If you are a carer for your partner, parent or other family members what financial assistance can you get, especially if you have to give up your job in order to provide necessary care?
Justin Bott , Financial Information Service Officer at Services Australia explains what carers payments are available through the federal government, mainly the Carer Payment and the Carer Allowance.
The Carer Payment is very similar to the Age Pension. To receive the fortnightly payment you have to the pass income and assets test the same as for the Age Pension. You need to be able to provide permanent care, and the person you care for has to pass an assessment. The Carer’s Payment and the Age Pension are very similar amounts, with the exception of an annual $500 payment for those on the Carer’s Payment.
To qualify as a carer you have to provide significant care, similar to a full time job.
Carer allowance is paid on its own, or as additional payment to people caring for someone with a disability, a medical condition or an older person needing care. It is not a pension but modest financial assistance of $131 a fortnight that acknowledges some of the costs of caring. To qualify for Carer Allowance you need to meet an income test, however there is a relatively high income threshold of around $250,000 combined income per annum.
There are other payments available to assist with essential medical equipment and continence aids. The easiest way to find out about your eligibility is to go to the Services Australia website to see if you are eligible or call Services Australia Older Australians Line 132 300.