What is the Carer Allowance and who can get it?

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The Carer Allowance is a fortnightly supplement available to people who give additional daily care to someone with a disability or a serious illness.

To be eligible, the person in your care needs to score high enough on the Services Australia assessment tools and must have those needs for at least 12 months or the rest of their life.

While there is no assets test for the Carer Allowance, it is subject to an income test. To be eligible for the Carer Allowance, you and your partner’s combined adjusted taxable income must be under $250,000 a year.

If you already get a Carer Payment for a child younger than 16, you don’t need to claim the Carer Allowance, but if you are providing care for a person 16 years or older, or a child younger than 16 but don’t receive the Carer Payment, you will need to complete a claim for the Carer Allowance.

If you are providing care to someone 16 years or older, the Carer Allowance is $131.90 fortnightly. This payment doesn’t add to your taxable income.

Payment rates are adjusted on 1 January each year to keep up with the cost of living.

The easiest way to claim the Carer Allowance is online, which requires a myGov account linked to Centrelink. You will be asked to provide certain documents and information as you go through the application process.

You can still get Carer Allowance if someone else provides care while you have a break, or the person you provide care for goes into hospital.

You can have 63 days of respite each calendar year (1 January–31 December) without your payment stopping.

You can use these days for anything, including a holiday or simply a break from caring.

While you’re having a break, the person getting care can either:

– be in formal respite care, at home, or elsewhere
– be informally looked after by a friend, neighbour or family member.

Do you claim a Carer Allowance? Did you find the application process difficult?

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Written by Ben


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