A guide to concession cards
What concession cards are available? 6
Commonwealth Seniors Health Card 11
If your card is lost or stolen 13
Who will appear on your card? 14
What information will appear on your card? 15
Concession cards from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA)15
What Australian Government concessions do you get with your card? 16
State and territory concessions 17
State Seniors Card 19
State and territory concession information 20
Confirming your eligibility for concessions 24
Leaving Australia (temporarily or permanently) 26
Tell us if things change 27
How to find out more 28
This booklet is a guide to the concession cards that are available from the Australian Government Department of
Human Services and Department of Veterans’ Affairs. It includes information about the different types of cards
available, who may be able to get them and details of concessions provided by the Australian Government and the
various state and territory governments.
Please note: concession cards may also allow cardholders, their partners and dependent children to get other
concessions from state and local government authorities and private businesses.
Actual eligibility for any state or local government or private concessions is at the discretion of the individual
concession provider. We recommend cardholders discuss their concession status with any concession provider
What concession cards are available?
Pensioner Concession Card
To get a Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) you must meet residence requirements.
You must also be one of the following:
• assessed as being able to work part-time and receiving Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance (job seeker) or
• a single principal carer of dependent children and receiving Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance (job
• receiving a pension such as Age Pension, Disability Support Pension, Parenting Payment (Single), or Carer
• 60 years of age or over and receiving one (or a combination) of the following payments continuously for at
least nine months:
– Newstart Allowance
– Sickness Allowance
– Widow Allowance
– Parenting Payment (Partnered)
– Special Benefit, or
– Partner Allowance.
People receiving Disability Support Pension and Wife Pension, or who have been assessed as having a partial
capacity to work and receive Parenting Payment (Partnered), Newstart Allowance and Youth Allowance can continue
to use their PCC for up to 12 months if they stop receiving their payment due to employment. People receiving
certain payments, including some older long-term income support recipients, can retain their PCC for 26 weeks after
returning to work and losing eligibility for their payment.
Single principal carers of dependent children receiving Parenting Payment (Single) or Newstart Allowance or Youth
Allowance (job seeker) can continue to use their PCC for up to 12 weeks after they stop getting paid because of a
return to work or increase in their employment income. After this time they will then be given a Health Care Card
(HCC) which will be valid for six months after their Centrelink payment stops.
These provisions are designed to help people to make the transition from income support to work.
The PCC is reissued automatically each year near your birthday, depending on your situation you are required to
notify us of any change in your circumstances that may affect your eligibility for all PCCs—see Leaving Australia
(temporarily or permanently) and Tell us if things change on pages 25 and 26.
Health Care Card—also incorporates the Foster Child Health Care Card, the ex
Carer Allowance (child) Health Care Card and the Low Income Health Care
To get a Health Care Card (HCC) you must meet residence requirements.
You must also be receiving a qualifying payment from us, or be:
• getting the fortnightly maximum rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A by instalment
• getting Carer Payment due to either episodic or short-term care
• a care receiver of a carer or parent getting Carer Allowance (child), or
• a Mobility Allowance customer who cannot get a Pensioner Concession Card (PCC).
People who can get a HCC under these criteria will have their cards issued automatically every three to 12 months,
depending on their circumstances.
In some instances, you can still use your HCC for a short period after returning to work. This is to help people to
make the transition from income support to work. This applies to long-term recipients of Newstart Allowance,
Sickness Allowance, Partner Allowance, Special Benefit, Widow Allowance, Youth Allowance (job seeker) and
Parenting Payment (Single).
Assistance for foster children
You can make a claim for a Foster Child HCC for a foster child you have in your care. This card is not subject to an
income or assets test.
To qualify for a Foster Child HCC, the foster child must:
• be in foster care
• be living in Australia with an Australian resident or a special category visa holder, and
• meet the requirements of a Family Tax Benefit (FTB) child for their age, or meet the Regular Child
The foster carer needs to show that:
• they are an Australian resident or a special category visa holder
• the child is not their natural or adopted child, and
• the child is in their care.
