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3.12.2 Seniors Supplement - Qualification & Payability

Introduction

This topic explains the qualification and payability requirements for seniors supplement through the following related issues:

  • qualification criteria,
  • payability criteria,
  • seniors supplement test day,
  • seniors supplement test period,
  • annual rate of seniors supplement,
  • daily rate of seniors supplement,
  • Veteran's entitlement to seniors supplement,
  • overseas absences, and
  • taxation treatment.

 

Qualification criteria

To qualify for seniors supplement, a person must be the holder of a CSHC.

 

Act reference: SSAct section 1061U Qualification for seniors supplement, section 1061ZG Qualification rules (seniors health card), section 1061ZUB Non-cancellation of concession cards for temporary overseas absences

 

Payability criteria

Seniors supplement is payable for each day that a person is qualified for the payment unless they have:

  • elected not to receive the payment, and that election has not been withdrawn, and/or
  • not provided their bank account details when requested.

 

A person's accrued amount of seniors supplement is paid quarterly, as soon as possible after the relevant test day.

 

Act reference: SSAct section 1061UA When seniors supplement is payable

SS(Admin)Act section 48B Payment of seniors supplement

 

Seniors supplement test day

Seniors supplement test days are 20 March, 20 June, 20 September and 20 December each year. On these dates, the accrued amount of a CSHC holder's seniors supplement will be 'triggered' for issue and paid soon afterwards.

 

Act reference: SSAct section 1061UA When seniors supplement is payable

SS(Admin)Act section 48B Payment of seniors supplement

 

Seniors supplement test period

The seniors supplement test period is the maximum number of days for which seniors supplement can accrue for a quarterly instalment. It starts on the last 'test day' and includes the day before the next test day.

Example: The test period which applies for the 20 December 2009 test day is 20 September 2009 to 19 December 2009. The test period which applies for the 20 March 2010 test day is 20 December 2009 to 19 March 2010. The same rule should be applied for all future test periods.

 

If seniors supplement is payable for each day of the test period then the maximum quarterly instalment will be paid soon after the test day.

Example 1: Mr White continuously held a CSHC for each day of the seniors supplement test period of 20 September 2009 to 19 December 2009. He will receive the maximum quarterly instalment.

 

Example 2: Mr Allen claimed a CSHC on 3 October 2009. As he did not hold a CSHC for each day of the seniors supplement test period of 20 September 2009 to 19 December 2009, he will accrue a daily rate amount for each day from 3 October 2009 to 19 December 2009.

 

Annual rate of seniors supplement

From 20 March 2010, a person's maximum annual rate of seniors supplement is calculated by using the combined couple rate of the minimum pension supplement amount as a basis. The rate of seniors supplement is the applicable percentage of the minimum pension supplement amount which reflects the person's family situation, in the following table.

Item Person's family situation

Use this percentage

1 Not a member of a couple 66.33
2 Partnered 50
3 Member of an illness separated couple 66.33
4 Member of a respite care couple 66.33
5 Partnered (partner in gaol) 66.33

 

For the CURRENT RATE of seniors supplement refer to 5.1.9.20.

 

Act reference: SSAct section 1061UB Rate of seniors supplement, section 20A Pension supplement rate definitions

Policy reference: SS Guide 5.1.9.20 Seniors Supplement - Current Rates, 5.2.8.20 Seniors Supplement - Historical Rates, 1.1.P.155 Pension supplement

 

Daily rate of seniors supplement

Seniors supplement accrues for each day during a test period that it is payable. A person's daily rate of seniors supplement is calculated by dividing a person's annual rate of seniors supplement by 364.

 

If a person is no longer qualified for seniors supplement, any accrued entitlement will be paid soon after a disqualifying event.

Example: CSHC holder claims Age

Mrs Kennedy holds a CSHC but her income has dropped below the age pension income cut off limit. Mrs Kennedy applied for and was granted Age from 1 October 2009 and her CSHC was cancelled. Mrs Kennedy was paid seniors supplement up to 30 September 2009 and Age with pension supplement from 1 October 2009.

 

Example: CSHC cancelled as no longer qualified

Mr Parker held a CSHC. He notified Centrelink that his income now exceeds the income limit. Mr Parker's card was cancelled on 30 October 2009. He was paid the seniors supplement to 29 October 2009.

 

Act reference: SSAct section 1061UA When seniors supplement is payable

 

Veteran's entitlement to seniors supplement

Seniors supplement cannot be paid to a person under the SSAct AND the VEA at the same time.

 

Overseas absences - permanent departure from Australia

When a CSHC holder permanently departs Australia their card will be cancelled from the date of departure. Centrelink will pay any accrued entitlement of seniors supplement.

 

Overseas absences - temporary departure from Australia

Seniors supplement is payable for the first 6 weeks of a temporary absence from Australia. This is because the CSHC has a 6 week non-cancellation period for temporary absences. If a temporary absence extends past 6 weeks, the CSHC is cancelled and seniors supplement qualification is lost. Any accrued entitlement of seniors supplement will be paid soon afterwards.

 

When a person returns to Australia and re-claims the CSHC, the seniors supplement commences to accrue again.

Example 1: Absent from Australia for less than 6 weeks

Mrs Grant is overseas from 26 November 2013 to 22 December 2013. As the absence does not exceed 6 weeks her CSHC remains current and seniors supplement is payable and accruing. Mrs Grant is paid her accrued entitlement of seniors supplement soon after 20 December 2013.

 

Example 2: Absent from Australia for more than 6 weeks

Mr Scott notifies that he will be travelling overseas from 15 March 2013 to 30 September 2013. His CSHC will remain current for 6 weeks, up to and including the 25th April 2013. It will cancel on 26 April 2013, the day after his 6 week period has ended. Mr Scott's accrued entitlement of seniors supplement to 19 March 2013 will be paid soon after 20 March 2013. His accrued entitlement from 20 March 2013 to 26 April 2013 will be paid soon after 26 April 2013. He will need to reclaim the CSHC when he returns to Australia.

 

Act reference: SSAct section 1061ZUB Non-cancellation of concession cards for temporary overseas absences

SS(Admin)Act section 48B Payment of seniors supplement

 

Taxation treatment

Seniors supplement is a non-taxable payment.

 

Act reference: Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 section 52-10, item 22B.1

 

Clean energy advance

Recipients of the seniors supplement may also be entitled to the CEA - a tax exempt, lump sum payment for qualified recipients of government payments.

 

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.15.1 CEA - Qualification & Payability, 5.1.10.10 CEA - Current Rates

 

Clean energy supplement

Recipients of the seniors supplement may also be eligible for the CES - a tax exempt supplementary payment for qualified recipients of government payments.

 

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.15.2 CES - Qualification & Payability, 5.1.10.20 CES - Current Rates

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Last reviewed: 20 March 2013


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