Will this Centrelink cut cost you?

Grandparents who care for their grandchildren will have some registered carers payments stripped from them on 2 July.

Plus, with Centrelink’s sweeping changes to Child Care payments effective also from that date, the way they are paid for looking after grandchildren will also change.

The assistance being axed for grandparents who are registered carers is called Child Care Benefits. From 2 July, the Additional Child Care Subsidy (Grandparent) will replace that payment.

To be eligible for a payment under this new scheme, you will need to complete a child care subsidy assessment with your Centrelink online account.

One criterium that grandparents must meet to qualify is that the grandchild they are caring for is 13 years or younger and not attending secondary school.

According to the Department of Human Services, the grandparent Child Care Benefit covers the full cost of approved care for up to 50 hours per child per week. It’s paid directly to your child care service.

You may be able to get this benefit if you or your partner:

  • is the biological, adoptive or step grandparent of the child
  • has primary care of a grandchild – this means you’re the person who is most responsible for meeting the child’s daily care needs, and
  • receives income support payments.

A spokesperson from the Department of Human Services told YourLifeChoices that affected individuals had been notified of the changes through the mail.

She said the changes were designed to streamline the way people caring for children were paid by Centrelink.

If you would like more information about your entitlements as a registered carer of a grandchild, call the department on Freecall™ 1800 245 965. There will be no charge for this call if you use your home phone.

Will you be affected by the way Centrelink pays grandparents to care for their grandchildren?

Related articles:
Financial help for grandparents
Where grandparents can get support
Grandparents feel pressure

Written by Olga Galacho

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