A payment for people who personally provide constant care, in the home, to someone with a severe disability, medical condition, or who is frail aged.
- you personally provide constant care in the home for someone with a severe disability, medical condition or who is frail aged
- you personally provide that care for a significant period, usually a minimum of 6 months
- you, and the person for whom you provide care, meet the income and assets tests
Eligibility & payment rates
When applying for Carer Payment, both the carer and the care receiver must meet eligibility criteria.
Exchanged care refers to a situation where all of the following apply:
- you provide a significant level of care to 2 or more of your children
- you exchange the care of these children with the other parent who you are not in a relationship with
- each of the children has a severe medical condition or severe disability
- you have a current parenting plan or a parenting order that outlines your caring arrangements, and
- you and the other parent each provides a significant level of care to one of these children every day
Carer Payment is generally paid if a child requires care for 6 months or more. However, it can also be paid if a significant level of care for a child is required on a short term or episodic basis for a period of 3 to 6 months.
The difference between short term and episodic conditions is that short term conditions are expected to be one off, but episodic conditions are expected to recur.
You cannot receive Carer Payment and another income support payment, such as Age Pension, at the same time.
Medical reports are used to assess eligibility for Carer Payment. They are not claim forms and can only be completed by a health professional.
Carer Payment rates are adjusted on 20 March and 20 September of each year.
|Pension rates per fortnight||Single||Couple each||Couple combined||Couple each
separated due to ill health
|Maximum basic rate||$788.40||$594.30||$1,188.60||$788.40|
|Maximum Pension Supplement||$64.50||$48.60||$97.20||$64.50|
The transitional rate of pension is a special rate for people who would have received a lower pension because of income test changes in 2009. You will remain on the transitional rate while it is higher than the rate you would be paid under the current income test.
Changes, such as losing a job or an extra day’s pay one fortnight, can result in your transitional rate of pension no longer being higher than the current rate.
While you receive the transitional rate, it is compared to the rate of pension you would receive under the current income test. You are no longer eligible for the transitional rate when the current rate of pension is the same or more than your transitional rate.
You cannot go back to your transitional rate if you start receiving the current rate.
A Service Officer or Financial Information Service officer can explain what effect a brief change may have on your pension, for example an increase or decrease in your employment income.
The amount of Carer Payment you receive depends on the income and assets of both you and the person receiving care.
To be eligible for Carer Payment you must satisfy residence requirements.You and the person you are caring for must:
- be an Australian resident
- continue to meet the above residence requirements for as long as you get this payment, and
- be physically present in Australia on the day you submit your claim
Newly arrived residents generally have a 104 week waiting period, with some exemptions.
If you have lived or worked in a country with which Australia has an international social security agreement, it may help you meet these residence requirements.
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 then assess your claim and let you know the outcome
Managing your payment
If you do not tell us when your circumstances change, you may be doing the wrong thing.
You may be eligible to receive part of your income support payment in advance depending on how long you have been getting it and the amount that you get.
You may be eligible to receive your income support payment weekly, instead of fortnightly, in certain circumstances.
To get your payment while outside Australia you must continue to meet the qualification rules for Carer 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.
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.
How much you earn affects your payment. We need to know what you have earned each fortnight so you are paid the right amount.
Read more about choosing between Carer Payment and Age Pension.
There is support available to help you manage your money if you have overdrawn your bank, building society or credit union account.
If you are caring for someone with an illness, disability or injury, there are other Australian Government services and programs that can help.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme website provides information, referral and linkage to ensure families and carers are able to access support in their community.
The myagedcare website provides information about the support available when you care for someone who is frail aged. You can contact Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres on Freecall 1800 052 222 or call 1800 059 059.
Special Disability Trusts help immediate family members of people with severe disabilities make a private financial provision, for the person's future care and accommodation needs.
The Carers Australia website provides information about the national peak body for carers and represents the needs and interests of carers at the national level. The members of Carers Australia comprise the 8 state and territory Carers Associations. You can contact them on Freecall 1800 242 636.
Select the options that describe your circumstances then explore a suggested 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.
- Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme
- Bereavement Payment
- Carer Allowance
- Carer Supplement
- Centrelink online accounts
- Child Dental Benefits Schedule
- Education Entry Payment
- Family Tax Benefit
- Health Care Card
- Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance
- Pension Supplement
- Pensioner Education Supplement
- Rent Assistance
- Rent Deduction Scheme
- Schoolkids Bonus