An income supplement for carers who provide additional daily care and attention for someone with a disability or medical condition, or who is frail aged.
- provide additional daily care for a dependent child under 16 years, with a disability or medical condition, who lives with you, or
- provide additional daily care for 2 dependent children with disabilities or medical conditions, who do not individually qualify for Carer Allowance, but together have a substantial caring responsibility and live with you, or
- provide additional daily care for a person 16 years or over who has a disability, medical condition, or who is frail aged, and
- care must be provided in either your home or the home of the person you are caring for
Eligibility & payment rates
When applying for Carer Allowance, both the carer and the care receiver must meet eligibility criteria.
Carer Allowance when providing care for a child under 16 years is either:
- a fortnightly payment of $123.50 and a Health Care Card for the child, or
- a Health Care Card for the child
Which of these you receive depends on the child’s care needs.
Carer Allowance when providing care for a person 16 years or over is paid at $123.50 per fortnight.
Carer Allowance is adjusted on 1 January each year in line with the Consumer Price Index.
The amount of Carer Allowance you get depends on whether you are providing care for more than 1 person and whether you are in a shared care arrangement.
Carer Allowance is not taxable or income and assets tested.
To be eligible for Carer Allowance you must satisfy residence requirements. You and the person you provide care for:
- must be an Australian resident, and
- continue to meet the residence requirements for as long as you get this payment
- must be physically present in Australia on the day you submit your claim
Once you have read about eligibility the next steps are:
- read the conditions for claiming
- register an intent to claim
- complete the claim form
- provide supporting documentation
- submit your claim
- we will assess your claim and let you know the outcome
Managing your payment
Do your Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support business using self service options, including our Express Plus mobile apps, online accounts and phone self service.
Read more about using self service
You need to tell us if your circumstances change when you are receiving a payment. For example, if:
- the person or child you provide care for goes into respite care or hospital
- the person or child you provide care for needs less care
- the child for whom you provide care for stops being your dependent
- you move house
- you stop providing care for the person or child, or
- your care situation or the level of care you provide changes because of support from DisabilityCare Australia
If you do not tell us about the changes within 14 days your payment may be affected. You may be overpaid benefits and you will probably have to pay the money back.
If you deliberately do not tell us about changes, you could be charged with fraud, and a recovery fee may be imposed.
You have 63 days per calendar year for respite without affecting your payment.
You can use these days for anything. This includes formal respite such as community, in-home, or residential care. It also includes informal respite a friend or family member provides.
If the child under 16 years goes into hospital
Your payment won’t stop if the child you care for goes into hospital, as long as you continue to provide care while they are there, and you intend to resume care when they leave hospital. It is important to tell us if this happens.
We’ll review your circumstances after your child has been in hospital for more than 12 weeks.
If the person 16 years or over goes into hospital
Your payment won’t stop if the person you care for goes into hospital for up to 63 days per calendar year, as long as you continue to provide care, and you intend to resume care when they leave hospital. The time in hospital doesn’t count toward the 63 days allowable break from caring standard.
Carer Allowance is periodically reviewed to confirm if there are any changes to the care situation or the care receiver’s medical condition.
A medical review of the care receiver may also be required.
Child care receivers under 16
A child you provide care for may be required to have a medical review on reaching these developmental milestones:
- 4 years and 8 months
- 10 years
- 13 years
If the child’s disability or medical condition is on the list of recognised disabilities, they will not have milestone reviews.
Adult care receivers
An adult you provide care for may be required to have a medical review every 2 years.
To get your payment while outside Australia you must continue to meet the qualification rules for Carer Allowance.
If you want someone else to handle your Centrelink, Child Support or Medicare business, you can authorise them to deal with us on your behalf.
There is support to help you manage your money if you have overdrawn your bank, building society or credit union account.
Information about services and programs available for carers.
Select the options that describe your circumstances, then explore a list of possible Centrelink and Medicare payments and services online.
Select your state and topics of interest to find links to government and community organisation support.