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Speeder renewals for low-income earners



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MEDIA RELEASE SENATOR KIM CARR Minister for Human Services

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

SPEEDIER RENEWALS FOR LOW-INCOME EARNERS

Low-income earners postponing health care because their cards have expired could be a thing of the past thanks to a new online renewal service.

Minister for Human Services Senator Kim Carr said the introduction of online renewal for Low Income Health Care Card holders was part of the increasing push towards more convenient, quicker and easier access to Centrelink services.

“Our new measure is designed to address concerns about squeezing everything into 28 days - the renewal process, tailoring the card with personal details and sending the new card out to the card holder,” Senator Kim Carr said.

“As low-income families will attest, any gap between their existing card expiring and a new card being issued and received can have a big impact - especially if there is illness in the family or pressing bills due.

“I encourage people to make use of the online option and to avoid delays associated with physically posting a claim form to Centrelink.”

For people with a Low Income Health Care Card, 28 days before expiry, the Department requires a “snapshot’’ of the card holder’s income to confirm they are still eligible.

By introducing the option of providing this snapshot online, the traditional delays associated with physically posting a claim form to Centrelink can be avoided.

Income details that are already held are displayed in the online renewal for cardholders to check, making the renewal process quicker and easier.

Senator Kim Carr said in the first three days of online renewals being available, more than a third of renewals used the new service.

“The Department of Human Services is committed to supporting families and individuals on low incomes. I’m really pleased to see the introduction of innovations like this - combining a common sense approach with advances in secure online communication.”

For further information or to renew your Low Income Health Care Card online, visit www.humanservices.gov.au

Media contacts: Minister’s Office, 02 6277 7200