Disability Support Pension or Carer’s Payment?

Which payment is more financially supportive?

Disability Support Pension or Carer’s Payment?

Since his wife had a stroke, YOURLifeChoices member Graham has been her carer. Is he better to remain on the Disability Support Pension or switch to the carer payment?

Q. Graham
I have been on the Disability Support Pension for about three years and during this time, my wife had a stroke so now I am now her carer. I get the Carer’s Allowance of $114 per fortnight and I would like to know if I change to a Carer’s Pension. Are there any gains or loses in changing. I don’t really want to speak to Centerlink so any suggestions would  be welcomed.

To answer your question on whether you would be better moving from the DSP to the Carer Payment. Usually there is no difference in the amount you are paid on DSP and Carer Payment, but the qualifying and eligibility criteria may differ.

For example, if you planned to spend a large portion of your time overseas, you may be better to stay on the Disability Support Pension. Or, if you are on the Carer Payment and your wife goes into care for an extended period, then your payment may be affected.

I understand that you are not keen to discuss your options with Centrelink, however, as it holds all your information, it really is best placed to advise what payment suits you best. In the meantime, you may wish to read the information on both payments which is held on the Human Services website. You can access this by clicking the links below.

Carer Payment
Disability Support Payment


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    21st Sep 2012
    The one thing i would add to this is that it is getting increasingly difficult to get on the DSP so you could have problems going back onto that payment later if you needed to (for instance your wife goes into full-time care) so you should take this into consideration when deciding what to do.
    21st Sep 2012
    On a carer payment he will be entitled to two (2) one-off payments on the first pay day of the new financial year each year. These payments are $600 for carer allowance and $600 for carer payment. This is a welcome financial boost to his pensions. However, he should consider the pros and cons with Centrelink(Human Resources) regarding switching back to a disability pension at a later date if his wife goes into permanent care.
    21st Sep 2012
    My advice (as someone receiving DSP) would be to remain on the DSP and claim Carer's Allowance only, which would give a small additional payment (somewhere around $55 a week) as well as eligibility for one amount of $600 each financial year.
    21st Sep 2012
    Yes this is good advice, stay on the DSP and get the Carer's Allowance it is $114 a fortnight and you get $700 twice a year as well, that's what I get, trying to get back on the DSP will be full of problems for you.
    22nd Sep 2012
    morning .thanks 2 the reply 2 my question on disability v carers pension .i will stay put .again thanks 2 all graham
    23rd Sep 2012
    Hillbilly Pete, What do you get $700 twice a year for on the DSP? I was on Carer Payment and Carer Allowance for many years before my husband passed away recently and on those two payments I received $600 for each once a year. My husband was on a DSP until he reached 65 years of age when Centrelink transferred him to the age pension.
    27th Dec 2012
    I recently applied for my son (17) for a DSP at the suggestion of centrelink staff. His mood swings are off the chart and he has not left home to go out for over 4 weeks. He has visited many counsellors over the years and now local GP is suggesting ADHD pending investigation. He has been through the stage of self mutilation a few years ago and is now going through severe depression which makes me worried about a revisit. MY employer stamped me unsuitable recently and sacked me (1 month before Chrissy) as I had to take him to Centrelink to get him forms filled out. My claim has now been disproved as he does not meet the 20 point criteria for DSP. When it comes to situations that you need to play watchdog over your own child, and he does not need help with dressing or bathing, what do you do? We have to move house at Christmas because I can no longer afford the rent and this also has given rise to more mood swings. Any suggestions appreciated.

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