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Centrelink

Carer Allowance

This is a Centrelink payment for carers who provide additional daily care and attention for someone with a disability.

If you are providing care to someone who is aged 16 or older:

Carer Allowance is $127.10 each fortnight

If you are providing care to a child aged under 16 years:

Carer Allowance is either:

  • For a child with higher needs – $127.10 every fortnight and a Health Care Card for the child
  • For a child with lower needs – a Health Care Card for the child

If you share the care of the child and the other parent is not your partner:

  • You get part of the payment
  • The other carer gets the rest, based on how much care you each provide

There is no income or assets test for Carers Allowance. The payment is not included in your taxable income. The rate is indexed on 1st January each year to keep up with the cost of living.

It is a good idea to apply for Carer Allowance as soon as you have decided to seek an assessment, so long as you are providing daily care for your child. The payment starts from the date the form is lodged not from the date of assessment.

To start the process visit your GP, as you and a medical practitioner both need to fill in the form.

Read more on the Department of Human Services website.

Health Care Card

You / your child with autism may be eligible for a Health care card if you get specific payments or supplements from Centrelink or the maximum rate of family tax benefit Part A. Check the health care card eligibility here.

 

A Health Care Card entitles the holder to:

  • Bulk billing by your GP
  • Cheaper PBS medicines
  • Assistance with hearing services through the Office of Hearing Services
  • Discounted mail redirection through Australia Post

 

State and Territory Governments and local councils may offer concessions, such as:

  • Energy and electricity bills
  • Health-care costs, including ambulance, dental and eye care
  • Public-transport costs
  • Rates

Please check with your State and Territory Government regarding which concessions are available to Health Care Card holders. Concessional entitlements may vary between States and Territories.

Read more on the Department of Human Services website.

Carer Payment

This is a payment made to carers who provide care for a person with a severe disability who has higher needs. The payment is means tested, and evaluated based on income, assets and residential requirements.

Payments are made fortnightly and the rate varies depending on your individual assessment.

Read more on the Department of Human Services website.

Annual Payments - Carer Supplement

This is an annual lump-sum payment to assist carers with the costs of caring for a person with a disability. To be eligible for the payment you must be receiving the Carer Allowance or the Carer Payment as of the 1 July each year.

The payment is approximately $600 and you do not need to apply for it. You will automatically receive it if you are eligible however it’s always a good idea to check with Centrelink.

Read more on the Department of Human Services website.

Annual Payments - Child Disability Assistance Payment

This is an automatic yearly payment if you are receiving the Carer Allowance for looking after a child with a disability or serious illness as of the 1 July each year.

The payment is $1000 for each eligible child who qualifies for the Carer Allowance. If you are getting Carer Allowance for 2 children, you will get 2 payments.

If you share the care for a child and get a part rate of Carer Allowance, you will get a part payment of the Child Disability Assistance Payment in the same ratio

Read more on the Department of Human Services website

Carer Adjustment Payment

This is a one-off payment following a catastrophic event when a child under 7 years is diagnosed with a major disability.

The maximum payment amount any family can receive is $10,000 for each child in a single catastrophic event

There are several eligibility criteria for this payment and the amount you receive is dependent on your family’s circumstances. The payment is non-taxable.

Read more on the Department of Human Services website.

Payments for people over 16 years of age

Once young people are over 16 years of age there are other funding supports available, such as the Disability Support Pension, Youth Allowance, Youth Disability Supplement and more.

Read more on the Autism Launchpad website

Information accurate as of September 2018.