You do not need to be a formal foster carer for example, caring for a ward of the state. You can be any person caring
for a child who is not their natural or adopted child. For example, a grandparent, a sibling who is an adult, or another
The Foster Child HCC is automatically reissued every six months, depending on your circumstances.
Assistance for ex care recipients
An ex Carer Allowance (child) HCC is available to people who are between 16 and 25 years of age, are full-time
students and have a disability or medical condition that previously means that their carer could get Carer Allowance
(child) on the day before the child turned 16.
A claim is required for the ex Carer Allowance (child) HCC. This HCC is not automatically reissued. Cardholders
must apply to renew their card every year. A renewal letter will be sent to cardholders.
Assistance for low income earners
A Low Income HCC is available to people with income below set levels. The income test applies to average gross
income for the eight weeks immediately prior to applying for or renewing the card. You don’t have to do an assets
test to get the low income HCC.
The Low Income HCC is not automatically reissued. Cardholders must apply to renew their card every six months. A
renewal form will be sent to cardholders.
Recipients of Youth Allowance (student), Austudy and ABSTUDY may also be able to get this card.
You are required to notify us of any change in your circumstances that may affect whether you can get all HCCs—
see Leaving Australia (temporarily or permanently) and Tell us if things change on pages 25 and 26.
Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) is available to self-funded seniors who are not receiving a Human
Services or Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) income support payment.
You may get a CSHC if you:
• meet residence requirements
• are of age pension age
• provide you and your partner’s Tax File Numbers or provide a valid reason why you cannot do so, and
• meet an annual adjusted taxable income test.
There is no assets test. You do not need to be retired to get CSHC, but your income must be below the limits. For
more information on the adjusted taxable test and limits for the CSHC, go to humanservices.gov.au/healthcarecard
The CSHC is reissued automatically each year (depending on your circumstances). You are required to notify us of
any change in your circumstances that may affect your eligibility for this card—see Leaving Australia (temporarily
or permanently) and Tell us if things change on pages 25 and 26.
Holders of a CSHC are entitled to the Seniors Supplement.
For more information about Australian Government concessions available to CSHC cardholders—see page 15.
Dependants of CSHC holders cannot get concessions through the CSHC. If you have dependants and your income is
below the limit, you may be able to get a Low Income Health Care Card. The Low Income Health Care Card offers
the same pharmaceutical concessions as the CSHC and also covers your dependants.
You may also receive other concessions from other providers that may not be available with the CSHC. Depending
on your circumstances, you may be able to get both concession cards. If you are caring for a child that is not your
own (for example, your grandchild) you may be able to get a Foster Child HCC—see Assistance for foster children
on page 8.
If your card is lost or stolen
If your concession card is lost or stolen you can phone us to arrange a replacement card. As replacement cards cannot
be issued over the counter, your new card will be mailed to you.
If you have an urgent need for a concession card and cannot wait for your replacement card to arrive, you can obtain
a Confirmation of Concession Card Entitlement at a Service Centre. A Confirmation of Concession Card Entitlement
is a temporary card and is usually valid for two weeks.
A Confirmation of Concession Card Entitlement can also be issued to a cardholder for the use of their children who
are temporarily in the care of a non-custodial parent.
Note: a Confirmation of Concession Card Entitlement may not be accepted for some transport concessions.
Who will appear on your card?
Cards display the first name and surname of the cardholder and their partner (where applicable), and the first name
only of any dependent children (where applicable). Customers can ask to have their concession card reissued without
their partner’s name included. However, in order for a customer to access concessions for their partner, they will need
to present the concession card displaying their partner’s details. As there are different types of cards available, who
appears on the card differs from one card to another as follows:
• Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) and most Health Care Cards (HCCs)—the cardholder, their partner and
• Mobility Allowance HCC—the cardholder only.
• Ex Carer Allowance (child) HCC—the cardholder only.
• Carer Allowance and foster child HCCs—the child only. The adult claimant is not listed, as these cards are for
use solely by the child.
