Can I Get Paid to Care for My Disabled Child? 

Can I Get Paid to Care for My Disabled Child? 

  • Prakash Bartaula
  • 24 June, 2024
8 Min Read

Yes, in Australia, you can receive payments to care for your disabled child through the Carer Payment (means-tested) and Carer Allowance (non-means-tested). The Carer Payment provides fortnightly support if you meet income and asset criteria and provide constant care, while the Carer Allowance offers supplementary support for daily care. The NDIS also helps by funding services for your child. Eligibility depends on your residency, income, and the severity and duration of your child’s condition.

Can I Get Paid to Care for My Disabled Child? 

Caring for a disabled child can be emotionally and financially challenging. Many parents in Australia wonder, “Can I get paid to care for my disabled child?” 

The short answer is yes, there are various forms of financial support available. This guide will explore the options for carers of disabled children in Australia, including eligibility criteria, types of payments, and application processes.

Can I Get Paid to Care for My Disabled Child 

Types of Financial Support

Carer Payment

The Carer Payment is a fortnightly payment for carers who provide constant care for someone with a severe disability or illness.

Can I be paid to care for my disabled child? Yes, through the Carer Payment if you meet the following criteria:

  • You provide constant care for your child with a severe disability or illness
  • Your child’s condition is expected to last for at least six months or be terminal
  • You and your partner’s combined income and assets are below certain thresholds
  • You are an Australian resident

The amount you receive depends on your circumstances and is subject to income and asset tests.

Carer Allowance

The Carer Allowance is a supplementary payment for carers who provide daily care and attention at home for someone with a disability or medical condition.

Can I get paid for caring for my disabled child? The Carer Allowance is another way to receive financial support. Eligibility criteria include:

  • You provide daily care for your child with a disability or medical condition
  • Your child’s condition is expected to last for at least 12 months
  • You are an Australian resident

Unlike the Carer Payment, the Carer Allowance is not means-tested, so your income and assets do not affect your eligibility.

Child Disability Assistance Payment

This is an annual payment for recipients of the Carer Allowance who care for a child under 16 with a disability.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

While not a direct payment to carers, the NDIS can provide funding for support and services for your disabled child, which may indirectly reduce your financial burden.

How to Apply

The application process for carer payments in Australia can be completed through multiple channels. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of each option:

1. Visit the Services Australia website

  • Go to the official Services Australia website (www.servicesaustralia.gov.au)
  • Navigate to the ‘Carers’ section
  • Choose the specific payment you’re applying for (e.g., Carer Payment, Carer Allowance)
  • Click on ‘Claim’ or ‘Apply online’
  • You’ll need a myGov account linked to Centrelink to proceed
  • Follow the step-by-step instructions to complete your application online
  • Upload any required documents directly through the online portal

2. Call the Disability, Sickness and Carers line on 132 717

  • Be prepared with all necessary information before calling
  • The line is open Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm local time
  • You may experience wait times, so choose a time when you won’t be interrupted
  • A Centrelink representative will guide you through the application process
  • They can also answer any questions you have about your eligibility or the application

3. Visit a Centrelink service centre

  • Find your nearest Centrelink office using the Services Australia website
  • Consider booking an appointment to avoid long wait times
  • Bring all necessary documents with you (see below for details)
  • A Centrelink staff member will assist you in filling out the application form
  • They can also provide immediate clarification on any questions you have

Required Documentation

Required Documentation

Regardless of how you choose to apply, you’ll need to provide the following:

Proof of identity

  • This could include your driver’s licence, passport, or birth certificate
  • You may need to provide multiple forms of ID

Medical evidence of your child’s condition

  • Recent medical reports detailing your child’s disability or medical condition
  • A completed Medical Report form, filled out by your child’s doctor
  • Any specialist reports or assessments related to your child’s condition
  • Details of ongoing treatments or therapy

Income and asset details (for Carer Payment)

  • Recent payslips if you’re employed
  • Bank statements
  • Details of any investments or superannuation
  • Information about any property you own
  • Details of any other income sources

