Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

Commonwealth Seniors Health CardThe CSHC entitles seniors to lower-cost health services and pharmaceutical prescriptions.

Health card holders and eligible Veterans Gold Card Holders also receive the Seniors Supplement payment.

Eligibility for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card is available to seniors who:

  • have reached Age Pension age, but not eligible for a pension due to income or assets
  • meet an income test
  • meet a residency test

As a compliance measure, the Department of Human Services undertakes data matching in which customer data is matched with data from the Australian Taxation Office

CSHC Income test

To be eligible, adjusted taxable income must be less than the following:

CSHC Income Test
RecipientFrom 20 Sept 2019From 20 Sept 2018From 20 Sept 2017From 20 Sept 2016
Couples Combined Income$89,290$87,884$86,076$84,472
Couple separated by illness, respite care or prison – combined income$111,616$109,858$107,598$105,592

Income levels are adjusted annually in September.

For each dependent child the above income limits are increased by $639.60

Adjusted Taxable Income  means the sum of:

  • Taxable income
  • Foreign income
  • Total net investment losses
  • Reportable Fringe Benefits
  • Reportable superannuation contributions

From 1 January 2015 the income test includes a deemed amount from account based tax-free retirement income streams purchased or changed on or after 1 January 2015.


The residency test requires:

  • Living in Australia as Australian resident or special category visa holder
  • physically present in Australia on the day claim is lodged, and continue to meet the residence requirements.

New Residents Waiting Period

From 1 January 2019 the waiting period for newly arrived residents to receive a range of benefits has been extended. The new waiting periods will apply generally to visas granted on or after 1 January 2019.

Examples of adjusted waiting periods include:

BenefitVisa on or after 1 Jan 2019Before 1 Jan 2019
Commonwealth Seniors Health Cardwaiting period 4 years2 years
Low Income Health Care Card4 years2 years
Parenting Payments4 years2 years
Carer Payments2 years2 years
Dad and Partner Pay2 yearsno waiting period
Parental Leave Pay2 yearsno waiting period
Family Tax Benefit Part A1 yearno waiting period
Family Tax Benefit Part Bno waiting periodno waiting period

Details of further benefits affected along with exemptions and NZ residents are set out here.


Further information


This page was last modified 2019-09-20