By Hank Jongen
Department of Human Services
WE value the contribution that carers make to the community and recognise that sometimes carers need assistance too.
The Department of Human Services supports more than 600,000 carers who provide additional daily care and attention for an adult or child with a disability or medical condition, or an adult who is frail aged.
If you are currently caring for a friend or loved one you may be eligible for a range of income support payments and services, such as Carer Payment or Carer Allowance.
Carer Payment provides income support to people who, because of the demands of their caring role, are unable to support themselves through substantial paid employment.
It is a fortnightly payment that includes entitlement to a Pensioner Concession Card or Health Care Card.
To be eligible for Carer Payment, a carer must be providing constant care for an adult or child and meet an income and assets test.
Carer Allowance is a supplementary payment for carers who provide additional daily care and attention for an adult or child with a disability or a medical condition, or an adult who is frail aged.
Carer Allowance is not taxable or assets tested.
However, Carer Allowance is income tested. It can be paid in addition to wages, or an income support payment.
To find out about what payments you might be eligible for I’d encourage you to use the Payment Finder tool on our website humanservices.gov.au/customer/payment-finder.
You put in your details and Payment Finder suggests what payments may suit your circumstances.
You can now complete a claim for Carer Payment or Carer Allowance, or both, online.
Visit the department’s website (humanservices.gov.au/carers) or take advantage of the self-service terminals at your local service centre.
If you are unable to claim online, you can phone us on 13 27 17 or visit your local service centre where our staff will assist you with your claim.
I also have a reminder for people who currently receive Carers Allowance.
If you received an SMS or letter from us asking you to do an income review then you need to complete it and return it to us as soon as possible so your payments continue.
The easiest way to do the review is online using your Centrelink online account through myGov.
If you can’t do it online, you can complete the Carer Allowance adjusted taxable income details form and hand it in along with any other documents we ask for at your nearest service centre or by sending them to the address provided.