There is a variety of Government assistance available to help parents or carers who need help supplementing some of the challenges that comes with providing care to someone who is disabled or aged.
Here is what you need to know about the carers allowance and the benefits that are payable for eligible people from Centrelink or Department of Human Services.
What is the carers allowance?
The carer allowance is a subsidy given to parents or carers who are looking after a dependent child who is disabled or has a medical condition, or looking after an adult (over 16) or is disabled, has a medical condition or is frail aged. The payments are not taxable and you do not need to meet any income or assets tests. Depending on your situation you may still be able to receive other assistance payments such as a Carer Payment or Age Pension.
Carers allowance eligibility
Eligibility may depend on whether you are caring for a dependent child or an adult. In both cases the carer and person being cared for must be Australian residents.
If you are caring for someone 16 or over you may be eligible if:
• You are caring for a person who has a disability, medical condition or is frail aged
• That person needs additional care on a daily basis
• The care is provided for in the carer’s home or the person being cared for home
If you are caring for someone under 16 years you may be eligible if:
• The child being cared for has a disability or medical condition and
• Additional care is needed on a daily basis or
• You care for 2 children who together qualify for substantial caring responsibility (but wouldn’t individually) and those children are living with you.
Medical reviews for carers allowance
Generally if you are caring for an adult there will be reviews every 2 years to see whether there are any changes. If you are caring for a child reviews may be required at 4 years 8months, 10 years and 13 years.
What happens if the person you are caring for goes into hospital or respite care?
You can still receive the carer allowance if the person is out of your care or in hospital for up to 63 days of the calendar year. If the child you are caring for goes into hospital you can still receive the payments if you provide care during this time and you intend to provide care after they return home.
How much is the carers Allowance? Carers allowance rates
The carer allowance is a fortnightly payment of $114. If you are caring for a child you may be eligible for both the payment and a Health Care Card or solely the Health Care Card for the child. You will also be paid a Child Disability Assistance payment up to $1000 and in both cases for caring for an adult or child you can receive a Carer Supplement up to $600 for each person in your care.
How to claim carers allowance?
You can either call 132 717 or visit a DHS Service Centre who will talk through your circumstances and advise you on next steps. You will need to provide Proof of Identity and Medical Reports although they will advise you in more detail.
For more information including what disabilities and medical conditions are eligible visit www.humanservices.gov.au.