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DI-15-2019 Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) 2020


DATE OF ISSUE : 9 October 2019

2020 Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC)

Amends DI No: 
Replaces DI No: 


To provide information about the annual bulk issue of the 2020 Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC).


The CSHC was introduced on 1 July 1994. The card is re-issued annually and entitles the card holder to pharmaceuticals listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme at a concessional rate, the Medicare Safety Net threshold and concessions offered by Australia Post.

In addition, CSHC holders may be entitled to further state/territory concessions on presentation of their card to the relevant department or authority.

CSHC holders may also be entitled to a quarterly payment from DVA.


The CSHC is intended to assist eligible veterans and their partners (including widow/widowers, and war widow/widowers) of pension age who fail to qualify for income support due to assets or income in excess of the current limit. Eligibility is determined manually by Income Support staff.

Eligibility for residents of Norfolk Island

Residents of Norfolk Island are regarded as Australian residents for the purposes of determining eligibility for a CSHC. This is due to changes to VEA section 5Q which includes Norfolk Island in the definition of Australia, allowing access to various income support payments and benefits including the CSHC.

Residents of Norfolk Island may therefore be issued with a CSHC if all of the eligibility criteria are met.

PCC Reissue (for life) Clients

As part of the 2015-16 Budget, the Commonwealth Government announced changes to the assets test to improve the fairness and affordability of the pension system.  As a result of this measure commencing on 1 January 2017, some clients had their income support payment and PCC cancelled and were automatically issued with a CSHC if of pension/qualifying age.  They were also able to apply for a Low Income Health Care Card from Centrelink.  These concession cards were issued without recipients having to meet the usual income test requirements for those cards.

As part of the 2017-18 Budget, the Government announced that the PCC would be reinstated on 9 October 2017 to all those who had their pension cancelled on 1 January 2017.  The PCC was automatically issued with the 2018 PCC bulk issue.  Those affected will retain the CSHC eligibility and continue to receive the Energy Supplement (where applicable) but will not be issued with a CSHC.

CSHC Carrier

The CSHC is issued on a CSHC Carrier sheet which sets out information about the card and the cardholder’s obligations.

A copy of the CSHC Carrier text is included at Attachment A.

CSHC Income

The CSHC income test is based on a person’s annual adjusted taxable income. Annual adjusted taxable income is the total of:

  • Taxable income as shown on a Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Notice of Assessment; and
  • Employer provided fringe benefits in addition to salary that are over $1,000; and
  • Foreign income on which tax is not paid to the ATO; and
  • Net loss from rental property; and
  • Net loss from financial investments such as shares and managed investments; and
  • Reportable superannuation contributions made by an employer as part of a salary package and personal superannuation contributions for which a person can claim a tax deduction.

From 1 January 2015 the CSHC income test also includes income deemed on account-based superannuation pensions.

CSHC Income Limit

The CSHC income limits are as follows:

  • $55,808 if single;
  • $89,290 (combined), if a member of a couple;
  • $111,616 (combined), if accepted as being separated due to ill health or respite care.

These limits are indexed to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) each year with effect from 20 September.

The above limits are increased for each dependent child by $639.60.

Validity Period

The 2019 CSHC will be valid up to and including 31 December 2020.


The number of cards and carriers to be produced for the bulk issue is estimated to be 4,000.


The following dates apply to the 2020 annual bulk issue:



Production data extract

21 October 2019

Complete data clean by SSO

10 October 2019

Produce reports for states

21 October 2019

Commence using 2020 daily templates

21 October 2019

Mailing house commence production of cards mail packs

21 October 2019

Final lodgement with Australia Post

21 October 2019


Summary and Non-Issued Reports will be emailed to State Contacts and SSO on Monday, 21 October 2019.

In addition, status reports regarding the progress of the printing, enveloping and lodgement of cards will be provided to the State Contacts, the Client Contact Performance Team and DVA VANQISH as appropriate.

Daily Template

Changes to the daily template will be implemented on Monday 21 October 2019 at 6pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT).

Testing of the new daily template is conducted by the State Contacts and ICTSB prior to implementation.

Following implementation, State Contacts are to provide samples of the CSHC output to the project coordinator for quality assurance purposes. The samples should include a new grant and a replacement for every state and territory.

CSHC Stock

The income limits are no longer published on the CSHC carrier and instead referred to Factsheet IS 126, therefore new stock will be sent to the CSHC Contact Officers to be used for daily issue.

To assist in the appropriate ordering of stock for future years, the CSHC Contact Officers will report to the project co-ordinator the amount of stock on hand at the time of the new daily template update. The aim is to minimise waste, the inconvenience of storage and the cost of disposal in future years.

