Almost 2.7 million Australians care for someone with disability, a medical condition, mental illness or someone who is frail due to age.
The Australian Government helps carers remain engaged in the community, participate in the workforce and stay healthy while continuing their caring role through the provision of funding for a range of supports, services and financial assistance.
On 5 March 2018, the Australian Government announced funding of an additional $85.6 million over four years for the introduction of new services for carers. The new services focus on providing carers with access to early-intervention supports that are proven to improve long term outcomes for carers.
These new services form part of the Integrated Carer Support Service. The Integrated Carer Support Service will introduce for carers a range of new tailored supports and services to help manage their daily challenges, reduce stress and plan for the future.
The introduction of the Integrated Carer Support Service is the final stage of the Australian Government’s 2015 commitment to the development of an Integrated Plan for Carer Support Services.
The Plan is being developed to better recognise, support and sustain the vital work of unpaid carers.
The second stage of the Plan focused on the design of a service delivery model for carer support services through a two year process of working with carers and the sector. This work informed the development of the Integrated Carer Support Service.
Current programs, services and payments available to assist carers are outlined below.
Programs and Services
- Young Carers Respite and Information Services
Respite and information services for young carers up to 25 years of age
- Young Carer Bursary Programme
Bursary packages for eligible young carers aged 25 years and under
- Respite Support for Carers of Young People with Severe or Profound Disability Programme
Immediate and short-term respite for carers of young people with a severe or profound disability
- Mental Health Respite: Carer Support
Flexible respite and support options for carers of people with severe mental illness/psychiatric disability and carers of people with an intellectual disability
- MyTime Peer Support Groups for Parents of Young Children with Disability
An Australia-wide network of peer support groups for parents and carers of young children with disability or a chronic medical condition.
- Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres
Links carers to support services, including respite, to help them continue in their caring role
- National Carer Counselling Programme
Short-term counselling, emotional and psychological support services for carers
- Carer Information Support Services
Specialist information, advice and assistance for carers
- Carer Directed Respite Care
A break from caring and more choices about services for carers
- Dementia Education and Training for Carers
- Training and education for carers of people with dementia
- Counselling, Support, Information and Advocacy
Specific information, education and training for carers
- Carer Payment
Income support payment for people whose caring responsibilities prevent them from undertaking substantial paid employment
- Carer Allowance
Income supplement for people who provide daily care and attention at home to a person with disability or a severe medical condition
- Child Disability Assistance Payment
Annual payment for Carer Allowance recipients, who care for a child with disability under 16 years
- Carer Adjustment Payment
One-off financial assistance to families in exceptional circumstances who do not qualify for Government income support payments.
- Carer Supplement
Paid to recipients of Carer Allowance for each person they care for.
Carers may also be eligible for:
- Bereavement Payment
- Pensioner Education Supplement
- Pharmaceutical Allowance
- Rent Assistance
To find out more about these payments you can:
- visit your nearest Centrelink office
- telephone 132 717
- visit the payments page on Centrelink's website
- learn about the Improved Assessment Process for Carer Payment and Carer Allowance
See General benefits & payments on our website.