Eligibility rules

The carer and the person you are providing care for must both be eligible.

Residence rules

On the day you claim, both the carer and the person getting care must be both:

Newly arrived residents generally have to wait 1 year before getting this payment, with some exemptions.

To keep getting Carer Allowance

To keep getting Carer Allowance you must both continue to be Australian residents.

Rules for carers

To get this payment you must meet these rules.

Care needs

You must be providing additional daily care and attention to someone because they either:

  • have a disability or severe illness
  • are frail aged.

You may be able to get Carer Allowance for more than 1 person you provide care for.

Income and assets

There is no assets test for Carer Allowance but there is an income test. To get Carer Allowance your and your partner’s combined adjusted taxable income must be under $250,000 a year.

Read more about adjusted taxable income.

Rules for the person 16 years or older getting care

Care needs

The person getting care must meet all of the following:

  • score high enough on the Adult Disability Assessment Determination 2018 (ADAT)
  • be likely to have the illness or disability for at least 12 months, unless it’s terminal
  • get care from you in their home, your home or in hospital.

The ADAT has both:

  • questions the carer must answer
  • questions the health professional who treats the person getting care must answer.

Rules for the child getting care under 16

The child, aged under 16, is getting care and is eligible for payment.

Care needs

The child getting care must meet all of the following:

  • have a recognised disability or score high enough on the Disability Care Load Assessment (Child) Determination 2010 (DCLAD)
  • be likely to have the illness or disability for at least 12 months, unless it’s terminal
  • need care from the carer in their home or in hospital.

If you care for 2 children under 16

We may pay Carer Allowance if both:

  • you provide care for 2 children under 16
  • their care needs add up to the same care as for 1 eligible child.

The carer and the health professional who treat each child getting care must answer questions for the DCLAD.

When to claim

You may be able to get Carer Allowance without claiming it.

When you don’t need to claim

If you get Carer Payment for a child aged under 16.

When you do need to claim

You must complete a claim if you are providing care for either a:

  • person 16 years or older
  • child under 16 and don’t get Carer Payment for them.

Page last updated: 2 July 2019

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