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5.7.2 CSHC Eligibility

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Last amended: 25 August 2014    

Who is eligible for a CSHC?

The following persons are eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) from DVA:

To be eligible for a CSHC, the person must also:

Note: A person who holds a pensioner concession card (PCC) from either DVA or Centrelink is not eligible for a CSHC. The PCC already entitles them to the concessions available with the CSHC.

 
Eligibility for Norfolk Island residents
VEA →

Definition of Australia

Section 5Q VEA

 

VEA → (go back)

Norfolk Island is regarded as part of Australia for CSHC purposes. Residents of Norfolk Island may therefore be issued with a CSHC if all of the eligibility criteria are met.

 
Lodging a claim

Although a person may meet the eligibility criteria for CSHC, such a person will not be granted a CSHC unless they lodge a proper claim. The person must complete DVA Form D3056 Application for Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

 
Provision of tax file number

CSHC holders are required to provide DVA with their and their partner's tax file number. The provision of a tax file number is necessary for the data matching program. If the tax file number is not provided with the claim or when requested, the person is not entitled to the CSHC, unless the requirement to provide the number is waived by the Secretary or an exemption applies.     

More →

 

Data Matching and Tax File Numbers

Chapter 12.3

 

More → (go back)

 

Portability of CSHC

CSHC eligibility is not affected if the holder departs Australia temporarily. However, CSHC eligibility ceases for those who depart Australia permanently. CSHC holders will have portability of payment of the seniors supplement (SSup) and energy supplement (ES) affected if they are absent from Australia for greater than 6 weeks.     

More →

 

Seniors Supplement

Chapter 5.11

Clean Energy Supplement

Section 7.4.2

Portability

Chapter 11.4

 

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CSHC for age pensioners who lose payability

DVA has delegation under the Social Security Act 1991 (SSA) to grant a CSHC to an age pensioner who:

  • was being paid the age pension by DVA,
  • lost payability for the age pension because of the income or assets test,
  • meets the qualification criteria for CSHC (qualifying service is not required for CSHC claims under the SSA), and
  • completes the Centrelink CSHC claim form SA296/0509.

The rationale is to remove the need for these pensioners to go to Centrelink to apply for a CSHC and then return to DVA if their income or assets reduce making them again eligible for age pension.

 
CSHC holder's obligations

CSHC holders must notify changes in their circumstances that may affect either their entitlement to the CSHC, or to the SSup and CES paid to them.     

More →

 

Date of Effect for CSHC Determinations

Section 5.7.4

 

More → (go back)

 

Changes of circumstances that must be notified include when a person:

  • changes address,
  • goes overseas permanently or intends to go overseas for more than 6 weeks,
  • changes relationship status,
  • has a change in the number of dependants,
  • is granted a pension, benefit or concession card from Centrelink,
  • commences a new account‑based income stream, or
  • has income exceeding the CSHC income limit.    
 
Refusal or failure to comply with obligations

VEA →

In the case of refusal or failure to comply as far as the person is capable, the penalty is imprisonment for six months. In the case of a person knowingly giving information that is false or misleading, the penalty is imprisonment for twelve months. Under subsections 4B(2) and 4B(3) of, the Crimes Act 1914, a court may impose an appropriate fine instead of, or in addition to, a term of imprisonment.    

 

 


 

The CSHC is intended to assist those retirees and other eligible veterans, war widow(er)s and their partners of pension age who fail to qualify for an income support pension from DVA or a pension or benefit from Centrelink. The card entitles the holder to pharmaceuticals listed on the PBS at a concessional rate and seniors supplement.

 

 

An allied veteran means a person who:

An allied veteran does not include a person who has served at any time:

  • in the forces of a country that was, at the time, at war with Australia, or in forces engaged in supporting or assisting the forces of such a country, or
  • in the forces that were, at the time, engaged in war like operations against the Naval, Military or Air Forces of Australia

See section 5c(1) VEA

Qualifying service is one of the criteria used to determine eligibility for certain benefits under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986. Refer to section 7A of the VEA for the full defintion.

 

 

A person's 'partner' is someone who is a member of a couple with that person.

A widow is a woman who was:

  • the partner of a person immediately before the person died; or
  • legally married to a man and living with him immediately before he died; or
  • legally married to a man and living separetely and apart from him on a permanent basis, immediately before he died.

A widower is a man who was:

  • the partner of a person immediately before the person died: or
  • legally married to a woman and living with her immediately before she died; or
  • legally married to a woman and living separetely and apart from her on a permanent basis immediately before she died.

For the purposes of Part VI of the VEA, a reference to a veteran is taken to be a reference to:

  • a veteran as defined in subsection 5C(1) of the VEA;
  • a member of the Forces as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA; or
  • a member of a Peacekeeping Force as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA.

