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What’s the deal with carers payments?

August 29th, 2017

Categories: News

Written by Owen Walker, Director of Research and Development at Little Dreamers Australia

This information is accurate as of 29/08/2017.

Trying to navigate the world of government payments can be super tricky. Especially as they can change depending on what the government decides to fund at the time. So don’t stress, we’ve done all the hard work for you!

Regular Payments

The Carer Allowance

What is it?

The Carer Allowance is a small fortnightly payment that you can get if you look after someone on a daily basis. The payment is $124.70, and the best part is you’re not taxed on it.

Am I eligible?

If you live with the person and provide care on a daily basis you may be eligible for the Carer Allowance. This particular payment isn’t affected by your income or anything, but it can be split up if you share the care with somebody else.

For more information and to apply for this payment, visit https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/carer-allowance

The Carer Payment

What is it?

The Carer Payment is a fortnightly payment meant for people who basically care as a full time job. The person you care for must need care for at least a 6 month period, and pass a certain bunch of tests. The maximum fortnightly amount is $888.30 if you’re also eligible for a couple of extra small payments (not including the carer allowance though, that goes on top of this).

Am I eligible?

The requirements for this payment are quite specific, it depends on the person you care for, the amount of time you spend with them, and how much you earn. The payments also vary depending on these things and a few more like your citizenship and if you’re in a relationship or not.

For more information and to apply for this payment, visit https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/carer-payment

The Carer Supplement

What is it?

The Carer Supplement is an annual, once off payment that you can get if you are also receiving certain other government payments, for example the Carer Allowance or Carer Payment. The amount is fixed at $600 a year per payment you get (for example if you get the carer allowance and the carer payment you are eligible for two payments), and is designed to help you with the expenses of caring.

Am I eligible?

You would probably already know if you were eligible, because you’ll automatically receive this one if you’re on at least one of the eligible payments. If you think you should be getting it and aren’t, it might be worth contacting Centrelink directly to clarify.

Youth Allowance

What is it?

Youth Allowance is a fortnightly payment designed for people who are studying or seeking employment, or unable to work for various reasons. Payment rates vary depending on your income, or possibly your parents’ income, as well as any assets you or your family may have.

Am I eligible?

Eligibility depends on lots of different factors. The factors depend on your age, whether you’re studying, employed, or looking for employment. You also have to be under 24. Don’t stress if you’re 25 though, there’s a different version of basically the same payment for you called AUSTUDY.

To see if you’re eligible for this one, check out https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/youth-allowance.Emergency, once-off, and specific payments

Alongside the regular payments you may be eligible for from the government, there are a number of payments you may be eligible for if you are in a really tight spot, or need extra specific assistance.

The Carer Adjustment Payment

What is it?

The Carer Adjustment Payment is a once-off payment that helps you deal with a catastrophic or major event that affects you financially. For example if you have a car accident, your house burns down, or a serious illness occurs. The maximum amount that can be given is $10,000.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible the person you care for must be younger than 7 (who knows where this age range came from…), they must have required care for at least 2 months, you must be getting the carer allowance but must not be getting carer payments (neither can your partner). This is a very specific payment with strict eligibility requirements, so it’s best to check with Centrelink whether you are eligible or not.


The Young Carer Bursary Program

What is it?

Carers Australia offers a really cool scholarship of $3,000 for young carers in schools. This payment is designed to help cover some of the costs like books and uniforms etc. but can really go towards anything that helps relieve the financial strain of being a young carer. Applications typically open around July/August and there are around 333 available. We advertise when applications open for this as well as other scholarships/payments so make sure you’re following us on social media and checking the website regularly.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible you must be a young carer aged between 12 and 25 and actively engaged in education at the Year 7 level or beyond. There is an application process that you need to go through as well, which opens in the middle of each year.

Child Disability Assistance Payment

What is it?

The payment is designed for people who care for a child under 16 years old age with a disability. The payment is $1,000 for each child you have and occurs automatically if you are eligible.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for this payment you must care for a child under 16 and receive the Carer’s Allowance for that child. If you receive multiple allowances for multiple children, you are eligible for multiple payments.

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