3.6.7.30 Qualification for CA

Qualification (1.1.Q.10) criteria

From 20 September 2018, eligibility for the CA and the CA (child) HCC only will be restricted to carers whose income, and that of their partner (if applicable) is below $250,000 per annum. The income test applies to all new claimants and those who are currently receiving CA or who are in receipt of CA (child) HCC only.

To qualify for CA, a person must meet the criteria listed in the following table. Where more detail about a criterion is required, the second column indicates where you will find this.

Criterion More detail

ALL of the following

The carer must meet the CA income test, AND 3.6.7.32 Assessment of income for CA
The person with a disability must be a child with a disability (1.1.C.144) or an adult with a disability (1.1.A.79), AND This topic
Both the carer and the disabled child/adult must be an Australian resident (1.1.A.330), AND  
The person with a disability must receive 'care and attention' (1.1.C.10) on a daily basis (1.1.D.10) because of the disability, AND This topic
  • Care and attention must be provided in a private home that is the residence of the carer and the care recipient, OR
  • A carer who does not live in the same private home as an adult care receiver may qualify if the care relates to the care receiver's bodily functions or to sustaining the care receiver's life and is provided on a daily basis, for a total of at least 20 hours a week, AND
1.1.P.426 Private home of the carer and/or care receiver (CA)

3.6.7.45 Qualification for CA - Carer & Care Receiver not Co-resident

3.6.7.47 Qualification for CA - Verifying Care Provided by Non Co-resident Carers

The care is required permanently or for a minimum period of 12 months, unless the condition is terminal (1.1.T.86). 1.1.P.230 Permanently or for an extended period (CP, CA)

Additionally for CA (child)

The child/ren with a disability must:
  • be a dependent child of the carer (1.1.D.70), AND
  • receive care and attention from the carer or their partner, AND
  • (for the child/ren with disability) have a determination made under SSAct section 38E that:
    • the child has a recognised disability (1.1.R.90), or medical condition (1.1.R.95), OR
    • the carer of the child/ren has been given a qualifying rating of intense under the DCLA (1.1.D.170) for caring for the child/ren.
3.6.12 Disability Care Load Assessment (Child) (DCLA)

Additionally for CA (adult)

The adult with a disability must:
  • be a family member (1.1.F.70) or a person approved in writing by the Secretary as a care receiver (1.1.C.21), AND
  • receive care and attention from the carer, or the carer together with another person (3.6.7.110), AND
  • have a determination made under SSAct section 38C that the adult has a score of 30 or higher under the ADAT (1.1.A.78) including a THP score of 12 or higher. Adults who have a terminal illness and are not expected to live more than 3 months are taken to satisfy this requirement.
3.6.9 Adult Disability Assessment Tool (ADAT)

Act reference: SSAct section 954 Qualification for CA-caring for a disabled adult…, section 953 Qualification for CA-caring for either 1 or 2 disabled children

CA - caring for an adult with a disability in a private home not shared by the adult & the carer

When the carer and the adult care receiver do not live in the same private home, the carer may still qualify for CA if they provide care in the home of either the carer or the care receiver. However, the carer must provide a minimum of 20 hours care each week with some care being provided every day. The care must be required by the adult care receiver as indicated by the ADAT assessment and must be related to the care receiver's bodily functions or to sustaining the care receiver's life.

Note: If a co-residing carer already qualifies for CA for the care receiver, a non co-residing carer cannot qualify.

Example 1: Julie provides care to her mother, Patricia. Patricia is frail aged and has dementia but does not want to leave her home of 40 years. Julie has her own family and does not want to live in her mother's home. Their homes are close by and Julie goes to her mother's home each day to get her out of bed, help shower and dress her and make sure she eats her meals and takes her medication. Julie usually spends most of the day with her mother because she needs constant supervision so that she does not hurt herself or wander away. Julie also does Patricia's shopping, laundry and banking, however, these activities do not count towards the 20 hours personal care per week she must provide to qualify for CA. Julie applies for and is granted CA because her mother has a qualifying ADAT score and Julie provides care each day and the personal care she provides adds up to more than 20 hours a week.

