Eligibility for Carer Allowance

When applying for Carer Allowance, both the carer and the care receiver must meet eligibility criteria.

The carer

To be eligible for Carer Allowance, carers must:

  • provide additional daily care and attention to a person with a disability or medical condition or someone who is frail aged, and
  • meet the residence requirements

A carer who is providing care for a child under 16 years who receives Carer Payment, generally receives Carer Allowance automatically. In other cases a claim is required.

A carer may be eligible for Carer Allowance for more than 1 person in their care.

Carer Allowance is not income and asset tested and can be paid in addition to wages or other income support payments such as Carer Payment or Age Pension.

The care receiver

A child receiving care must:

  • be a dependent child under 16 years, or
  • be 2 dependent children under 16 years, each with a disability or medical condition whose combined care needs are equal to that of a single child with a severe disability or severe medical condition, and
  • have a condition listed as a recognised disability or achieve a qualifying rating as determined by the Disability Care Load Assessment (Child) Determination 2010 (DCLA Determination)
  • be likely to suffer from the condition or disability permanently or for an extended period of at least 12 months
  • meet the residence requirements, and
  • receive care in their home or in hospital

Care receivers 16 and over must:

  • achieve a qualifying score as determined by the Adult Disability Assessment Determination 1999 (ADAT Determination)
  • be likely to suffer from the condition or disability permanently or for an extended period of at least 12 months
  • meet the residence requirements, and
  • receive care in either their home, their carer’s home or in hospital

The ADAT and DCLA Determinations include:

  • a questionnaire to be completed by the carer, and
  • a questionnaire to be completed by the Treating Health Professional

Backdating Carer Allowance

If you submit a claim for Carer Allowance you may qualify for a backdated payment.

If you are providing care for a child under 16 years, Carer Allowance can be backdated for up to 12 weeks prior to the date your claim was submitted. All eligibility requirements for Carer Allowance need to have been met during this period.

If you provide care for a person 16 years or over, Carer Allowance can be backdated for up to 12 weeks prior to the date your claim was submitted if the care needs were caused by an acute event. All care requirements for Carer Allowance need to have been met during this period.

An acute event is an illness or injury that occurs unexpectedly, for example a stroke, brain injury or car accident.