is required, the second column indicates where you will find this.

Criterion More Detail
ALL of the following
Be an Australian resident, the holder of a specified temporary subclass of visa or SCV holder residing in Australia (1.1.A.320) at the time of lodging the claim, AND 3.1.1 Residence Requirements
The exceptions to this rule are outlined in this topic.
Have served a NARWP (1.1.N.70) if it applies, unless the person has a QRE (1.1.Q.35) or NARWP exemption, AND 3.1.2.40 Newly arrived resident's waiting period (NARWP)
Have income below the prescribed limit. 3.9.1.70 LIC - assessment of income

Act reference: SSAct section 7(2) An Australian resident is a person who:…

Residence requirements - holders of a specified temporary subclass of visa

Holders of the following temporary visas MAY qualify for the LIC even though they are not Australian residents:

  • subclass 060 (Bridging F),
  • subclass 070 (Bridging (Removal Pending)),
  • subclass 309 (Partner (Provisional)),
  • subclass 449 (Humanitarian Stay (Temporary)),
  • subclass 785 (Temporary Protection),
  • subclass 786 ((Temporary) Humanitarian Concern),
  • subclass 790 (Safe Haven Enterprise), and
  • subclass 820 (Partner).

Note: Only holders of subclass 309 and 820 visas are required to serve the NARWP before the LIC is granted.

Act reference: SSAct section 1061ZO(7) The Minister may, by legislative instrument, declare that a person who…, section 1061ZQ(2) Newly arrived resident's waiting period

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.2.40 Newly arrived resident's waiting period (NARWP), 9.2 Visa subclasses & payment eligibility for visas issued after 1/9/94

Residence requirements - New Zealanders

While an SCV holder (non-protected) may qualify for the LIC, SCV holders are required to serve the NARWP before the LIC is granted.

Note: On 1 January 2019 changes were made to the NARWP. The NARWP was extend to 208 weeks for income support payments and a new NARWP was introduced to family payments and CA. SCV holders will continue to not have a NARWP for FTB, PLP, or DAPP. A 104 week NARWP will continue to apply to CSHC and the LIC.

Act reference: SSAct section 1061ZQ(2) Newly arrived resident's waiting period

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.1 Residence Requirements, 3.1.2.40 Newly arrived resident's waiting period (NARWP), 3.1.2.46 NARWP Saving Provisions for New Zealand Citizens

Residence qualification - international health agreements

Visitors from other countries including those with which Australia has an international health care agreement are NOT residentially qualified for a LIC. These people however may wish to enquire at a Medicare office about their eligibility for Medicare assistance.

NARWP

From 1 January 2019 changes were made to the NARWP for the LIC. A person who is granted a permanent visa or temporary partner visa (subclass 309 or 820) on or after 1 January 2019 is subject to a 208 week NARWP for the LIC. A person who was a holder of a permanent visa or temporary partner visa (subclass 309 or 820) before 1 January 2019 is subject to a 104 week NARWP for the LIC.

Note: Holders of an SCV (subclass 444) or Remaining Relative or Orphan Relative visa (subclass 115, 835, 117 or 837) are not affected by the 1 January 2019 changes. They are subject to a 104 week NARWP for the LIC.

Note: Different payments have different waiting periods. The length of the NARWP depends on a person's situation and payment or concession card type. A person who has fully served a NARWP for one payment or concession card may still be serving a NARWP for other payments. Refer to specific payment guide topics for individual rules.

Exemptions for the NARWP

There are a number of exemptions from the NARWP for the LIC, and situations where a NARWP does not apply (see 3.1.2.70 for details). These include:

  • Australian citizens
  • refugee, former refugee or family member of a refugees
  • Temporary Humanitarian visa holders
  • people who have an FTB child - LIC exemption (see FTB & the LIC)

Note: Some newly arrived persons may qualify for a LIC during the NARWP, if they have experienced a substantial change in circumstances beyond their control. The provision exists primarily for access to SpB. It may also be applied to claimants for the LIC where the requirements for SpB are met.

Note: A person who has a QRE for the LIC will also receive an exemption to the NARWP for the LIC.

