If you're eligible for the Schoolkids Bonus, you need to give us your study details so we can pay you next year. Visit our Provide your study details for the Schoolkids Bonus page for more information.
- care for a child under 16 with a severe disability or medical condition, or
- care for someone over 16 with a severe disability or medical condition or who is frail aged
Eligibility & payment rates
Eligibility for Carer Payment
You may be eligible for Carer Payment if you provide constant daily care in the home of the person or child you care for.
Carer Payment rates
Find out payment rates for Carer Payment effective from 20 March 2013.
Transitional rate of pension
The transitional rate of pension is a special rate for people who would ordinarily have received a lower pension because of income test changes in 2009.
You are automatically paid the transitional rate of pension if your rate has always been higher than the rate introduced in 2009.
The transitional rate of pension can apply to:
- Age Pension
- Bereavement Allowance
- Carer Payment
- Disability Support Pension (except if you are aged under 21 and have no children)
- Widow B Pension
- Wife Pension.
Calculating the transitional rate
Your transitional pension rate is compared to the rate of the pension you would receive under the current income test. You will keep receiving the transitional rate while it is more than the current rate. As soon as the current rate is the same or more than your transitional rate, you will be paid under the current means test. You will no longer be eligible for the transitional rate.
Losing the transitional rate
Changes like having more or less income can alter the amount of your pension payment. You cannot go back to your transitional rate if you start receiving the current rate because of a change in your circumstances.
It is important to understand what effect a brief change, like earning more or less employment income, may have on your pension. A Customer Service Officer or Financial Information Service Officer can explain the likely outcomes to you.
Income and Assets tests for Carer Payment
The amount of Carer Payment you get depends on your income and assets.
Income test for pensions
Your income can affect the amount of payment you receive from us.
Residency requirements for Carer payment
To qualify for Carer Payment,both you and the child or person you are caring for must be Australian residents (that is, you live permanently in Australia) and be in Australia when you claim. You must also be:
- an Australian citizen or
- a permanent visa holder or
- the holder of a protected special category visa (SCV).
Newly arrived residents generally have a two-year waiting period. There are some exemptions, including for refugees, holders of certain other permanent visas, Australian citizens, and in some circumstances their partners and dependent children.
Once you have read about eligibility the next steps are:
- register an intent to claim
- read the conditions for claiming
- complete the claim form
- provide supporting documentation
- submit your claim
- we will assess your claim and let you know the outcome
Managing your payment
Change of circumstances while receiving Carer Payment
You need to tell us if your circumstances change while you are receiving Carer Payment.
Advance payment options
You may be eligible to receive part of your Centrelink payment in advance. Accessing an advance payment depends on the type of payment you receive, how long you have been receiving it and the amount that you receive.
Payments paid while outside Australia
There are rules about getting your payment when you leave Australia.
Services and programs available for carers
If you are caring for someone, you can use a number of Australian Government services and programs.
Listed below are specific services and programs that you can use when you are caring for someone who is ill or injured or has a disability.
- Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres provide a single point of contact for the general public, service providers, and health professionals for information on community, aged and disability services and carer support.
- Special Disability Trusts provide help for parents and immediate family members responsible for the future care and accommodation needs of a person with a severe disability.
Other help for Carers
- Carers Australia is the national peak body for carers and represents the needs and interests of carers at the national level.
- Carer Advisory Service can refer you to services, tailored information and resources to support you in your caring role. They can also provide you with a Carer Support Kit containing general information about issues such as looking after yourself, managing health care and medications, loss and grief and an Emergency Care Kit. Call 1800 242 636*.
* Freecall except from mobile phones.