Australian Carer Payment eligibility requirements

Photo: Budget.gov.au

Photo: Budget.gov.au

Carer Payment provides income support for Australians who provide full-time care for another person.

Carer Payment is a social security benefit designed to provide financial support for Australian residents who care for another person who is severely disabled, ill or frail aged.

Please note that finder.com.au is not affiliated with the Department of Human Services or Centrelink. If you would like an indication of pension rates or eligibility, please contact your local Centrelink office.

What are the eligibility requirements for Carer Payment?

It’s important to note that when applying for Carer Payment, both the carer and the person receiving care must satisfy certain eligibility criteria.

The carer

The carer must meet the following criteria in order to qualify for payment:

  • They must constantly provide personal in-home care to someone who is disabled, suffers from a medical condition or is frail aged
  • They must satisfy an income test. Under the income test, any financial assets in your name are deemed to earn income. The income you earn will affect the Carer Payment amount you are eligible to receive. For example, if you are single and your income reaches or exceeds $1,868.60 per fortnight, you will not be eligible for any payment. If you are a couple and your fortnightly income passes the $2,860 mark, the amount you are eligible to receive reduces to $0. For transitional rate pensioners who are in a couple, their combined fortnightly income cannot exceed $3,191 if they are to receive financial support.
  • They must satisfy an assets test. Assets that are taken into account include real estate assets, life interests, financial investments, superannuation investments, income streams, business assets and assets you gift to other people. For single homeowners, their assets must be less than $202,000 to receive a full payment.
  • They must be living in Australia and they must meet residence requirements.
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Caring for children under 16

Carers who care for a child who is 16 years or under and receives Carer Payment will also generally receive Carer Allowance automatically. This supplementary payment provides additional financial support.

The care receiver

If aged over 16 years, care receivers must meet the following conditions:

  • They must reach a qualifying score under the Adult Disability Assessment Determination 1999 (ADAT Determination).
  • They must be deemed likely to suffer from the same disability or condition permanently, or for a period of at least six months.
  • They need to meet the residence requirements.
  • They must require care either at home or in hospital.
  • Unless they receive an eligible pension or benefit paid by either the Department of Human Services or the Department of Veterans Affairs, the care receiver must meet an income and assets test.
For care receivers under 16

Carer Payment is typically provided if a child requires care for six months or more. However, when a child requires significant short-term or episodic care for a period of between three and six months, the benefit can also be paid.

Finally, it’s worth pointing out that medical reports are also used to assess a person’s eligibility for Carer Payment. These reports must be completed by a health professional.

How do I submit a claim if I think I'm eligible?

If you satisfy the eligibility requirements for Carer Payment, you can claim payment by following the process below:

  1. Register your intent to claim
  2. Read all the conditions for claiming Carer Payment
  3. Complete the claim form available from the Department of Human Services
  4. Gather any other documentation required to support your claim
  5. Submit your claim
  6. Your claim will be assessed by the Department of Human Services
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How do I manage my payments?

While Carer Payment is typically offered fortnightly, you may also be able to qualify for weekly payments under certain circumstances, such as if you are homeless or if you are having significant financial difficulty. It may also be possible to receive your Carer Payment in advance, although this will depend on how long you have been receiving benefits and how much you receive. However, you can only take one advance payment at the maximum amount over any six-month period, or elect to have smaller advance payments instead.

If your circumstances change while you are receiving Carer Payment, you will need to notify the Department of Human Services. Examples of relevant changes include when:

  • Your care arrangements change
  • The person you care for goes into respite care or hospital, or perhaps requires less care
  • The child you are caring for is no longer your dependent
  • You change your address
  • Your income, assets or investments change in any way

Failure to notify the Department of Human Services of any changes within 14 days could lead to you being overpaid and having to pay those benefits back in future.

It’s always vital to report any income that you and your partner earn to the Department of Human Services. This includes details of your hourly pay rate and the number of hours you have worked during each reporting period. Even if your income for the period is zero, you still need to report it to the Department.

