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Carer Payment provides financial support if you are unable to work in substantial paid employment because you are providing full-time daily care to someone with a severe disability or medical condition, or to someone who is frail aged


Eligibility for Carer Payment

You may be eligible for Carer Payment if you provide constant daily care in the home of the person or child you care for.

Carer Payment (caring for a person 16 years or over)

You may be eligible for Carer Payment (caring for a person 16 years or over) if you provide constant daily care in the home of the person you care for and he or she:

  • is aged 16 or more with a severe disability or medical condition or is frail aged, or
  • is aged 16 or more with moderate care needs and has a dependent child who either is under six or is aged 6–16 and eligible for Carer Allowance.


The person you care for must also either:

  • receive an income-support payment from Centrelink or from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs,
  • be unable to receive an income-support payment from Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs because they have not lived in Australia long enough to be eligible, or
  • meet the care-receiver income and assets tests.


If the person you care for goes into respite care or hospital

You can still receive Carer Payment for up to 63 days in a calendar year when the person you care for:

  • is temporarily out of your care or
  • is in hospital.


Review of circumstances

The person you care for will generally have his or her circumstances reviewed every two years to check whether there are any changes in caring arrangements or medical condition. Medical reviews are not generally required if the person you are caring for has a severe disability or medical condition and requires high care.

Carer Payment (caring for a child under 16 years)

You may be eligible for Carer Payment (caring for a child under 16 years) if you provide constant daily care in the home of the child you care for, and he or she is:

  • a single child aged under 16 years with a severe disability or severe medical condition
  • one of two to four children under 16 with a disability or medical condition whose combined care needs are equal to that of a single child aged under 16 with a severe disability or severe medical condition
  • one of one or two children and an adult who each have a disability or medical condition, whose combined care needs are equal to that of a single child with a severe disability or severe medical condition, or
  • one of two or more children under 16 who individually or combined have a severe disability or severe medical condition in an exchanged-care arrangement (see below).


Exchanged care

Exchanged care is a situation in which:

  • you provide a significant level of care to two or more children with a severe disability or severe medical condition
  • you exchange the care of these children with the other parent or legal guardian who you are not in a relationship with
  • each of the children has a severe medical condition or severe disability
  • you have a parenting plan, registered parenting plan, or court-approved parenting plan 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.


Short-term and episodic conditions

Carer Payment is generally paid if a child requires care for six 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 three to six months.

The difference between short-term and episodic conditions is that short-term conditions are expected to be one-off, but episodic conditions are expected to recur.


Taking a break from caring

You can take a number of breaks from caring, up to 63 days per calendar year (1 January to 31 December) for respite, and still be eligible for Carer Payment and/or Carer Allowance (caring for a child under 16 years).

If the child goes into hospital

You can continue to receive Carer Payment if the child you are caring for goes into hospital, as long as you continue to provide care for him or her while he or she is in hospital and you intend to resume caring for him or her when he or she returns home. It is important that you tell Centrelink if this occurs. Centrelink will contact you after your child has been in hospital for a continuous period of 12 weeks.

Review of circumstances

From time to time, your Carer Payment is reviewed. The amount you receive may be adjusted because your circumstances or those of the child you care for have changed—for example, if your income changes or the child stops needing your constant care.

For more information visit the Human Services Website here.