For the purposes of Part VII of the VEA, according to subsection 5C(1), veteran means a person (including a deceased person):

  • who is taken to have rendered eligible war service, or
  • in respect of whom a pension is, or pensions are, payable under subsection 13(6) and
  • in Part III and Part VIIC of the VEA includes a person who is:

 

 

A war widow/widower is generally a person who immediately before their partners death, was the partner of, or was legally married to:

Refer to 5E(1) of the VEA for the full definition.

 

 

Currently, the pension age for a veteran is 60 years of age (VEA 5QA).

The pension age for a non-veteran is determined by the table below:

Date of birth (both dates inclusive)

Age Pension age

1 July 1952 to 31 December 1953

65 years and 6 months

1 January 1954 to 30 June 1955

66 years

1 July 1955 to 31 December 1956

66 years and 6 months

On or after 1 January 1957

67 years

 

Qualifying age is defined in section 5Q(1) of the VEA and is equivalent to the pension age for a veteran which is described in section 5QA VEA as:

  •       60 years for a male,
  •       for females subject to age equalisation (refer to the table in section 5QA VEA).

An Australian resident is a person who:

  • resides in Australia; and
  • is one of the following:
  • an Australian citizen;
  • the holder of a permanent visa;
  • the holder of a special category visa who is likely to remain permanently in Australia;
  • the holder of a special purpose visa who is likely to remain permanently in Australia.

Australia is defined in the Acts Interpretations Act 1901 and includes the following territories and Islands:

  • Christmas Island
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Subsection 5Q(1) of the VEA provides specifically that the definition of Australia includes the external territories for many VEA purposes including Part III, IIIAB, some parts of Part IIIB, Parts IIID, VIIA, VIIC and sections 52ZO, 58A, and 132.  Norfolk Island] is currently the only external territory of Australia. For the above VEA sections, which cover service pension, [glossary:income support supplement:118], pension bonus, pension loans scheme, Veterans supplement, pension supplement and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card purposes it is considered to be part of Australia. The test of residing in Australia does not by itself satisfy the full definition of Australian Resident, as residency also requires Australian citizenship or the holding of a specified visa.

Papua New Guinea and Nauru have both previously been external territories of Australia.  Lord Howe Island and Macquarie Island, formerly regarded as separate islands, are now part of mainland NSW and Tasmania respectively.

 

 

A service pension is an income support payment broadly equivalent to the social security age and disability support pensions. It may be paid once a veteran or partner has reached the nominated age or is incapacitated for work.

ISS is an income support payment that may be paid to eligible war widows and widowers under the VEA and persons receiving wholly dependent partners' compensation under the MRCA, and who satisfy the means tests. It is an indexed rate, increased twice-yearly in March and September in line with changes to the cost of living and/or average wages. Income Support Supplement (ISS) legislation commenced on 20 March 1995. It is a payment created to replace the ceiling rate income support age, carer, wife and disability support pensions, paid to war widows/widowers by Centrelink.

 

 

An age pension is a means tested income support payment paid by Centrelink  or DVA on behalf of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. The majority of age pensions are paid through Centrelink. However, eligible veterans  who have an accepted disability or receive a disability pension from DVA, but do not have qualifying service, may be paid their age pension by DVA. Their partner may also receive their age pension from DVA, if eligible.

 

 

Centrelink is a Government service delivery agency responsible for delivering a range of Commonwealth Government services (including social security pensions and allowances) to the Australian community through a network of more than 400 Centrelink offices.

A TFN is a number issued by the Australian Taxation Office to individuals, partnerships, trusts or companies. Each taxpayer has unique TFN which must be declared when you:

  • loge a tax return,
  • apply for certain income assistance or support payments,
  • make or receive payments under Prescribed or Reportable Payment System,
  • start or change jobs,
  • have savings accounts or investments that earn income, or
  • study at a tertiary institution under the HECS Scheme.

Seniors supplement was paid to Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) and eligible Gold Card holders until it ceased on 26 June 2015. It was paid quarterly and commenced on 20 September 2009, replacing the seniors concession allowance and telephone allowance.

 

 

The energy supplement is an ongoing, regular payment designed to help recipients meet the cost of living impact of the carbon price.

 

 

An age pension is a means tested income support payment paid by Centrelink  or DVA on behalf of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. The majority of age pensions are paid through Centrelink. However, eligible veterans  who have an accepted disability or receive a disability pension from DVA, but do not have qualifying service, may be paid their age pension by DVA. Their partner may also receive their age pension from DVA, if eligible.

 

 

A dependant of a veteran (including a deceased veteran) is:

  • the partner;
  • non-illness separated spouse;
  • widow(er) (other than a widow(er) who marries or remarries); or
  • a child of the veteran.