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Travelling outside Australia

You also need to be aware of the conditions that apply to Carer Payment for travel outside Australia. If you travel overseas and the person you care for comes with you, you can be paid for the first six weeks abroad or those who are studying outside Australia as part of a full-time Australian course can receive the payment for longer. However, if you travel outside Australia without the person you care for, Carer Payment will continue for the first six weeks you are overseas, as long as you have a sufficient number of respite days in reserve. Some countries, such as Canada and the United States, have international social security agreements with Australia that may allow you to receive payment for a longer period.

Carer Payment can offer much-needed financial assistance for those who perform the vital role of caring for others. Examine the eligibility requirements closely to determine whether you could benefit from this important government service.

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113 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    November 11, 2018

    how much can you receive for carer payment

    • finder Customer Care
      JohnNovember 12, 2018Staff

      Hi Derek,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      The current carer payments provided in Australia is $127.10 each fortnight. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  2. Default Gravatar
    robertNovember 8, 2018

    On a carer’s pension as a couple if I earn $350 per week, how much will the pension be reduced?

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniNovember 10, 2018Staff

      Hi Robert,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      For the rate if you are earning $350 per week will be assessed by the DHS through their income and assets test. For all your carer payment enquiries, you may call them on 132 717 from 8 am – 5 pm, Monday to Friday.

      I hope this helps.

      Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  3. Default Gravatar
    LoisOctober 23, 2018

    I would like to know how to start the process of enquiring whether or not I am eligible for a carer’s pension for my husband. He is 86 years old and I am 74.

    • finder Customer Care
      JhezelynOctober 23, 2018Staff

      Hello Lois,

      Thank you for your comment.

      According to the Department of Human Services (DHS), to be eligible for the Carer Payment:

      – You need to provide constant daily care for a person with a disability or chronic illness, mental illness, or who is frail aged. You do not need to live with the person you care for, but you need to live within a reasonable distance and provide care on a daily basis.
      – The person(s) you care for must meet a minimum level of care needs as assessed by either the Adult Disability Assessment Tool or the Disability Care Load Assessment (Child) Determination 2010.
      – Both you and the person you care for must be Australian residents, currently living in Australia.
      – You, your employed spouse or partner (if you have one) and the person you care for must all meet the income and assets test for the payment. If you earn income or own property, savings or investments above a particular amount (the ‘threshold’), you may not be eligible.
      – There are also limitations on the number of hours you can spend working, studying, volunteering or training. This must not amount to over 25 hours a week (including travel time).

      There is no mention about being eligible if you are providing care to your husband. To find out more about Carer Payment and your eligibility for this payment, just visit your nearest Centrelink office to discuss your individual situation.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  4. Default Gravatar
    MoniqueAugust 30, 2018

    Hey I’m a full time career for my son I’m just wanting to know he is starting school and I’m just wanting to know if I’m able to work part time while he’s at school and how will this affect my payments and if I start working part time does this mean I’m not entitled to the career payment thanks in advance

    • finder Customer Care
      JoshuaAugust 30, 2018Staff

      Hi Monique,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      If you are being given carer payment, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have work or your son can’t go to school. However, as long as you still meet eligibility requirements for Carer Payment, then you should be good to go.

      For example, if you are single and your income reaches or exceeds $1,868.60 per fortnight, you will not be eligible for any payment. If you are a couple and your fortnightly income passes the $2,860 mark, the amount you are eligible to receive reduces to $0. Moreover, you should constantly provide personal in-home care to your son to stay eligible for the Carer Payment. If in case you don’t meet these requirements, you might lose your benefit.

      Before you get a career or let your son go to school, it would be a good idea to directly get in touch with the Carer Payment provider. This will help you know how your decision will affect your eligibility.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  5. Default Gravatar
    ANTHONYAugust 20, 2018

    My mother is 80 years old. She has osteoporosis, broken her femur in 3 places and just had a steel rod put in it and will take a long time to heal. My dad is caring for her. My question is, can my dad claim carers allowance?