Example 2: James provides care to his brother, Don, who was injured in a car accident. Don has lost the use of his legs and is in a wheelchair. James lives next door to Don. James helps get Don out of bed and into his wheelchair each day, then goes off to work. Don's home has been modified and he is able to get his own meals each day, toilet himself and move about by himself once he is in the wheelchair. A Home and Community Care worker provides assistance with his bathing every day but this does not count towards the 20 hours personal care because James is not personally providing that care and the person who is bathing the care receiver is paid award wages. James usually calls in each night to make sure everything is alright with Don and occasionally stays to have a meal and watch TV with him. James provides 10 hours personal care every week. Some weeks he may provide up to 18 hours but this is not a regular occurrence. James does not qualify for CA.

Example 3: Donna provides care to her adult daughter, Sue, who has a mild intellectual disability and epilepsy. Sue lives in a flat on her own in the same town as her mother and is trying to be as independent as possible. Donna calls her daughter twice everyday to check up on her. Sue does not always take her anti-convulsant medication regularly so she sometimes has epileptic fits and then gets disoriented and depressed. When this happens Donna will spend the day with her until she is feeling better. This can happen any where from 1 to 5 times a week. Donna also takes Sue to her medical appointments each month and picks up her prescriptions for her. When Sue is experiencing a flare-up of her condition and its associated emotional upset, Donna does provide more than 20 hours a week personal care. However, because personal care is not needed, and is not provided, every day Donna does not qualify for CA.

Act reference: SSAct section 954A Qualification for CA-caring for a disabled adult in a private home not shared by the adult and carer

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.6.7.45 Qualification for CA - Carer & Care Receiver not Co-resident, 3.6.7.47 Qualification for CA - Verifying Care Provided by Non Co-resident Carers

CA for more than one care receiver

A person may qualify for CA for:

  • each dependent child with a disability that meets the CA (child) criteria, regardless of the number of children, and
  • up to 2 adults with a disability who meet the CA (adult) criteria, and
  • an adult care receiver may also qualify for dependent children with disabilities in their care but cannot qualify for another adult with a disability (see example).

Example: Mrs Smith receives CA for her disabled daughter Lorraine. Lorraine may receive CA (child) for her disabled child Minnie, but she cannot qualify for CA (adult) for her partner Michael, who was recently disabled in a work accident.

Act reference: SSAct section 954(2) Disabled adult does not qualify for CA for another disabled adult, section 954(3) Person cannot qualify for more than 2 CAs

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.6.7 CA - Qualification & Payability, 3.6.12 Disability Care Load Assessment (Child) (DCLA)

Residence requirements

For the purposes of CA both the carer and the care receiver must be:

  • an Australian resident, and
  • be in Australia when the claim is lodged.

Portability

CA can be paid during a temporary absence from caring to travel overseas for up to 6 weeks, temporary cessation of care provisions will be used. Provisions for overseas payment are detailed in other topics.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.6.7.50 Qualification for CA during Temporary Cessation of Care, 3.6.7.90 Qualification during Temporary Absence of a Child from the Private Home - HCC only CA (child), 3.6.7.70 Qualification for CA during Overseas Travel, 7.1.2.20 Application of Portability Rules (Portability Table)

CA not payable if carer in gaol

CA is not payable to a person who is in gaol or under psychiatric confinement because he or she has been charged with a criminal offence.

Act reference: SSAct section 1158 Some social security payments not payable…

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.6.7.105 Payability of CA - Recipient in Gaol or in Psychiatric Confinement

Approved care organisations (1.1.A.200)

ACOs cannot qualify for CA.

Temporary absence in ACOs that attract FTB

If FTB for a child is paid to an ACO, then the parent/carer no longer qualifies for CA UNLESS the child is in the ACO for respite care, education, training or treatment. Rules that apply for these absences are detailed in other topics.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.6.7.50 Qualification for CA during Temporary Cessation of Care, 3.6.7.90 Qualification during Temporary Absence of a Child from the Private Home - HCC only CA (child)

Last reviewed: 20 September 2018