Q: Centrelink have advised that we are ineligible to receive the Age Pension as we exceed the Assets Test limit due to the value of our Self-Managed Super Fund. We have been advised that we will now qualify for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. What is this and what are the benefits?

A: The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) is a concession card that is available to individuals who are Australian residents, of Age Pension age, who do not qualify for the Age Pension due to their level of income or assets.

The benefits of the CSHC include discounted prescriptions for Medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Once the PBS Safety net has been reached and you have applied for the PBS Safety Net Card, you will receive PBS prescriptions without charge for the remainder of the calendar year.

You are entitled to access to Bulk Billed Doctor visits if these are provided by your Doctor. Additionally, access to a larger refund for medical costs when you exceed the Medicare safety net.

Unlike the Age Pension, the CSHC is not subject to the Asset test however it is subject to an income test threshold. The threshold limit is income of $89,290 a year as a couple or $55,808 a year as a single.

If you previously received the Age Pension and had your pension cancelled on 1 January 2017 as a result of changes to the assets test, you are not required to meet the income test for the card.

To apply for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, contact the Department of Human Services. If you have previously been issued a Centrelink Customer Access Number, this number remains current. Applications can be made online at www.humanservices.gov.au.