Breaks from caring

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 you take a break from caring. You can do this online. Sign in to myGov and access your Centrelink online account. Then use the View/Update Absence from Care option from the Carer menu. If you can’t go online you can call us.

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 either:

  • 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 the following apply:

  • you keep caring for them while they’re there
  • 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. You’re eligible if the person you provide care for is in hospital and all of the following apply:

  • you keep caring for them while they’re there
  • they are likely to return to your care when they leave
  • 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: 10 September 2019