220.127.116.11 Qualification for CSHC
To qualify for a CSHC, 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.
|ALL of the following|
Be a person, NOT receiving a:
|Be of age pension qualification age, AND|
|Be an Australian resident or an SCV holder, in Australia (1.1.A.320) at the time of lodging the claim, AND||3.1.1 Residence requirements|
|Have income BELOW the applicable income cut-off limits, AND||18.104.22.168 Assessment of income for CSHC|
|Have served a NARWP (1.1.N.70) if it applies.||22.214.171.124 Newly arrived resident's waiting period (NARWP)|
|Meet TFN requirements.||126.96.36.199 Providing TFN Information|
Act reference: SSAct section 23(1)-'social security pension', section 23(1)-'social security benefit', section 23(5A) to section 23(5D) Pension age, section 7(2) An Australian resident is a person who…
Overseas pensions are included as income.
Explanation: If a person's overseas pension forms part of their Australian taxable income (i.e. they pay Australian income tax on that pension) then that pension is already included in the CSHC income test. If a person's overseas pension does not form part of their taxable income (i.e. they pay no Australian tax on that pension) then that pension must be added back into the ATI test.
Cardholders travelling overseas
From 1 January 2015, the CSHC has a non-cancellation period of 19 weeks if the holder temporarily departs Australia.
In those cases where a CSHC holder has been overseas for more than 19 weeks and their card is cancelled they may be eligible to lodge a verbal phone claim for a new CSHC.
In order to use this streamlined verbal claim service the applicant must:
- be in Australia when they make the claim,
- have their income details up-to-date (i.e. have provided a TNA from the tax year immediately preceding the current tax year. If the applicant has not received a TNA for the reference tax year, the tax year immediately preceding will be the reference tax year),
- make the claim within 13-weeks of having their card cancelled.
Applicants who meet these requirements can then have their claim assessed over the phone. If their claim is successful their CSHC can be re-activated.
Where a person's income details are more than 2 years old or their card has been cancelled for 26 weeks or less, they will need to lodge an abridged re-claim.
If their card has been cancelled for more than 26 weeks, they will need to complete a full claim.
Act reference: SSAct section 1061ZUB Non-cancellation of concession cards for temporary overseas absences
Policy reference: SS Guide 188.8.131.52 Non-cancellation of Concession Cards for Temporary Overseas Absences
Low income claimants
If a claimant does NOT receive a TNA due to low income, they should be assessed to determine their eligibility for Age.
Explanation: It is expected that there will be a small number of these people who will NOT be eligible for Age due to assets test or residency requirements.
Act reference: SSAct section 1061ZG Qualification rules, section 1061ZI Duration of newly arrived resident's waiting period
Policy reference: SS Guide 184.108.40.206 Qualification for Age
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 and may qualify for claimable concession cards.
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
LIC holders & the CSHC
Holders of the LIC who are also able to qualify for the CSHC may hold and retain both concession cards concurrently.
Pension loans scheme
Payments to a person under the PLS are not included in their ATI for CSHC purposes.
Policy reference: SS Guide 220.127.116.11 Supplementary benefits & assistance for PLS recipients
Provision of TFN
From 1 September 2008 all claimants for the CSHC are required to provide their TFN. A CSHC will not be granted unless TFN requirements are met.
Policy reference: SS Guide 18.104.22.168 Providing TFN Information
CSHC for Age pensioners losing pension eligibility on 1 January 2017 due to the rebalancing the assets test measure
Age pensioners who lost their pension entitlement and PCC on 1 January 2017 as a result of the measure to rebalance the assets test were automatically issued with a CSHC and a LIC without having to meet the usual income test requirements. However, from 9 October 2017, these pensioners had their PCCs automatically reissued with an ongoing income and assets test exemption. Other eligibility requirements, such as portability conditions, still need to be met.