There are also other exemptions specific to other payment types (see 3.1.2.70, FA Guide 2.2.1.10 and PPL Guide 2.2.4.30).

Act reference: SSAct section 1061ZQ(2) and section 1061ZQ(3) Newly arrived resident's waiting period (LIC)

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.N.70 Newly arrived resident's waiting period (NARWP), 3.1.2.40 Newly arrived resident's waiting period (NARWP), 3.1.2.43 Exemptions for the NARWP, 3.7.2.20 Substantial Change in Circumstances for SpB

FTB & the LIC

If a person applies for FTB, and is rejected, or does not receive the maximum fortnightly rate (and associated auto HCC), they may test their eligibility for a LIC under the 8 weekly income test.

Explanation: FTB is based on an annual income estimate while the LIC is assessed on actual income over an 8 week period prior to claim.

From 1 January 2019, people who have an FTB child are exempt from the NARWP for a LIC. A person does not have to be receiving FTB to qualify for this exemption.

More information on exemptions to family payments are in the FA Guide 2.2.1.10 and PPL Guide 2.2.4.30.

Act reference: SSAct section 1061ZQ(2) Newly arrived resident's waiting period (LIC)

FAAct section 3(1)-'FTB Child'

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.2.43 Exemptions for the NARWP

FA Guide 2.1.1.10 FTB child

LIC holder claims FTB

If a LIC holder claims FTB, the following scenarios apply, where the maximum rate of FTB is:

  • payable (by instalment), the associated FTB HCC is issued and supersedes the LIC, AND
  • not payable, qualification for the LIC continues unless the person becomes ineligible.

Example: The person is no longer eligible when income equals or exceeds the relevant 125% income limit.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.9.1.70 LIC - assessment of income

FA Guide 1.1.A.20 Adjusted taxable income (ATI)

Cardholders travelling overseas

From 1 January 2013, most concession cards have a limited non-cancellation period of 6 weeks if the holder departs Australia temporarily. LICs will remain current if the holder departs Australia temporarily (for no more than 6 weeks).

Act reference: SSAct section 1061ZUB Non-cancellation of concession cards for temporary overseas absences

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.9.4.20 Non-cancellation of Concession Cards for Temporary Overseas Absences

Claimants returning from overseas who require urgent medical attention

Claimants returning from an overseas trip of longer than 6 weeks (including, for example, overseas volunteers and missionaries) who require urgent medical attention can lodge their HCC claim forms immediately on return to Australia and have them processed as a matter of urgency. This ensures that claimants can gain immediate access to medical treatment at the concessional rate (where the medical provider offers a concession).

Prisoners & detainees

Prisoners and detainees are prevented from qualifying for social security payments, and the concession cards that are automatically issued with these payments, under SSAct section 1158.

Prisoners and detainees are also prevented from qualifying for claim-required concession cards like the LIC and CSHC, under SSAct section 1159A.

However, certain prisoners are 'licensed on day release' to undertake activities such as engaging in paid work or TAFE training. They do not fall within the 'in gaol' definition under SSAct section 23(5) and may qualify for claimable concession cards like the LIC.

Act reference: SSAct section 1158 Some social security payments not payable during period in gaol or in psychiatric confinement following criminal charge, section 1159A Person not qualified for some concession cards when in gaol or in psychiatric confinement following criminal charge, section 23(5) For the purposes of this Act, a person is in gaol if…

CSHC holders & the LIC

CSHC holders who also meet the LIC income test can qualify for and retain both concession cards.

Act reference: SSAct section 1061ZO Qualification

Card claim & issue

The LIC can be claimed using form number SS050 - 'Claim for HCC'. When granted, the HCC is issued for a period of 52 weeks. Cardholders are required to advise Centrelink if a notifiable event occurs during this period. Renewal forms (reviews of eligibility) are issued automatically to the cardholder towards the end of the card issue period to allow their eligibility to be retested.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.9.1.90 Notification & Recipient Obligations for HCC, 3.9.1.70 LIC - assessment of income

Last reviewed: 20 March 2019