Payments and pensions
Caring often reduces the time available to participate in paid work, which can limit a carer’s income. Many carers are eligible for some form of income support from the Australian Government. This may include Carer Payment and/or Carer Allowance.
You or the person you care for may be eligible for other types of income support or allowances if you:
- Are aged, have a long-term disability or sickness, are a single parent or unable to work for another reason
- Are on a low income
- Need help with mobility, rent or education costs or live in a remote area
- Are in severe financial need because of circumstances beyond your control.
To speak with someone about payments and pensions, phone the Centrelink Disability, Sickness and Carers Line, 132 717, available Monday to Friday 8.00am to 5.00pm.
Carer Payment is a pension for people who provide constant care to someone who has a severe disability, illness, or an adult who is frail aged. To be eligible for Carer Payment you must:
- be under the pension income and assets test limits
- be an Australian resident
- care for someone who is an Australian resident
- care for 1 or more people who have care need scores high enough on the assessment tools used for an adult or child
- care for someone who’ll have these needs for at least 6 months or the rest of their life.
Carer Allowance is a fortnightly supplement for people whe provide additional daily care to someone who has a disability, serious illness, or is frail aged. To be eligible for Carer Allowance you must:
- meet an income test
- give additional daily care to someone with a disability, severe illness or who is frail aged
- care for someone whose care needs score is high enough on the assessment tools used for an adult or a child
- care for someone who'll have these needs for at least 12 months or the rest of their life.
Concessions and rebates
If you receive a pension or have a limited income, you may be eligible for a range of concessions, discounts and rebates.
In NSW, many concessions and discounts are only available if you or the person you care for hold a current and eligible concession card from Centrelink or the Department of Veterans Affairs, or a NSW Seniors Card.
- Centrelink offers a range of concession and health care cards depending on the payment or pension you receive.
- Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) and Gold Card holders are eligible for a range of concessions including health, transport, household and vehicle services
- The NSW Seniors Card is available to people over 60 who work less than 20 hours per week on average per annum (there is no asset or income test)
- The Companion Card is issued to people who have a significant, lifelong disability and will require attendant care for the rest of their life. The Companion Card allows a person’s carer free entry into participating venues and events.
- Service NSW lists more than 70 concessions and rebates that carers may be eligible for, including energy rebates, hospital parking concessions, subsidised hospital accommodation and taxi subsidies.
Their interactive, online Savings Finder tool is designed to help individuals reduce their daily living costs. You can also make a free, one-hour appointment with a Cost of Living Specialist to help you work out what you can access.
Young Carer Bursary
The Young Carer Bursary Program supports young carers to return to or continue with their education. The program offers 1,000 bursaries of $3,000 each year.
Rights and complaints
Carers NSW has developed fact sheets on your rights in relation to receiving a Centrelink Payment and when you are experiencing problems with your finances. These facts sheets can be downloaded via the Rights and Complaints page.