Will I lose my carer supplement?

YOURLifeChoices subscriber Von is concerned that when she moves to the Age Pension, she will lose her Carer Supplement. Can she opt to continue to receive the Carer Payment instead?

Q. Von

I currently receive a Carers Pension and receive the Carers Allowance, both of which get the $600 (total $1200) supplement in July each year.  
When I go onto an Age Pension as a carer do I lose $600 Carer Supplement?  
Can I remain on the Carer Pension instead of the Age Pension?

A. Answer provided by Centrelink

Carers can decide to stay on the Carer Payment after they reach Age Pension age.

The Carer Payment Carer Supplement is not payable to recipients of the Age Pension. A person who receives Carer Allowance in addition to Age Pension would only receive one Carer Supplement payment of $600.

There can be advantages to receiving either the Carer Payment or the Age Pension depending on your circumstances.

For example, if you are getting the Carer Payment because you are caring for someone apart from your partner and that person dies, you may be entitled to a Bereavement Payment. You would not be entitled to this bereavement payment if you were getting the Age Pension.

However, if you are intending to travel outside Australia, the guidelines for being paid the Age Pension during an absence from Australia may be more beneficial than those for the Carer Payment.

A more in-depth explanation of these differences is outlined in a Centrelink fact sheet titled Carer Payment or Age Pension.

While there are several differences between the Carer Payment and the Age Pension there are also several areas that are the same for both payments. Both the Carer Payment and the Age Pension:
•        have the same rate of payment
•        have the same income and assets tests for the carer (a special income test may apply to the care receiver—see fact sheet)
•        are taxable (the Carer Payment is taxable once the carer, or the person being cared for, reaches age pension age)
•        entitle the customer to a Pensioner Concession Card.

You should discuss your personal circumstances with a Centrelink Financial Services officer on 13 22 23

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