The Financial Benefits of Being Over 60 Years - What Discounts & Subsidies Are You Entitled To?
© Danielle Robertson Consulting Pty Ltd t/as DR Care Solutions
If you are over 60 years of age and have the niggling feeling that you may be missing out on Federal, State and Local Council discounts, then what better time to check than at end of financial year!
Here's a checklist of benefits you may be entitled to for your aged care and retirement for you to tick off.
Federal Government Discounts
Commonwealth Pension Concession Card
If you receive payments from the Federal Government, such as the age pension, bereavement allowance, and carer payment, the government will automatically send you a Commonwealth Pensioner Concession Card.
This card entitles you to:
Cheaper medicine under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Bulk billed doctor visits – this is up to your doctor.
A bigger refund for medical costs when you reach the Medicare Safety Net.
Help with hearing services – through the government's Hearing Services Program.
Discounts to redirect your mail through Australia Post.
Aged Care Subsidies
When you are over 65 years of age, and if you receive aged care support through a Federal Government approved aged care provider, the cost of that aged care is subsidised by the government. The government pays the aged care provider a subsidy which in turn reduces the amount you need to pay for that care. Mind you, the amount you pay depends on your income and assets. You are expected to contribute to the cost of your care if you can afford it.
State and Territory Discounts
For Commonwealth Pension Concession Card Holders
If you hold a Pension Concession Card you will be eligible for discounts on utilities, various rebates and duty exemptions within your State and Territory. Here's a useful link to help you understand what benefits are available in your State or Territory.
Each State and Territory runs its own Senior Card program and, given our seniors are more mobile than ever, there are a growing number of reciprocal rights between States and Territories.
Across the board, all of the State and Territory programs offer worthwhile discounts with participating businesses.
Of course the most enticing discount is that on public transport. For example, in South Australia all public transport is free for SA senior cardholders, apart from the peak hour periods where you receive a 50% discount. InterState senior cardholders can claim these same benefits by visiting the Adelaide MetroCentre at Adelaide Railway Station or the Adelaide Airport Information Booth to obtain a 14-day temporary MetroTicket.
The eligibility requirements vary between States and Territories yet they have the common requirement of residency and a limit on the number of hours of paid employment per week. The age of eligibility does vary; for example, while most set an eligible age of 60 years or over, in Western Australia you must be 63 years or over.
You can apply for the card online in all States and Territories, apart from the ACT and Tasmania where you need to attend a State service centre.
Some states like New South Wales and Queensland offer multiple cards. For example, the New South Wales government recognises that many seniors wish to remain in the workforce and so they have introduced an alternative card, the NSW Senior Savers Card for resident seniors who work more than 20 hours a week.
Visit these links for seniors card information for each State and Territory:
Local councils across Australia offer rebates on their rates and water notices for Australians holding a Commonwealth Pension Concession Card. If you hold a pension card, check the website of your local council and make sure you are signed up to receiving the rebates!
What Should You Do?
Go through the checklist and links and find out what you're entitled to. Sign up and start enjoying your well-earned discounts!
If you want some additional help to make sure you're getting what you're entitled to, DR Care Solutions works very closely with Pensioner Solutions, a company that assists Australians to get the most from Centrelink. Head over to their website or give them a call.
Share this with your loved ones and friends who might be able to benefit.
All the best in preparing yourself for the incoming financial year!
If you are seeking advice on aged care solutions and the subsidies available, please feel free to contact me, Danielle Robertson at DR Care Solutions, for an initial discussion.
At DR Care Solutions we specialise in making sure you have the right care, support and assistance at the right time and in the right place.
Phone: + 61 418 737 357 (international calls) | 0418 737 357 (local calls)
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