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniAugust 20, 2018Staff

      Hi Anthony,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Carer Allowance is a fortnightly income supplement for parents or carers providing additional daily care and attention to an adult or dependent child with disability or a medical condition, or to someone who is frail aged.

      Since your father has been your mom’s carer and hasn’t received any carer allowance from the Department of Human Services, you may assist him to process claiming his carer allowance by following the steps on this PAGE.

      Please note, it is best to check the eligibility rules prior to claiming the carer allowance.

      I hope this somewhat helps.

      Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  6. Default Gravatar
    Mary.July 1, 2018

    As I am my husbands carer and I receive the carer pension of about $120 a fortnight. What I want to know is as he has been in hospital for 2 weeks recently, do I have to advise the pension people?

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniJuly 6, 2018Staff

      Hi Mary,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Yes, you must tell the DHS if the person you provide care for goes temporarily into respite care or is hospitalised.

      You can tell them about your changes through their self service options.

      You need to:

      – tell them within 14 days about any changes of circumstances
      – make sure your details are up to date in myGov

      If you don’t tell them about these changes, they may pay you too much. If this happens you will have to pay the money back.

      If you deliberately don’t tell them about changes, they could charge you with fraud.

      I hope this helps.

      Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  7. Default Gravatar
    ghaidaJune 12, 2018

    I applied to be a second carer for my dad. I’m a single mom aged 35 and studying one day a week for 9 hours a week. Only dad is an aged pension DVA. I want to know how much I will get as a payment

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniJune 16, 2018Staff

      Hi Ghaida,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      There are different rates of Carer Payment for single people and couples. The maximum basic rate per fortnight is $826.20 however you mentioned that you are the second carer so I suggest that you contact Centrelink at 132 717 from 8AM to 5PM, Monday to Friday regarding your carer payment enquiry.

      You may want to read more about payments for carers on this page.

      I hope this helps. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  8. Default Gravatar
    BelindaJune 7, 2018

    Hi I’m wondering if my husband and I can get Carer payment and allowance for my parents. At present I care for one parent and another family member cares for my dad. But in future my husband may need to care for my dad. If so would we both get payment if we pass income test.

    • Default Gravatar
      ArnoldJune 8, 2018

      Hi Belinda,

      Thanks for your inquiry

      It looks like you’re already on the right page for information on the AU Carer Payment eligibility requirements. The requirements can be seen on the page above. However, I’m afraid only the Department of Human Services can determine if you meet the income requirements to be a carer. Information about the tests you will take can be found on their website. Please click here to view this information.

      Hope this information helps

      Cheers,
      Arnold

  9. Default Gravatar
    PaulineMay 11, 2018

    I am on a Carers pension in nsw how much can I earn a fortnight

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniMay 11, 2018Staff

      Hi Pauline,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      The maximum basic rate of the pension rates per fortnight is $826.20.

      If you want to know more on how much carer payment someone can get, please check out this link.

      I hope this helps.

      Have a great day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  10. Default Gravatar
    AlecMay 9, 2018

    Can a 78 year old husband claim for his 73 years old wife who is incapacitated…she can walk a little, otherwise the husband does everything.

    • finder Customer Care
      NikkiMay 9, 2018Staff

      Hi Alec,

      Thanks for your message and for visiting finder – the leading comparison website & general information service built to give you advice in your buying decision needs. How are you doing today?

      To be eligible for Carer’s Benefit, below is a checklist for you:

      – They must constantly provide personal in-home care to someone who is disabled, suffers from a medical condition or is frail aged
      – For transitional rate pensioners who are in a couple, their combined fortnightly income cannot exceed $3,191 if they are to receive financial support.
      – They must be living in Australia and they must meet residence requirements.

      For the care receiver:

      – They must reach a qualifying score under the Adult Disability Assessment Determination 1999 (ADAT Determination).
      – They must be deemed likely to suffer from the same disability or condition permanently, or for a period of at least six months.
      – They need to meet the residence requirements.
      – They must require care either at home or in hospital.

      For more information, you may call the Department of Human Services or Centrelink.

      Hope this helps! Feel free to message us anytime should you have further questions.

      Cheers,
      Nikki

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