Health Care Card

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Eligibility for the card is determined by the eligibility (and registration) for various federal government welfare payments (see Centrelink). The payment/s are clearly shown on the card. Some benefits (most notably public transport ones in some areas) are only available to receivers of certain benefits.

The card is issued once someone has successfully applied for one or more of the associated payments. The card is valid for six months, after which time it is renewed if the holder continues to be in receipt of the payment for which the card was granted. This include periods where the holder has been in receipt of a "zero rate" of payment due to income reported.

A person may be eligible for a Low Income Health Care card if they are not receiving a Centrelink benefit. This is assessed through an independent claim for a health care card, based on the income received by the claimant (and their partner, if applicable) in the 8 weeks prior to claiming the card. Income thresholds for the card vary depending on the claimant's circumstances (i.e.: if single, a member of a couple, and a member of a couple with children. This threshold increases based on the number of children in care). Eligibility for the card is reassessed every six months.

A claim may be made for a Health Care Card from the age of 16 onwards. Eligibility criteria vary depending on the age and circumstances of the claimer.

A health care card will general cover the customer's whole family (self, partner and children). An exception to this may be where a partner does not meet residency requirements for a health care card, or where the health care card has been issued in conjunction with a claim for Carer Allowance (in which case the card will be in the name of the person being cared for, and not the payment recipient).

Advantages of holding the card can include reduced:

Private groups also often give discounts to holders of this card.

Concessions given to holders of health care cards are up to the discretion of the provider, and are not administered by Centrelink.