Report of the National Advisory Council on Dental Health

Appendix G - A List of Centrelink-supportedf Pensions and their Eligibility for Concession Cards121

The National Advisory Council on Dental Health (the Council) was established as a time-limited group to provide strategic, independent advice on dental health issues, as requested by Minister for Health and Ageing, to the Government. The Council’s priority task was to provide advice on dental policy options and priorities for consideration in the 2012-13 Budget.

Page last updated: 03 September 2012

      121 Taken from: A guide to Australian Government payments: on behalf of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (20 September – 31 December 2011).

      Pensioner Concession Card (PCC)

      A PCC is automatically issued to:

      • All income support pensioners, which includes: Age Pension, Disability Support Pension, Wife Pension, Carer Payment, Parenting Payment (Single), Bereavement Allowance and Widow B Pension.
      • Department of Veterans’ Affairs service pensioners and war widows receiving an income support supplement.
      • Newstart Allowance, Parenting Payment (Partnered) and Youth Allowance (job seeker) customers assessed as having a partial capacity to work or who are a single principal carer of a dependent child.
      • Older benefit customers, that is:
      •   - customers aged 60 and over who are receiving Newstart Allowance, Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance, Parenting Payment (Partnered), Sickness Allowance, or Special Benefit, and have been in continuous receipt of one or more of the above payments (or an income support pension) for nine months or more.
      • Participants of the Pension Loans Scheme who are qualified to receive a part–rate pension.
      • Community Development Employment Project (CDEP) participants who are qualified for an income support pension but that payment is not payable due to the result of either the assets test or the rules relating to seasonal or intermittent workers, and who therefore qualify for the CDEP Scheme Participant Supplement (CPS).
      • CDEP participants who are qualified for Newstart Allowance, Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance, Parenting Payment (Partnered), Youth Allowance or Special Benefit, but where that payment is not payable due to the result of either the asset test or rules relating to seasonal or intermittent workers, and who therefore qualify for the CDEP CPS. Note that these customers must be aged 60 years or over, and have been in continuous receipt, or have been taken to be in continuous receipt of one or more of the above payments (or an income support pension) for nine months or more.

      Once customers are no longer qualified for these payments, they must generally stop using their PCC. However, in some circumstances, certain customers can retain their PCC for a short period after returning to work. These provisions are designed to assist customers to make the transition from income support to work.

      Disability Support Pensioners (DSP)

      • Retain their PCC for 52 weeks after losing qualification for the pension due to commencing employment of 15 hours or more per week or because of the level of earnings from employment.

      Wife Pension (DSP) customers

      • Retain their PCC for 52 weeks after losing qualification for payment if their partner has been receiving DSP, and their partner loses qualification for the pension due to commencing employment of 30 hours or more per week, or because their partner’s income from employment causes them to lose qualification for DSP.

      Older benefit customers (as defined earlier)

      • Retain their PCC for a further 26 weeks if their payment stops due to the person or their partner commencing employment, or due to the level of earnings from this employment.

      Parenting Payment (Single) customers

      • Retain their PCC for 12 weeks after losing entitlement to Parenting Payment (Single) due to an increase in income due to employment. A Health Care Card is issued for the balance of 26 weeks, that is a further 14 weeks provided the customer has been in continuous receipt for the last 12 months of either:
          - an income support pension (except for a Special Needs Pension), or
          - an income support benefit (other than Austudy or Youth Allowance paid to students).

      Newstart and Youth Allowance (job seeker)

      • Retain their PCC for 52 weeks after losing qualification due to employment income, if they have been assessed as having a partial capacity to work, or
      • Retain their PCC under the same provisions as Parenting Payment (Single) customers (see above), if they are the single principal carer of a dependent child.

      A PCC extension is also available, under certain circumstances, to people under pension age who remain qualified for certain payments during a nil rate period under the Working Credit Scheme.