• Low Income Health Care Cards—the cardholder, their partner and dependent children.
• Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC)—the cardholder only.
What information will appear on your card?
Customer Reference Number (CRN)—is required in any dealings with us and with concession providers.
Address—can be residential, postal, term (students only), or temporary. The actual address displayed on the card is at
the preference of the customer. Customers can ask that no address appear on their card, although this may cause the
cardholder problems when attempting to claim concessions.
Card start date—is the date your card entitlement began. This may not be the same date that your payment began. If
you left Australia temporarily before 1 July 2008, the card start date may have changed—see Leaving Australia
(temporarily or permanently) on page 25.
Expiry date—of the concession card. If you are on an income support payment, your new card will be issued before
the to the expiry date.
Concession cards from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) also issue their own concession cards to eligible veterans, former Australian
Defence Force members and their dependants. These DVA cards provide a range of benefits, including:
• health care
• pharmaceutical, and
• travel benefits.
They also offer benfits at the state and territory level, which are provided by government organisations and private
These DVA cards are:
• Repatriation Health Card (Gold)-—for all medical conditions
• Repatriation Health Card (White)—for specific medical conditions
• Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Card (Orange)
• Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC)
• Pensioner Concession Card (PCC)
• Victoria Free Travel Voucher
• New South Wales War Widow’s/Widower’s Transport Concession Card (TC1).
For more information about these Department of Veterans’ Affairs concession cards, go to dva.gov.au
What Australian Government concessions do you get with your
The following table is a guide to the types of concessions you can get with your card. Cardholders are generally
eligible for the listed concessions in all instances. In some cases, partners and/or dependant children of Pensioner
Concession Card (PCC) and Health Care Card (HCC) holders may also be eligible for concessions.
(*) Indicates that the concession is also available to dependants of the cardholder.
(#) Indicates that the concession may be available to dependants at the discretion of the concession provider.
(SA) Indicates that the concession is only available to those HCC cardholders receiving Sickness Allowance.
Concession type Eligible card type
Prescription medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme at the PCC*, HCC* and CSHC
Bulk-billed general practitioner appointments, at the discretion of the PCC#, HCC# and CSHC
An increase in benefits for out-of-pocket, out-of-hospital medical expenses PCC*, HCC* and CSHC
above a certain threshold through the Medicare Safety Net.
Assistance with certain hearing services such as hearing tests and hearing PCC* and HCC (SA)*
A discount on mail redirection through Australia Post. PCC and HCC (SA)
Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) and Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) holders are entitled to
Australian Government concessions on Great Southern Rail (GSR) services. Information is available by phoning
Great Southern Rail on 132 147. These concessions are provided by the Australian Government, state government
State and territory concessions
Concession cards may also entitle cardholders, their partners and dependent children to other concessions from state
and local government authorities and private businesses.
Not all card types will attract the same type of concessions and the concessions on offer to cardholders may also vary
between states and territories.
Some state-based concessions may not be available to cardholders who are travelling through or temporarily living in
another state. For further information in these cases, contact the individual concession providers directly prior to
Actual eligibility for any state, local government or private concessions is at the discretion of the individual
concession provider. We recommend cardholders discuss their concession status with any concession provider
Customers are advised to check the specific concessions available in their state or territory, and always
enquire about concessions or discounts on any goods or services.
Concessions may be available to certain cardholders in the following areas of state, territory and private services.
Examples of concessions may include:
• hearing services
• home care
• optical, and
Note: ambulance cover varies from state to state.
We recommend cardholders contact the ambulance service in their state/territory to discuss what cover their card
provides. If travelling interstate, cardholders should also contact the service in the areas they are travelling to, or
• council rates
• electricity/gas/water rates
• telephone line rental, and
• school fee relief
• Technical and Further Education (TAFE)
• state government education allowances, and
• training programs.
• taxi fares
• road transport registration fees
• drivers licence
• public transport fares, and
• regional rail travel concessions.
