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Are you eligible for carer financial support?

Here’s a guide to government support for those who care for others.

  • Finance
  • Read Time: 5 mins

Did you know that people who give constant care to someone with a disability or a medical condition, or an adult who is frail aged, could be eligible for a government payment?

Two types of income support payment are available to carers: Carer Payment and Carer Allowance.

Carer Payment

This is for people who give constant care to someone with disability, a medical condition, or an adult who is frail aged. Constant care means you provide care for a large amount of time daily, roughly equating to a normal working day.

If this care stops you from working full time, this payment could be for you.

The Carer Payment is a replacement source of income, while the Carer Allowance is a fortnightly supplement to your normal income. You need to have been caring for six months.

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, 304,500 Australians were receiving the payment on 31 March 2023. 

Of these, more than 1 in 4 (28%) recipients were aged 55 to 64, with 60,800 recipients aged 65 and over. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, these numbers have risen in recent years in line with increases to the qualifying age for the Age Pension.

You can start your claim at any time, you don’t need to wait six months. This payment, paid fortnightly, is also for those people caring for someone at the end of their life.

Assets and income tests apply as part of the payment eligibility. More information is available here.

Services Australia advises that the amount of Carer Payment you can get depends on your personal circumstances. This includes any income you or your partner get from employment. Carer Payment is taxable if you or the person you care for are Age Pension age.

If you are eligible for the Age Pension, you will need to choose between receiving the Carer Payment or the Age Pension. Read more about that here.

Find out if you are eligible for Carer Payment here.

Carer Allowance

Carer Allowance is a supplementary payment for those who care for someone who needs daily support. To be eligible, the person you care for has a terminal medical condition or needs ongoing daily assistance for at least 12 months.

To get this payment, you and the person you care for will need to meet some conditions. Read more about eligibility here.

If you are working or studying full time, you can claim Carer Allowance in addition to any other income support payments, such as the Disability Support Pension, Youth Allowance for Students and Australian Apprentices, and Parenting Payment.

The payment rates for the Carer Allowance are reviewed on 1 January each year. For 2023, the allowance is $144.80 each fortnight if you are providing care to someone aged 16 or older.

There is no assets test for the Carer Allowance, but there is an income test. To be eligible, you and your partner’s combined adjusted taxable income must be under $250,000 a year. More information is available here

Annual and one-off payments

If you get a Carer Payment, Carer Allowance, or both, you may also be eligible for other payments.

Carer Supplement is an annual payment. It helps cover costs when caring for someone with disability or a medical condition. You’ll get this automatically if you’re getting an eligible carer payment for a period that includes 1 July.

  • Additional payments if you care for a child. Child Disability Assistance Payment is an annual payment if you get Carer Allowance. You’ll get this automatically if you get Carer Allowance for a period that includes 1 July and provide care for a child with disability or a severe medical condition.

  • Carer Adjustment Payment is a one-off payment for carers of a child younger than seven years. It helps families with a child diagnosed with a severe medical condition or disability following a catastrophic event. You’ll need to show a strong need for financial help when you claim this payment. 

Further reading: Services Australia, Super Guide 

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