Additional documents

  • Your child’s birth certificate
  • Your bank account details for payment
  • Rent or mortgage details
  • Partner’s details (if applicable)

After Applying

  • You’ll receive a receipt of your claim, either immediately online or within 14 days by mail
  • Centrelink may contact you for additional information
  • You can track the progress of your claim online through your myGov account
  • The processing time can vary, but it typically takes several weeks

Tips for a Smooth Application Process

  1. Gather all necessary documents before starting your application
  2. Be as detailed and accurate as possible in your responses
  3. Keep a record of your application reference number
  4. Follow up if you haven’t heard anything after a few weeks
  5. Consider seeking help from a social worker or carer support service if you’re finding the process challenging

Remember, the application process may seem daunting, but it’s an important step in accessing the support you need as a carer. Don’t hesitate to ask for help or clarification at any stage of the process.

Additional Support

Respite Care

Respite care services can provide temporary care for your child, giving you a break. This can be funded through the NDIS or other government programmes.

Carer Gateway

The Carer Gateway offers various support services, including:

  • Counselling
  • Coaching
  • Peer support
  • Emergency respite care

State and Territory Support

Each state and territory may offer additional support services. Check with your local government for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I get paid to care for my disabled child if I’m working part-time?

A: Yes, it’s possible. However, your income may affect your eligibility for the Carer Payment. The Carer Allowance is not means-tested, so you can receive it regardless of your income.

Q: How much can I get paid?

A: The amount varies depending on the type of payment and your circumstances. As of 2024, the maximum basic rate for the Carer Payment is [insert current rate] per fortnight for singles and [insert current rate] per fortnight for couples (combined).

Q: Can I receive multiple payments?

A: Yes, you may be eligible for both the Carer Payment and Carer Allowance simultaneously.

Q: What if my child’s condition improves?

A: You must inform Services Australia of any changes in your child’s condition or your caring situation, as this may affect your eligibility.

Tips for Carers

  1. Keep detailed records of your child’s medical appointments and treatments.
  2. Stay informed about changes to carer support policies.
  3. Join support groups for carers of disabled children.
  4. Take advantage of respite care services to avoid burnout.
  5. Regularly review your child’s NDIS plan to ensure it meets their changing needs.

Advocacy and Support Organisations

Several organisations provide advocacy and support for carers of disabled children:

  • Carers Australia
  • Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA)
  • National Disability Services (NDS)

These organisations can provide valuable information, resources, and sometimes legal advice to help you navigate the system.

Financial Planning

 

Caring for a disabled child often involves long-term financial planning. Consider:

  • Setting up a Special Disability Trust
  • Exploring superannuation options for carers
  • Seeking advice from a financial planner who specialises in disability support

Navigating the System

Dealing with government agencies and understanding all the available support can be overwhelming. Here are some strategies to help:

  1. Keep all correspondence and reference numbers
  2. Follow up regularly on applications
  3. Ask for explanations if you don’t understand something
  4. Consider seeking help from a social worker or advocacy group

Self-Care for Carers

While focusing on caring for your disabled child, it’s crucial not to neglect your own well-being. Make use of support services, take breaks when possible, and maintain social connections.

Future Planning

As your child grows, their needs and the available support may change. Stay informed about:

  • Transition to adulthood support
  • Employment support programmes for people with disabilities
  • Housing options for adults with disabilities

Remember, the landscape of disability support is continually evolving. Regularly check for updates to ensure you’re accessing all available support.

By understanding and accessing the financial support available, you can focus more on providing the best care for your disabled child. While the system can be complex, remember that you’re not alone in this journey, and there are numerous resources and organisations ready to assist you.

 

Prakash Bartaula

Joined : 5 April, 2024

I’m deeply passionate about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and dedicated to exploring its intricacies. Through research, communication, and writing, I aim to shed light on NDIS provisions and empower individuals with disabilities. Join me as we navigate the transformative potential of the NDIS together.

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