3.6.4.40 Qualification for CP during temporary cessation of care

Temporary cessation of care - up to 63 days

A carer (1.1.C.40) remains qualified for CP where they temporarily cease to provide the care receiver (1.1.C.20) with constant care, for up to 63 days in a calendar year.

Example: The carer may cease to provide care while a care receiver is in respite care (1.1.R.250).

The carer remains qualified if, in any calendar year:

  • the cessation of care is temporary, AND
  • the cessation of care is for no more than 63 days in total (unless the Secretary specifies another period), for either continuous or broken periods, AND
  • the hospitalisation provisions either do not apply or cease to apply, AND
  • all other qualification conditions continue to be met.

Note: Constant care does not have to be provided in the private home of the care receiver when the carer is using temporary cessation of care provisions.

Exception: If the temporary cessation of care is due to the imprisonment or psychiatric confinement of the carer, CP is not payable.

A carer can travel overseas without the care receiver for up to 6 weeks under the CP portability provisions. Temporary cessation of care days will be used.

Act reference: SSAct section 1158 Some social security payments not payable during period in gaol or in psychiatric confinement following criminal charge

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.6.4.80 Qualification for CP during Overseas Travel, 7.1.2.20 Application of portability rules (portability table), 7.2 Arrangements for payment outside Australia

Relationship between CP & CA temporary cessation of care provisions

CP and CA each have temporary cessation of care provisions of up to 63 days per calendar year. Where a carer is in receipt of CP and CA, for the same care receiver, temporary cessation of care provisions operate concurrently, not exclusively of one another. That is, the carer is entitled to a total of 63 days of temporary cessation of care in the calendar year, not 126 days.

Example: A carer qualifies for CP and CA on 1 March. The carer has access to a total of 63 days of temporary cessation of care in that calendar year.

Where a carer qualifies for CP and CA at different times of the year, the 63 day temporary cessation of care provisions operate separately for each payment, until the first calendar year has elapsed.

Example: Jane qualifies for CP on 1 March and uses 20 days of temporary cessation of care by the end of May. On 1 June of the same year, she qualifies for CA and receives an entitlement of 63 days of temporary cessation of care for that calendar year. In July Jane uses 23 days of temporary cessation of care. She has 20 temporary cessation days left under CP and 40 days under CA.

In October Jane uses a further 20 temporary cessation days and has 0 temporary cessation days under CP and 20 temporary cessation days left under CA. In November Jane uses 7 temporary cessation days and loses qualification for CP, but can reclaim CP when she resumes caring. However, CA continues to be paid. Jane has 13 temporary cessation days left under CA until the end of the calendar year, but no CP temporary cessation of care entitlement. On 1 January of the following year, she will receive a new allocation of 63 days of temporary cessation of care for CP and CA.

Calculating temporary cessation of care

Only whole days count for the purposes of calculating temporary cessation of care. A whole day is a 24 hour period from midnight to midnight. Short periods of care (of less than 24 hours) provided by another person or an organisation, will not preclude receipt of CP, even if this occurs regularly. These periods do not count towards temporary cessation of care provisions.

Example: A neighbour, day care centre or other family member provides care while the carer has a break to attend to their own personal needs every Sunday from 10am until 4pm. This does not jeopardise the carer's qualification for CP and does not count as temporary cessation of care.

A carer may lose qualification for CP and subsequently reclaim and be granted CP in the same calendar year for the same care receiver. In these cases, any temporary cessation of care periods in that calendar year, while previously in receipt of CP, are counted towards the 63 days temporary cessation of care provisions. Any temporary cessation of care periods where the carer was not in receipt of CP do not count towards the 63 days temporary cessation of care provisions.

If granted CP part way through a calendar year or for a different care receiver, the full 63 days temporary cessation of care provisions apply. That is, the number of days is not applied proportionately to the balance of the year for which the carer qualifies.

Example 1: A carer claims CP in March. They are able to use up to 63 days temporary cessation of care between March and 31 December.

Example 2: John is granted CP on 1 January for caring for Sally and uses 45 temporary cessation of care days. John's CP is cancelled on 1 June when Sally permanently enters an institution. John claims CP on 1 July for caring for Greg and now has access to another 63 days temporary cessation of care provisions for this new caring role.

Temporary cessation of care for short term & episodic care - CP (child)

Where the care receiver is aged under 16 years and the carer has qualified for CP and CA (automatically) on the basis of short term (1.1.S.172) or episodic care (1.1.E.132), the number of temporary cessation of care days that the carer is entitled to is calculated on a pro rata basis using the number of days in the short term or episodic period of care.

