Commonwealth Seniors Health Card Eligibility

Use our quick and free calculator to assess your eligibility for the Health Card
(and the Age Pension) 

Eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) explained

There are three basic tests for eligibility – Age, Residency and Income.

For most Australians, the income test is the critical test and has been the reason that many people do not get the CSHC.  However legislation has passed Parliament that has dramatically increased the number of people that will be eligible for the CSHC.

The income thresholds for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) increased significantly to $95,400 for a single person and $152,640 for a couple effective from 20 September 2023.  It is estimated that the vast majority of self-funded retirees will become eligible for this highly valuable concession card. And whilst you must have reached Age Pension age, you do not have to be retired.

Eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card?

To meet the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card eligibility requirements you need to meet specific age, income and residency criteria

Age is the first requirement. You must be at least 67 years old.

Residency – You must be an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident. Permanent Residents may need to wait up to 4 years to apply.

Income Test From the 20 September 2023 your assessable income must be less than $95,400 if you’re a single person, or $152,640 if you’re a couple.

Who can apply for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card?

To be eligible you must meet the following conditions:

  • be over the Age Pension age
  • meet residence requirements (physically present and living in Australia when claim is lodged, or holding a special category visa holder)
  • not be receiving a payment from Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
  • supply a Tax File Number (or have submitted a notice of Non Lodgement to the tax office as evidence that you are exempt from having to lodge a tax return)
  • meet identity requirements
  • meet the income test by having an annual Adjusted Taxable Income (ATI) less than the threshold. Adjustable Tax Income includes taxable income, taxable foreign income, net investment losses, employer provided benefits and reportable superannuation contributions. This information must be from one of the two financial years prior to the year in which you are lodging your claim.

No asset test

Whilst there is no assets test on the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, deemed income on Account Based Pensions is included in the income assessment. Both account based income streams and account based annuities are subject to this deeming, at the current deeming rate.  This amount is then added to your ATI. Other financial assets such as shares, money in the bank, super in accumulation is completely exempt.

Do couples both need to apply?

Yes, the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card is awarded to an individual, so both you and your partner will need to apply. If one or the other is not yet the required age, that does not stop the older member of a couple from applying.

Eligibility thresholds for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

The new income thresholds, that come into effect from the 20 September 2023 are:

  • Singles – $95,400
  • Couples – $152,640
  • Illness-separated couples – $190,800

Note that there is an additional $639.60 per year for each child in your care.  Speak to us about the rules and criteria that apply in this situation

Need assistance with your eligibility?

If it all sounds too hard, there are many ways that Retirement Essentials can help you to get a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

As with the Retirement Essentials Age Pension Entitlements Calculator, we are committed to keeping the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card calculator up to date with any and all changes. So rest assured, we are always first to reflect the new thresholds as soon as they become law. And we make sure that you are alerted to any changes in our regular weekly emails.

How the income test for the Commonwealth Seniors Heath Card is applied

The criteria for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card income test is reviewed and updated on 20 September each year in line with the Consumer Price Index. So if you are not eligible currently, this may change in the  future.  This test considers both your:

  • adjusted taxable income
  • a deemed amount from account based income streams.


You can check your eligibility

Why not check your eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card on our free and fast eligibility calculator.

Interested in applying for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card?

Check Your Eligibility

As Seen On

Newcastle Herald 2023
Financial Review 2023
Investment Magazine 2023
Money Management 2023
National Seniors Australia 2023
Sky News 2023