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Changes to Carer Payment announced

Tue, 07 May

The Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Amanda Rishworth MP, has announced that the upcoming Federal Budget will include a number of changes to the Carer Payment to enable carers to work more flexibly and continue study while receiving the Payment.

These proposed changes include:

  • More flexible participation rules, with carers able to work 100 hours over a four week period rather than the current limit of 25 hours per week,
  • Travel time, education and volunteering activities will no longer be counted in the participation limit,
  • The introduction of a six-month suspension period for recipients who work over the participation limit, instead of having their payment cancelled, and
  • Enabling the use of Temporary Cessation of Care days provisions to one-off or occasional instances of exceeding participation limits.

These changes follow recommendations in the Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee's 2024-25 report and Treasury Employment White Paper. It is expected that changes will come into effect from 2025 following the passing of relevant legislation.

Carers NSW welcomes this announcement as we has advocated for many years for changes to the '25 hour rule' in order to allow more carers to upskill, volunteer and increase their engagement with paid work. While not all carers are eligible for Carer Payment, Carers NSW sees this as an important step towards improving the economic participation and financial security of carers.