      Automatic issue Health Care Card (HCC)

      The HCC is automatically issued to people who are not qualified for a Pensioner Concession Card who are receiving:

      • Newstart Allowance (NSA), Partner Allowance (PA), Sickness Allowance (SA), Special Benefit (SpB), Widow Allowance (WA) and Youth Allowance (job seeker only) (YA)
      • Parenting Payment (Partnered), Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment, Farm Help Income Support and those entitled to receive the maximum rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A by fortnightly instalments.
      • Mobility Allowance.
      • Carer Allowance (CA), paid to parents/carers in respect of a child with a disability. The card is issued in the child’s name. Other parents/carers of children with a disability who do not receive CA may receive a HCC subject to less stringent disability–related eligibility criteria.
      • Community Development Employment Project Scheme Participant Supplement where the recipient is qualified for an income support payment (attracting a HCC), but that payment is not payable due to either the assets test, or the rules relating to seasonal or intermittent workers. These customers receive the HCC applicable to the payment type for which they are qualified.

      Once people are no longer receiving these payments, they must generally stop using their HCC. However, in some instances, people can retain their HCC for up to 26 weeks after returning to work. This provision is designed to assist people to make the transition from income support to work. The provision applies to long–term recipients of NSA, SA, PA, SpB, WA, and YA (job seeker). Former long–term recipients of PPS, NSA and YA (job seeker) who are a single principal carer of a dependent child also qualify for a HCC extension (in addition to a 12–week PCC extension).

      A HCC extension is also available, under certain circumstances, to people who remain qualified for certain payments during a nil rate period under the Working Credit scheme.

      Claim required Health Care Card (HCC)

      Specific types of HCCs can be claimed in the following circumstances:

      • A low income HCC is available on application to people with income below certain levels. Once eligible, the qualifying income limits may be exceeded by up to 25 per cent before eligibility for the card is lost. The income test applies to average weekly gross income for the eight weeks immediately prior to applying for the card. Income limits for the period 20 March 2011 to 19 September 2011 are:   - single (no children) $480.00 pw
          - couple, combined (no children) $834.00 pw
          - single, one dependent child $834.00 pw
          - for each additional dependent child add $34.00 pw

      These limits (except for the child add–on) are indexed twice yearly, in March and September, based on movements in the Consumer Price Index.

      There is no assets test for the low–income HCC.

      • A foster child HCC is available, on application, to assist foster children and carers. The card can be claimed by the foster carer on behalf of the child. The foster child HCC is issued only in the name of the child, and can only be used to obtain concessions on services used by the child. The foster child HCC is not means tested.
      • An ex–CA HCC is available, on application, to 16–25 year old full–time students with a disability or a severe medical condition. The card can be claimed by students who were in receipt of a CA HCC on the day before their 16th birthday. The ex–CA HCC is issued in the name of the student and is not means tested.

      Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC)

      The CSHC is targeted at self–funded retirees of age pension age (see chart under Age Pension) who do not qualify for an Age Pension because of assets or income levels. To qualify for a CSHC a person must make a claim for the card, and meet the following criteria:

      • not be receiving an income support pension or benefit or a Department of Veterans’ Affairs service pension or income support supplement, and
      • be of age pension age, and
      • be living permanently in Australia and be:

      •   - an Australian citizen, or
          - a holder of a permanent visa, or
          - New Zealand citizen who arrived on a New Zealand passport.
      • available to newly arrived migrants after 104 weeks in Australia as an Australian resident or Special Category Visa holder (some exemptions may apply).
      • must be in Australia to retain card, or temporarily absent for not more than 13 weeks.
      • have an annual adjusted income of less than $50,000 for singles; $80,000 for couples (combined income); and $100,000 combined for couples separated by illness, respite care or prison. An amount of $639.60 per year is added for each dependent child. There is no assets test.

      Residence requirements

      • Certain residence requirements must be met to qualify for any type of HCC.