18.104.22.168 Historical policy on pensioner concessions
This topic contains historical policy on fringe benefits as it related to:
- pensioners, and
- benefit recipients.
Fringe benefits for pensioners
Before April 1993, pensioners qualified for fringe benefits (PHB and Transport Concession Cards) if their income and assets (1.1.A.290) did not exceed the limits in the referenced topics
Act reference: SSAct section 8(1)-'income'
Policy reference: SS Guide 22.214.171.124 Historical assets limits for pensioner concessions - general, 126.96.36.199 Historical Income Limits for Fringe Benefits - November 1983 to March 1993
Pensioners whose income or assets were above the fringe benefits limits received a Pharmaceutical Benefits Concession card.
Blind pensioners received a PHB card not subject to an income or assets test.
On 1 April 1993 fringe benefits were extended to all pensioners regardless of other income.
In November 1993 the PHB Card and Transport Concession Card were renamed as the PCC.
Fringe benefits for benefit recipients
Before 1 April 1993, the income test (PHB or fringe benefits limit) also applied to people receiving:
- unemployment benefit
- job search allowance (no incapacity)
- SpB (except if paid under SpB conditions due to eligibility restrictions on age)
- adult migrant education allowance
- English as a second language allowance, and
- formal training allowance.
These people were eligible for a HCC if their income and assets were below the fringe benefits limits in the referenced topics.
Benefit recipients over 60 years of age did qualify for a pharmaceutical benefits concession card if they had:
- income exceeded the fringe benefits limits, and
- been receiving an allowance or benefit for 6 months or longer.
Sickness beneficiaries received a PHB card free of the income test.
From 1 April 1993 the fringe benefits income test is no longer applied for job search allowance (job search allowance was merged into NSA from 20 September 1996, and JSP replaced NSA from 20 March 2020) or SA recipients and SpB recipients over 60 who have been in receipt of continuous income support for over 12 months. These people qualified for a PHB card.