For Western Australian, South Australian or Victorian residents, rail vouchers will be issued once a year with
Pensioner Concession Cards (PCCs). Vouchers must be used when booking rail travel to claim a concession.
All other states and territories have automated rail travel booking systems and do not need rail vouchers. Simply
present your PCC to claim a concession.
• entertainment, and
State Seniors Card
The State Seniors Card is a program that provides seniors with savings on recreational, health, business and state
government benefits throughout Australia. The State Seniors Card is not administered by the Department of
Human Services. It should not be confused with the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC), which is
administered by this department. Our staff can only give customers general information on State Seniors Cards.
The State Seniors Card encourages seniors to be more active in the community and enhance their lifestyle choices.
Some of the benefits are accessed through restaurants, travel agencies, clothing establishments and local businesses
such as hairdressers and barbers. Most states issue directories, which are distributed directly to cardholders. These
directories list participating businesses (not all businesses advertise in this directory).
Anyone wishing to apply for a card must contact their state/territory government.
State and territory concession information
The following websites and phone numbers may be useful for information on concessions and services
available in your state or territory.
Australian Capital Territory
Australian Capital Territory Government act.gov.au
Canberra Connect concessions.act.gov.au
Phone 132 281
Department of Disability Housing and Community Services
Phone 133 427
Australian Capital Territory Seniors Card actseniorscard.org.au
Phone (02) 6282 3777
New South Wales
New South Wales Government nsw.gov.au
Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care adhc.nsw.gov.au
New South Wales Ministry of Transport transport nsw.gov.au
Phone (02) 8202 2200
New South Wales Seniors Card seniorscard.nsw.gov.au
Seniors Hotline 1300 364 758
New South Wales Half Fare Transport Concession Scheme
We administer this scheme on behalf of Transport New South Wales. The scheme covers all New South Wales State
transport services, i.e. City Rail, Countrylink, State Transit buses and ferries and many local private bus services for
eligible jobseekers. For more information about the scheme, please contact us or the New South Wales Ministry of
Transport at transport.nsw.gov.au
Northern Territory Government nt.gov.au
Department of Health health.nt.gov.au/Aged_and_Disability/Senior_Territorians/Information_and_Services
Northern Territory Pensioner and Carer Concession Scheme
Phone Freecall™ 1800 777 704
Northern Territory Seniors Card health.nt.gov.au/Aged_and_Disability/Senior_Territorians/Seniors_Card
Phone Freecall™ 1800 777 704
Queensland Government qld.gov.au
Phone 131 304
Department of Community Services communityservices.qld.gov.au
Phone 137 468 or Freecall™ 1800 460 849
Queensland Seniors Card communities.qld.gov.au
Phone 137 468
South Australia Government sa.gov.au
Department of Families and Communities dfc.sa.gov.au
Phone Freecall™ 1800 307 758
Seniors Information Service sa.gov.au/subject/Seniors
Phone Freecall™ 1800 819 961
Tasmania Government tas.gov.au
Department of Premier and Cabinet concessions.tas.gov.au
Phone 1300 135 513
Seniors Card concessions.tas.gov.au/concessions
Phone 1300 135 513
Victoria Government vic.gov.au
Department of Human Services dhs.vic.gov.au
Phone Freecall™ 1800 658 521
Victoria Seniors Card seniorsonline.vic.gov.au
Phone 1300 797 210
Western Australia Government wa.gov.au
Department for Communities communities.wa.gov.au
Phone (08) 6551 8700
Western Australia Seniors Card communities.wa.gov.au
Phone Freecall™ 1800 671 233
Confirming your eligibility for concessions
Each concession provider has the right to request information to confirm your entitlement to a concession. This
confirmation can be a simple presentation of the concession card and possibly some supporting documentation, such as a
Pharmacists may be able to confirm your concession entitlement electronically with us. With your consent, other
concession providers may also be able to confirm your concession entitlement electronically with us through
Confirmation eServices. In some situations we can confirm other limited information that is necessary to establish your
entitlement to a concession, such as length of time on payment. The service saves you time and is completely secure.
