Carer Allowance: you may be a carer and not know it

Article published 15 December 2021

Carer Allowance: you may be a carer and not know it

ON 1 January, highest rate of indexation in ten years (3.5 per cent), will mean the Carer Allowance goes up from $131.90 to $136.50 per fortnight.

Not everyone eligible for Carer Allowance knows that they are eligible, and they miss out.

So, this indexation news is as good an opportunity as any to have a closer look at the Carer Allowance.

Carer Allowance is not to be confused with Carer Payment, which is a pension like the Age Pension and the Disability Support Pension.

If you look after someone who is frail-aged, has a disability or a severe illness you may be able to receive a government payment called the Carer Allowance regardless of your age or whether you are on a Carer Payment, Age Pension or Disability Support Pension. This includes looking after a partner, but it can also be for someone who does not live together with the person they care for.

If you are providing care for someone who is frail aged, has a disability or a severe illness, you may be eligible.

There is no asset test for the Carer Allowance. There is an income test but if your income is under $250,000 a year, so you either should be right or you really don’t need it.

Before you can receive the Carer Allowance, there are a few steps.

First, there is the Adult Disability Assessment Determination (ADAT), which is two questionnaires, one for the carer and for the person who is cared for.

The carer questionnaire asks what sort of help the person receiving care requires. For example, does the person need help moving around the house?

The second questionnaire must be completed by a treating doctor.

Per year, the Carer Allowance is worth $3,549 from 1 January, so if you provide care to anyone – including wife, husband, neighbour, friend – , it may be an idea to check out if you’re eligible.

To begin the claims process for the Carer Allowance online you can click here and follow the prompts. You can also call Centrelink on 132 717, or visit a Centrelink office.

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