Breaks from caring when you get Carer Allowance

You can still get Carer Allowance if someone else provides care while you have a break, or the person you provide care for goes into hospital.

You must tell us if either of these happen.  You can call us or use the ‘View/Update Absence from Care’ option from the Carer menu within your Centrelink online account.

Taking a break (respite)

You can have 63 days of respite each calendar year (1 January–31 December) without your payment stopping.

You can use these days for anything, including a holiday or simply a break from caring.

While you’re having a break the person getting care can:

  • be in formal respite care, at home, or elsewhere
  • be informally looked after by a friend, neighbour or family member

If the person getting care goes into hospital and they’re under 16 years old

We will keep paying you Carer Allowance if the child getting care goes into hospital, as long as:

  • you keep caring for them while they’re there and
  • you plan to still provide care for them at home when they leave hospital

We’ll check back with you if they’ve been in hospital for more than 12 weeks

If the person getting care goes into hospital and they’re 16 years or older

We will keep paying you Carer Allowance for up to 63 days in a calendar year if the person you provide care for is in hospital, as long as:

  • you keep caring for them while they’re there
  • they are likely to return to your care when they leave, and
  • you plan to still provide care for them when they leave hospital

Call the carers line if the person getting care is in hospital for more than 63 days in a year. We may be able to still pay you by using some of your respite days.

Page last updated: 13 October 2017