A payment for people who personally provide constant care, in a private home, with a severe disability, medical condition, or an adult 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 you provide care for, meet the income and assets tests
- you are not absent from the caring role for more than 25 hours per week participating in training, education, employment or voluntary work
You cannot receive Carer Payment and another income support payment, such as Age Pension, at the same time.
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 episodic conditions are expected to recur whereas short-term conditions are expected to be one off.
Medical reports are used to assess eligibility for Carer Payment. They are not claim forms and can only be completed by a health professional.
Adjustments to payment rates are made in line with increases in the cost of living.
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||$797.90||$601.50||$1,203.00||$797.90|
|Maximum Pension Supplement||$65.10||$49.10||$98.20||$65.10|
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.
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 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.
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.
In certain circumstances you may be eligible to get your income support payment weekly, instead of fortnightly.
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.
Read more about using 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 or your partner earn affects your payment. We need to know what you and your partner earn each fortnight so you're paid the right amount.
Read more about choosing between Carer Payment and Age Pension when you reach age pension age.
The Australian government is trialling a new way of delivering welfare payments using a cashless debit card.
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.
- 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