Additional stock in batches of one hundred will be provided on request. CSHC Contact Officers should email the stock request to the Advices.Help.Desk.ACT mailbox.

The stock is an accountable item and must be stored securely

Location Contacts

The CSHC Contact Officers for all states are Sharon Golden, Edna Lobo and Simon Towns.

Please advise the project coordinator if there are any changes to the contact officers listed above.

Project Coordinator

The project coordinator for the bulk issue of the 2020 CSHC is:

Kyoko Motomura

A/g Assistant Director

Service Operations - Income Support, Cards and Advices

Income Support Processing Branch

Phone: (02) 9213 7207 or 417207


Janice Silby

Assistant Secretary

Income Support Processing Branch

9 October 2019





Your Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) is valid until 31 December 2020.

To remove the card, just peel it from the paper.

The CSHC is subject to an income test*. The limits are published from 20 September 2019 and are indexed in line with the Consumer Price Index on 20 September each year.

You must read and understand the Your Obligations section on the reverse side of this letter. You must notify the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) if your annual income is greater than the relevant limit, if you or your partner commence a new superannuation account-based pension or if any other events occur which may affect your entitlement to the card.

*If your income support payment was cancelled on 1 January 2017 because of the changes to the assets test, you are not subject to the CSHC income test. You do not need to tell us about changes to your income.

If you have any questions, please contact DVA on 1800 555 254.



Assistant Secretary

as Delegate of the Secretary


Your CSHC may entitle you to a quarterly supplement payment from DVA.

Your CSHC may also provide the following concessions:

  • Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines at concession card holder rate;
  • PBS Safety Net threshold at concession card holder rate;
  • Medicare Safety Net threshold at concession card holder rate;
  • bulk billed GP appointments may be available to you as a concession card holder (if your doctor bulk bills);
  • Australia Post offers MyPost Concession Card. For information on other Australia Post concessions, visit your post office, or call 13 13 18;
  • additional concessions may be available from state and local government authorities (Please note these concessions are not determined by DVA).

For more information contact the relevant department or authority.


By presenting this card you consent to your concession eligibility being confirmed with DVA by the concession provider.

You must present both your CSHC and your Medicare card on each occasion to obtain PBS or Medicare concessions.

Concessions available to CSHC holders are at the discretion of the concession provider and may change over time. Please check with concession providers for any changes.


You are required under sections 118ZI and 127 of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 to notify DVA within 14 days if any of the following events occur:

Your Income

  • If your (and your partner’s) adjusted taxable income plus income deemed on account-based pensions, is more than the applicable limit listed on the front of this sheet.
  • If you (or your partner) purchase a new superannuation account-based pension.

adjusted taxable income is the total of:

a) Taxable income as noted on your Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Notice of Assessment;

b) Employer provided fringe benefits in addition to your salary that are over $1,000;

c) Foreign income that you do not pay tax on to the ATO;

d) Net loss from rental property;

e) Net loss from financial investments such as shares and managed investments; and

f) Reportable superannuation contributions made by your employer as part of your salary package and personal superannuation contributions for which you can claim a tax deduction.

account-based pensions are flexible retirement income stream products purchased with superannuation money. If income is being deemed on your account-based pensions, you will previously have been notified of the amount of deemed income calculated.

More information on the income test for the CSHC can be found in Factsheet IS126 at

Your Personal Circumstances

  • If there is a change in your family circumstances, e.g. change in your relationship status, or a change in the number of your dependent children.
  • If you are going overseas permanently or intend to go overseas for more than 6 weeks.
  • If you are granted a pension, benefit or concession card from Centrelink.

Please be aware that there are penalties for failing to comply with this notice.

Your Privacy

Your personal information is protected by law, including the Privacy Act 1988 and may be collected by DVA for the delivery of government programs for war veterans, members of the Australian Defence Force, members of the Australian Federal Police and their dependants.

For more information about how DVA manages personal information, please visit, email or phone us for a copy of our Privacy Policy.


Will my CSHC affect my Seniors Card?

No. Your CSHC will not affect your entitlement to concessions you can receive with a state or territory Seniors Card.

What if I have a Repatriation Health Card from DVA?

There is no change to your Repatriation Health Card (Gold or White Card).

Will I have to re-apply each year for a new CSHC?

No. While you remain eligible, a new CSHC will be automatically posted to you each year.

What if I have dependants?

Your CSHC does not give concessions to dependants. If you have dependants you can ask Centrelink about a low income Health Care Card. The low income Health Care Card offers the same pharmaceutical concessions as the CSHC and also covers dependants.

For further information you can contact a DVA office or visit

This is an information notice given under the social security law and Veterans’ Entitlements