Only the department and the organisation you authorise will be able to see your details.
Note: it is at the concession provider’s discretion to decide whether to give you a concession without being able to
confirm your details.
Leaving Australia (temporarily or permanently)
To qualify for a concession card you must meet the Australian residence requirements. This means that if you leave
Australia permanently your concession card will be cancelled from the date of your departure. If you temporarily
depart Australia for up to 13 weeks your concession card may not be cancelled immediately. If you hold a Pensioner
Concession Card (PCC) or Health Care Card (HCC) and you retain entitlement to your payment during your overseas
absence, your card will not be cancelled unless you have been overseas for more than 13 weeks. The Department of
Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) may advise us if you leave Australia. The information we receive from DIAC
may automatically affect your entitlements if you leave Australia.
If your HCC or PCC is cancelled and you return to Australia your card will be given to you automatically on your
return if you are still able to get your payment. If you hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) or a Low
Income HCC and temporarily depart Australia, then as long as you have continuing qualification for our card, it will
not be cancelled unless you have been overseas for more than 13 weeks. Holders of a CSHC and a Low Income HCC
whose card is cancelled will be required to reclaim their cards once they have returned to Australia. If you hold a
Foster Child Health Care Card or an ex-Carer Allowance (child) Health Care Card, your card will remain current for
temporary absences, regardless of the duration. You are required to advise us, prior to departure, of any plans to
leave Australia either temporarily or permanently. We will advise you what will happen to your card when you leave
Note: information from DIAC may be used in assessing claims and can be used to assess future entitlements.
Tell us if things change
For example, you must tell us if:
• your contact details change, including your address or telephone number
• your family situation changes such as separation from your partner, starting to live with someone as their
partner or a new child
• your financial situation changes, including income from employment or changes in your assets or income
• you start receiving a payment from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
• you stop being a full-time student
• you plan to leave Australia, including holidays (as this may affect any family members covered by your card),
• you are imprisoned (for example gaol, psychiatric confinement).
Concession cards must not be used after their expiry date or if we have advised you the card has been cancelled.
Cards cannot be transferred to another person.
How to find out more
Youth and Students 132 490
ABSTUDY 132 317
Older Australians 132 300
Employment Services 132 850
Parent and families 136 150
Disabilities, Sickness and Carers 132 717
Farmers Assistance Freecall™ 1800 050 585
Indigenous Call Centre 136 380
Financial Information Seminar Booking Service 136 357
To speak to us in languages other than English 131 202
Customer Relations Line Freecall™ 1800 050 004
(for complaints, compliments and suggestions)
Australian Government Services Fraud Tip-off Line 131 524
TTY Service Freecall™ 1800 810 586
*TTY is only for people who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment. A TTY phone is required to use this
Go to our website at humanservices.gov.au
Note: calls from your home phone to ‘13’ numbers
from anywhere in Australia are charged at a fixed rate. That rate may vary from the price of a local call and may also
vary between telephone service providers. Calls to ‘1800’ numbers from your home phone are free. Calls from public
and mobile phones may be timed and charged at a higher rate.
The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to concessions available.
What are your responsibilities?
• It is your responsibility to decide if you wish to apply for a payment or concession card and to make the
application, having regard to your particular circumstances.
• The information in this publication is accurate as at April 2012, but may of course change. If you use this
publication after that date, please check with us that the details are up-to-date.
From what date are benefits payable?
Most government payments and concession cards start from, or after, the date on which the application is made. So
the sooner you lodge your application, the quicker you may be paid or receive your concession card.
What if you deal with a third party?
You may deal with a third party who is not a member of our staff. If you do so, please remember that we have not
authorised any third parties to provide information or advice to you about payments or concession cards.
Important note: while all care is taken in preparation of information and material in this publication, no
responsibility can be taken for any change in the personal circumstances of any person acting on information
presented here. You are advised to contact a Service Centre for full details of any entitlements and services for which
you may be eligible, or of how any pending changes in legislation, programs or services affect you.