1.1.C.206 Commercial care arrangements (CA, CP)

Definition

A 'care package' is any money or funding paid to a person to provide care or to a care receiver to obtain care, as provided by a state or territory government or private agency. Individual care packages may consist of several components, such as payment for the provision of care or upfront payment or a reimbursement of costs associated with caring.

If a care package is paid to a carer (CP)

Funding received from a care package for providing care that is not considered as reimbursement of costs for care provided to the care receiver, is considered as income for the carer. This income is assessed under the pension income test.

Note: This applies for all cases, including where the person with disability is a dependent child of the carer.

Example 1: Skye receives a package of $950 per week to care for her son Connor, aged 6, and of this amount $300 is for reimbursement of costs associated with her caring role. The balance will be considered as income.

Example 2: Bailey receives a package of $800 per week, to care for his partner Tom, and of this amount $200 is for reimbursement of costs associated with his caring role. The balance will be considered as income.

If a care package is paid to a care receiver (CP)

Funding received from a care package will not be taken into account for the care receiver under the care receiver's income and assets test, where the particular payment has been identified as exempt under SSAct section 35A.

Example: If a section 35A approved scheme provides Peter with a 'package' to enable him to pay his carer/s. The funds are not 'income' to Peter. If Peter pays Jim, to provide care to him, it is income for CP purposes for Jim.

Act reference: SSAct section 8(8)(zi) Excluded amounts-general, section 35A Personal Care Support

Policy reference: SS Guide 4.3.2.31 Income Exempt from Assessment - Specifically Approved

Residential carer (CA)

If care is being provided to the care receiver in a private home by a resident carer, it will be considered no commercial arrangements exist. Funding received from a care package for providing care that is not considered as reimbursement of costs for care provided to the care receiver, is considered as income for the carer. This income is assessed under the CA income test (3.6.7.34).

Example: Sally lives full time with her grandmother who has dementia and is paid $800 per week for providing daily care to her. The amount Sally is paid is not considered a commercial care arrangement, as the care provided is in a private home, however the income is assessed under the CA income test. As Sally's ATI (3.6.7.32) does not exceed the $250,000 limit CA is payable.

Non co-residential carer (section 954A)(CA)

If care is being provided to the care receiver in a private home by a non co-resident carer they will not qualify for CA if they receive payment for caring at or above the relevant minimum weekly wage.

Example where a commercial arrangement would apply:

Mark is a non co-resident carer who is paid $900 per week to provide care to his uncle who is a paraplegic. From the $900 Mark is paid, $100 will be assessed for reimbursement of costs associated with his caring role. CA is NOT payable as the remaining amount of $800 is above the minimum weekly wage.

Example where a commercial arrangement would not apply:

Amy is a non co-residential carer who provides daily care to her sister who has multiple sclerosis. Amy is paid $800 per week for the care she provides. Of this amount $500 is for providing care and $300 is for reimbursement of cost associated with her caring role. CA is payable in these circumstances as the income amount is under the minimum wage.

Act reference: SSAct section 953 Qualification for CA - caring for either 1 or 2 disabled children, section 954 Qualification for CA - caring for a disabled adult in a private home of both the adult and the carer, 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 CA - Qualification & Payability

Last reviewed: 2 January 2019