What is the difference between Commonwealth Seniors Health Card and low income Health Care Card?

The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) and the Low Income Health Care Card (LIHCC) are both concession cards provided by the Australian government, but they have different eligibility criteria and offer slightly different benefits. Here are the key differences between the two:


  1. CSHC: The CSHC is specifically designed for older Australians who have reached the qualifying age for the Age Pension (currently 66 years old, but gradually increasing to 67). It is available for individuals who do not qualify for the Age Pension or other government payments but meet certain income thresholds.
  2. LIHCC: The LIHCC, on the other hand, is available to individuals or families with a low income who meet the specific income requirements set by the government. It is not limited to a particular age group and can be accessed by individuals under the qualifying age for the Age Pension.

Income Threshold:

  1. CSHC: To be eligible for the CSHC, there is an income test that takes into account the individual’s adjusted taxable income, as well as their deemed income from account-based pensions and deemed income from financial investments. The income thresholds are higher for singles and lower for couples or couples separated by illness or respite care.
  2. LIHCC: The LIHCC also has an income test, but the income thresholds are generally lower than those for the CSHC. The specific income limits can vary depending on factors such as the number of dependent children and whether the applicant is single or part of a couple.


  1. CSHC: The CSHC provides access to various benefits and concessions, including a reduction in the cost of prescription medications under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), concessional rates for medical services through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS), and other concessions such as cheaper utilities and public transport fares.
  2. LIHCC: The LIHCC offers similar benefits to the CSHC, such as PBS discounts and concessional rates for medical services. However, the availability and extent of concessions can vary between states or territories.

It’s important to note that the specific eligibility criteria, income thresholds, and benefits associated with these cards may change over time. Therefore, it’s advisable to check with the Department of Human Services or Services Australia, the government agencies responsible for administering these cards, to obtain the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding your eligibility and entitlements.