Almost 2.65 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.
Research shows that helping carers manage their daily challenges can make a big difference to their lives and improve overall health and wellbeing. On 5 March 2018, the Australian Government first announced their commitment to introducing new early-intervention supports and services for carers via the Integrated Carer Support Service model known as Carer Gateway.
Carer Gateway is a commitment of more than $700 million over five years by the Australian Government to help carers get the support they need before reaching crisis point. This is the result of an extensive four-year consultation process with carers and the sector and is the single biggest reform to carer services in more than a decade.
Carer Gateway provides a range of tailored supports and services to help carers manage their daily challenges, reduce stress and plan for the future.
Current programs, services and payments available to assist carers are outlined below.
In response to the Aged Care Royal Commission, the Australian Government will invest $798.3 million to increase support provided for informal and family carers of senior Australians, particularly for those caring for people living with dementia.
The Australian Government is committing an additional investment of $103.4 million to Carer Gateway to enhance access and pathways for support and services to all informal carers, with the additional investment also streamlining the referral pathway from My Aged Care to Carer Gateway.
Further information on the support for carers is available at the Department of Health website.
Programs and Services
- Carer Gateway
In-person and online supports and services for carers
- Young Carer Bursary Program
Bursary packages for eligible young carers aged 25 years and under
- 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.
- 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.