COULD you be at risk of missing out on the government's next $750 Coronavirus stimulus payment?
According to peak advocacy group National Seniors Australia, hundreds of thousands of older Australians could be eligible for the payment but won't get it because they haven't applied for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) even though they may now be eligible for one.
Being eligible for the CSHC by July 10 qualifies seniors for the next $750 stimulus payment.
National Seniors Chief Advocate, Ian Henschke says the reason so many more seniors would qualify is because of the recent cuts to the deeming rates.
"Lower deeming rates mean more retirees fall below the income test threshold for the card."
"There could be hundreds of thousands of older Australians eligible and they don't even realise," Mr Henschke said.
The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card provides a range of concessions including up to $1180 a year due to a lower Medicare safety net and similar savings via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. It also offers retirees access to some state and territory concessions and the likelihood of being bulk billed by a doctor.
"Not only that, but if they don't apply and are not a Seniors Health Card holder by July 10, they could miss out on the $750 stimulus payment," said Mr Henschke.
To qualify for the card, you must have reached the pension age, meet an income test, are not receiving any payment from Veterans Affairs and are an Australian resident living in Australia.
To meet the income test you must earn below the following income thresholds:
$55,808 for singles
$89,290 for couples
$111,616 for couples who are separated by illness, respite care or prison.
The July stimulus payment will be payable automatically from July 13 to social security, veteran and other income support recipients or those on an eligible concession card (excluding those on the Coronavirus Supplement such as the Jobseeker Allowance).
More information of the CSHC here
More information on the Coronavirus stimulus payments here