Thursday, April 25, 2024

NT seniors card bound for letterboxes

A seniors concession card will roll out across the Northern Territory this month with more than 15,000 pre-paid bank cards due to arrive in letterboxes.

The NT Government’s Seniors Recognition Scheme provides a $500 pre-paid card to recognise the significant contribution older Territorians make to our community.

Territorians like 91-year-old, Don Lockley and 71-year-old, Jan Jarvis (pictured), have already received their cards and say they will use the card to suit their own needs.

For Jan and her husband Peter, who have spent their entire 53 years of married life living in the Territory, the card will be used for a long overdue airfare to Adelaide to visit family.

“We are self-funded retirees so having access to this card and this scheme is such a wonderful blessing,” Jan said.

“When you are a retiree, $500 goes a long way.”

Don, who started the NT YMCA in Darwin in 1965 and still coordinates a cancer support group, said he has already used his card stocking up on petrol.

“I’m on a pension and have a little granny flat and while I get by any little bit helps and it really makes a difference when this little card arrives in the mail.”

Council on the Ageing NT CEO, Sue Shearer said seniors have been waiting with bated breath for their new cards.

“The pre-paid debit cards will offer some respite for seniors, especially couples who will have a $1,000 between them,” she said.

“Seniors should also remember that the products and services that you can buy were extended last year, so remember to take advantage and support local businesses.”

Territory Families, Housing and Communities chief executive, Ken Davies said this year a record number of senior Territorians were accessing the scheme.

As at 1 July 2022, there are an additional 1848 senior Territorians on the scheme this financial year with 15,139 members up from 13,291 members the financial year prior.

“We are now at the stage where 80% of seniors in the Northern Territory are accessing this
important scheme,” he said.

“We’ve also expanded the list of places seniors can use this card to provide greater flexibility in allowing people to choose how they access the scheme.

“In the past financial year, this card has not only provided invaluable support for older Territorians but injected more than $7.2 million into the Northern Territory’s economy.”

Any member who has not received their card by the middle of August, or is having trouble accessing their card, can visit a Territory Families, Housing and Communities service centre or call 1800 777 704.

Applications for the 2023-2024 recognition scheme begin in January 2023. Most senior Territorians aged over 65 are eligible.

The Seniors Recognition Scheme is run in addition to the NT Concession Scheme which is means tested and provides concessions on items such as rates, electricity and vehicle registration.

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