What is the Carer Allowance and who can get it?

If you give daily care to somebody in need, you may be eligible for the Carer Allowance.

What is the Carer Allowance and who can get it?

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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    To make a comment, please register or login
    26th Jun 2020
    The score on the assessment tool to get for the Carers Allowance is actually higher than for the carers Payments. I was on the CA for my daughter. Centrelink suggested that I apply for the carers payment some years ago as my husband was unemployed. When I did I get the carers Payment I lost the Carers allowance. I didn't understand what happened. And the lady at centrelink said that I got enough points for the Payment but not the allowance. I was short I think 2.5 points to get the Allowance back.
    26th Jun 2020
    The Carer Allowance is a joke. I applied for a few years ago when I was looking after my mother on a daily basis. You couldn’t apply online then. I spent hours in a Centrelink queue, only to be told I had to apply over the phone. Then spent days trying to get through on the phone, to be told I had to go to an office. Back to Centrelink where I was given pages and pages of forms to fill out. Didn’t hear anything for weeks. Eventually was told I didn’t qualify because my mother’s condition was not expected to last more than three months. She was in her eighties and all her problems were age related. Of course they lasted and deteriorated for the remaining years of her life. The appeal process was so cumbersome I gave up. This is the only time I’ve ver had to deal with Centrelink, and I hope to never have to deal with them again.

    On the other hand, I know someone who gets a CA for her mother. Not only doesn’t she care for or about her mother, she never even visits her. And her mother, who is in her mid-70s, still drives and doesn’t even need a carer.
    ray @ Bondi
    26th Jun 2020
    designed to be that way, the goverment wants as many people to give up as possible.
    26th Jun 2020
    Why are you not notifying Centrelink of the fraudulent carer? That money they are getting could be going to someone who needs it.
    26th Jun 2020
    The CA was a joke when I had it to care for my Husband --and it was FULL care 24 hours a day and giving palliative care as well - as I was trained in this that time as they never had it in this area then -- AND if he haad to go into the hospital -- I STILL was there by his side 5 am till 10 pm and the allowance was cut at those times -- even though I paid rent to stay at the hospital with him

    ( the allowance was the huge amount of $20) this was in 1988 for 18 months till he died
    26th Jun 2020
    Thanks Plan B for giving us information from 1988. Relevancy?
    26th Jun 2020
    I care for my wife who is in a wheelchair. I applied 2 years ago for the Carers Allowance but not the supplement. I obtained the form from Centrelink, filled it out, attached the required documentation and mailed it out as requested. Three weeks later I received my first fortnightly payment of about $128 (now $131.90). Imagine my surprise when I received the Carers Supplement in early July of that year - upon enquiring, I was told that if you get one you get both! Works for me. The Allowance works out at $9.42 per day, which buys our coffee and cake twice a week at our local friendly cafe. No complaints - I would have cared for my wife anyway.
    26th Jun 2020
    You are lucky you have had a postive experience and outcome, sounds like Fedup had the opposite.
    26th Jun 2020
    Good to know just in case I need to care for my mum in the future, I hope that she does not need to go into aged care. I also hope that the Government would consider raising this rate and make it easier for people to take care of their relatives.

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