Carer Payment

Eligibility

Both the carer and the person they are providing care for need to be eligible.

Residence rules

On the day you claim, both the carer and the person getting care must be Australian residents in Australia.

To keep getting Carer Payment

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

How long you need to have been a resident

You must be an Australian resident and be in Australia for 104 weeks before you can get Carer Payment.

You may be exempt from the 104 week waiting period if you:

If you don’t meet these rules you may be able to claim if you’ve lived or worked in a country that has a social security agreement with Australia.

Rules for carers

To be an eligible carer you must meet these rules.

Care needs

You must be providing constant care in the home of one of the following:

  • someone who has a severe disability or severe illness
  • someone who is frail aged
  • 2 to 4 children younger than 16 whose needs add up to the same as 1 child with severe needs
  • 1 or 2 children younger than 16 and 1 adult whose needs total the same as 1 child with severe needs.

Income and assets

You must:

Rules for the person 16 years or older getting care

If you are providing care for a person 16 years or older they must meet these rules.

Care needs

The person getting care must:

  • score high enough on the Adult Disability Assessment Determination 2018 (ADAT)
  • have an illness or disability likely to last at least 6 months or a terminal illness
  • need constant care in their home, in your home or in hospital.

The ADAT test has:

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

You may get this payment if the person you provide care for meets a lower ADAT score and either:

  • has a dependent child under 6
  • has a dependent child 6-16 that they get Carer Allowance for.

Income and assets

They must either:

  • be getting a payment or benefit from us or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
  • earn less than the limit in the income test
  • own less than the limit in the assets test.

Rules for the child under 16 getting care

If you are providing care for a child under 16, the child must meet these rules.

Care needs

The child getting care must meet all of the following:

  • have a score high enough on the Disability Care Load Assessment (Child) Determination 2010 (DCLAD)
  • have an illness or disability likely to last at least 6 months or a terminal illness
  • need care in their home or in hospital.

The DCLAD test has:

  • questions the carer must answer
  • questions the health professional treating the child getting care must answer.

Even if the person getting care has lower care needs we may pay Carer Payment for:

  • 2 to 4 children under 16 whose needs add up to the same as 1 child with severe needs
  • 1 or 2 children under 16 and 1 adult whose needs total the same as 1 child with severe needs.

Children with short term or episodic conditions

We also pay Carer Payment for a child under 16 who needs either:

  • a lot of care for a short time
  • care on an episodic basis for 3 to 6 months.

A short term condition is likely to be a one off and last for at least 3 months.

An episodic condition is likely to happen from time to time.

Income and assets

We add up the income and assets of:

  • the child
  • their parents
  • their parents’ other dependent children.

They must:

Page last updated: 7 March 2019