Financial support for carers – do you qualify?

Australian Government financial support is available to eligible people who care for others. Here’s what you need to know.

The latest news is that the Carer Supplement will be distributed from July 5. Those receiving an eligible payment on July 1 will receive up to $600 for each eligible person in their care. 

If you are eligible then you will get this amount on top of your regular payment. 

Financial support for carers

The Carer Supplement is just one of a range of financial assistance measures available to eligible carers. Centrelink provides payments to people who provide daily care for someone with severe disability, a medical condition, or who is frail aged. 

Financial help for carers includes: 

  • Carer Payment 

  • Carer Allowance 

  • Carer Supplement, and 

  • Carer Adjustment Payment 

There are also the Child Disability Assistance Payment and the Pensioner Education Supplement. Information about other support payments can be found here.  

Carer Payment

This payment provides income support to people who give constant care to someone who has a severe disability, illness, or an adult who is frail aged. 

To get this you must: 

  • be under the pension income and assets test limits 

  • be an Australian resident 

  • care for someone who is an Australian resident 

  • care for 1 or more people who have care need scores high enough on the assessment tools used for an adult or child 

  • care for someone who’ll have these needs for at least 6 months. 

To get the payment both the carer and the person they are providing care for must be eligible. To check if you’re eligible read the rules that apply to your situation here. 

How much you can get

Payment rates are reviewed on 20 March and 20 September each year. Read about how your relationship status can affect your payment rate. 

* Payment rates current as of 10 June 2021

You may also get the Economic Support Payment. We’ll pay this into your bank account automatically.

Carer Allowance

This payment is a fortnightly supplement to those who give additional daily care to someone who has a disability, serious illness, or is frail aged. 

To get this you must: 

  • meet an income test 

  • care for someone whose care needs score is high enough on the adult or child assessment tools 

  • care for someone who'll have these needs for at least 12 months. 

The carer and the person you are providing care for must both be eligible. 

If you get Carer Payment for a child younger than 16, you don’t need to claim Carer Allowance. 

You must complete a claim for Carer Allowance if you’re providing care for either a person 16 or older, a child younger than 16 and don’t get Carer Payment for them. 

There are specific rules you must meet to get Carer Allowance. More information about these rules can be found here

How much you can get

There's no assets test for Carer Allowance but there is an income test. 

If you meet the Carer Allowance income test, your income doesn’t affect how much Carer Allowance you can get. This payment doesn’t add to your taxable income. 

The Department of Social Services review the payment rates on 1 January each year. 

You may also get the Economic Support Payment. This will be paid into your bank account automatically. 

If you're providing care to someone 16 or older the Carer Allowance is $131.90 each fortnight. There is no Health Care Card for the person you provide care for. 

If you're providing care for a child under 16 the Carer Allowance is either: 

  • for a child with higher needs: $131.90 each fortnight and a Health Care Card for the child 

  • for a child with lower needs: a Health Care Card for the child. 

Shared care: If you share care of the child and the other parent is not your partner: 

  • you get part of the payment 

  • the other carer gets the rest, based on how much care you each provide. 

To claim the allowance, click here. 

Carer Supplement

This is an annual lump sum payment to help with the costs of caring for a person with disability or a medical condition. You’ll get Carer Supplement if you’re receiving Carer Payment or Carer Allowance. 

As outlined earlier in this item, if you get an eligible payment for 1 July 2021, you will be paid: 

  • Carer Supplement of up to $600 for each eligible person in your care 

  • Child Disability Assistance Payment of up to $1,000 for each eligible child younger than 16 in your care. 

You don’t need to do anything to get either of these payments. If you’re eligible, the payments will be paid into your bank account between 5 and 31 July 2021. 

If you don’t get the payments by 31 July 2021 and think you’re eligible, follow these steps: 

  • Go to myGov and sign in to access your Centrelink online account. 

  • Go to ‘Payments and claims’ then ‘Manage payments’ then ‘My payments’. Check to see if we’ve issued the payment to you. 

  • Check the bank account details you registered with us are correct. 

  • Call the Carers line if the payment isn’t showing. 

Who can get it

You must get a certain payment for 1 July to get Carer Supplement: 

  • Carer Payment 

  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs Partner Service Pension and Carer Allowance 

  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs Carer Service Pension. 

You must get one of these payments for 1 July to be eligible. You can’t get the supplement if you only have a Carer Allowance Health Care Card. You must get a certain payment to be eligible. 

How to get it

You don’t need to apply for Carer Supplement. If you’re eligible, the supplement will be paid straight into your bank account. 

You'll get the Carer Supplement each year for as long as you remain eligible. 

Centrelink will assess your eligibility for Child Disability Assistance Payment separately. 

Carer Adjustment Payment

This is a one off payment. It helps families deal with the increased costs of caring for a child that is both: 

  • 7 years of age or younger 

  • has had a sudden and severe illness or accident. 

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