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SS Guide Contents Using the Guide What's New 1 Key Terms & Principles 2 Claim Verification 3 Qualification & Payability 4 Income & Assets 5 Payment Rates 6 Reviews, Debts & Payment Recovery 7 Portability & CFP 8 Administration Act Provisions 9 Visas, Entitlements & Assurances of Support 10 Australian Social Security Agreements 11 Income Management Acronym List Keyword Index Act Section Index Site Map

Print this page Print this page Qualification for CSHC

Qualification criteria

To qualify for a CSHC, a person must meet the criteria listed in the following table. Where more detail about a criterion is required, the second column indicates where you will find this.


More Detail

ALL of the following

Be a person, NOT receiving a:

- social security pension (section 23(1)-'social security pension') or benefit (section 23(1)-'social security benefit'), OR

- DVA service pension or income support supplement, AND

Be of age pension age (section 23(5A) to section 23(5D)), AND


Be an Australian resident (section 7(2)) or a SCV holder, in Australia (1.1.A.320) at the time of lodging the claim, AND

SS Guide 3.1.1 Residence Requirements

Have income BELOW the applicable income cut-off limits, AND Assessment of Income for CSHC

Have served a NARWP (1.1.N.70) if it applies. Newly Arrived Resident's Waiting Period

Meet TFN requirements. Providing Tax File Number (TFN) Information - CSHC


Act reference: SSAct section 23(1)-'social security pension', section 23(1)-'social security benefit', section 23(5A) to section 23(5D) Pension age, section 7(2) An Australian resident is a person who:...


Overseas pensions

Overseas pensions are included as income.

Explanation: If a person's overseas pension forms part of their Australian taxable income (i.e. they pay Australian income tax on that pension) then that pension is already included in the CSHC income test. If a person's overseas pension does not form part of their taxable income (i.e. they pay no Australian tax on that pension) then that pension must be added back into the ATI test.


Cardholders travelling overseas

From 1 January 2013 concession cards have a non-cancellation period of 6 weeks if the holder temporarily departs Australia.


In those cases where a CSHC holder has been overseas for more than 6 weeks and their card is cancelled they may be eligible to lodge a verbal phone claim for a new CSHC.


In order to use this streamlined verbal claim service the customer must:

  • be in Australia when they make the claim,
  • have their income details up-to-date (i.e. have provided a TNA from the tax year immediately preceding the current tax year. If the applicant has not received a TNA for the reference tax year, the tax year immediately preceding will be the reference tax year),
  • make the claim within 13-weeks of having their card cancelled.


Customers who meet these requirements can then have their claim assessed over the phone. If their claim is successful their CSHC can be re-activated.

Where a person's income details are more than 2 years old or their card has been cancelled for 26 weeks or less, they will need to lodge an abridged re-claim.


If their card has been cancelled for more than 26 weeks, they will need to complete a full claim.


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

Policy reference: SS Guide Non-cancellation of Concession Cards for Temporary Overseas Absences


Low income claimants

If a claimant does NOT receive a TNA due to low income, they should be assessed to determine their eligibility for Age.

Explanation: It is expected that there will be a small number of these people who will NOT be eligible for Age due to assets test or residency requirements.


Act reference: SSAct section 1061ZG Qualification rules, section 1061ZI Duration of newly arrived resident's waiting period

Policy reference: SS Guide Qualification for Age


Prisoners & detainees

Prisoners and detainees are prevented from qualifying for social security payments, and the concession cards that are automatically issued with these payments, under SSAct section 1158.


Prisoners and detainees are also prevented from qualifying for claim-required concession cards like the LIC and CSHC, under SSAct section 1159A.


However, certain prisoners are 'licensed on day release' to undertake activities such as engaging in paid work or TAFE training and may qualify for claimable concession cards.


Act reference: SSAct section 1158 Some social security payments not payable during period in gaol or in psychiatric confinement following criminal charge, section 1159A Person not qualified for some concession cards when in gaol or in psychiatric confinement following criminal charge


LIC holders & the CSHC

Holders of the LIC who are also able to qualify for the CSHC may hold and retain both concession cards concurrently.


Pension Loans Scheme

Payments to a person under the PLS are not included in their ATI for CSHC purposes.


Policy reference: SS Guide Supplementary Benefits & Assistance for PLS Recipients


Provision of TFN

From 1 September 2008 all claimants for the CSHC are required to provide their TFN. A CSHC will not be granted unless TFN requirements are met.


All current CSHC holders (i.e. those granted prior to 1 September 2008) and their partners will be required to provide a TFN (or request an exemption) within 28 days of receiving the request, or their CSHC will be cancelled. Centrelink are expected to review existing CSHC holders in early 2009.


Policy reference: SS Guide Providing Tax File Number (TFN) Information - CSHC


Last reviewed: 2 January 2013


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Last Edited: 13/12/2012 12:09:25 PM

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