This is calculated using the following formula:

63 ÷ (number of days in the calendar year) × (days in period of care)

Example: Joe claims CP on the basis of short term care in a leap year where the term of the care is a 4 month period from 2 January until 2 May. The number of temporary cessation of care days that Joe is entitled to is the number of whole days calculated by 63 ÷ 366 × 122 (days) = 20.99 (21 allowable days).

Act reference: SSAct section 198AC Effect of cessation of care etc. on CP, section 197G Qualification-short term or episodic care of children

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.6.4.38 Qualification for CP (child) - Short Term or Episodic Care

When there is more than 1 care receiver

Only ONE entitlement of 63 days per calendar year (either continuous or broken) is allowed where the person qualifies for CP on the basis of combined care (2 or more children each with disability or medical condition), or multiple care (a disabled adult and 1 or more children with disability or medical condition) or a disabled adult and their dependent child (SSAct paragraph 198(2)(d)).

That is, if the carer ceases to provide care to one of the care receivers, it is considered a temporary cessation of care to all the care receivers.

When there is more than 1 carer

If the care receiver has more than 1 carer, each carer has an individual entitlement of 63 temporary cessation of care days per calendar year.

Absences exceeding 63 days

A delegate of the Secretary has discretion to extend the period of temporary cessation of care for any special reason in the carer's particular case. If a special reason exists, a carer can cease to provide the care receiver/s with constant care for more than 63 days in a calendar year, and still retain qualification for CP.

Delegates must exercise discretion in determining what constitutes a special reason. Generally, such reasons would be outside the carer's control, and would be consistent with their role as a carer. The care situation would be expected to resume after a definite period.

Example 1: A carer has already used 45 days in the calendar year for temporary cessation of care. The carer leaves the care situation for a 2 week holiday, and before returning becomes ill, causing a further 1 week absence. The delegate determines that a special reason exists to extend the temporary cessation of care provisions.

Example 2: Mary has a son Doug and a daughter Susie, both with disability, whose combined care load qualifies her for CP. Mary lives on the family farm which is several hours drive from the city. Doug requires long term hospitalisation, for approximately 6 weeks, due to complications of his disability. Mary is unable to regularly attend the hospital on a daily basis to participate in his care as she needs to maintain Susie's care needs at home. In this example qualification for CP cannot be maintained as constant care on a daily basis is not being provided to both care receivers. Mary can however access and use her entitlement to the 63 days of temporary cessation of care provisions of CP. If the temporary cessation of care days were exhausted it would then be at the discretion of the Secretary's delegate to assess whether the carer's situation was a special reason where it would be appropriate to extend the period of CP.

Note: If CP has been cancelled because the carer has used more than 63 days temporary cessation of care, the carer may reapply for CP if they resume caring. The carer would only be entitled to further temporary cessation of care days FOR THE REMAINDER OF THAT CALENDAR YEAR, if the delegate exercised the Secretary's discretion for special reasons. If the carer ceased to provide care in the same calendar year their payment could be cancelled again but the carer is entitled to reapply each time they resume caring.

Hospitalisation

See 3.6.4.50 Qualification for CP During Temporary Absence from the Private Home - Hospitalisation.

Carer in employment/voluntary work or attending educational institution/training course (25 hour rule)

Where a carer ceases care provision to participate in employment, voluntary work, study or training which exceeds 25 hours a week, in one-off or irregular circumstances the carer can elect to use 1 week (7 days) of their annual 63 temporary cessation of care days to cover the full week and remain qualified for CP.

Example 1: Lisa is a carer for her son with disability and works for 24 hours each week at her local supermarket. In the weeks before Easter and Christmas Lisa sometimes helps out with additional shifts and occasionally her hours of work exceeds the 25 hours a carer can cease care provision to participate in employment. As this care cessation is occasional and not ongoing, Lisa is able to use 7 temporary cessation of care days to cover the week and remain qualified for CP.

Example 2: Jerry is a retired university lecturer who lives with and cares for his frail and aged mother. Jerry remains a casual academic employee at the university and assists with occasional tutoring and examination marking when needed throughout the year. Sometimes this results in Jerry's care cessation exceeding 25 hours for the week. As the weeks where Jerry exceeds the 25 hour care cessation limit are occasional and infrequent, Jerry is able to use 7 temporary cessation of care days to cover each of these weeks and remain qualified for CP.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.6.4.70 Changes to carer situation - effect on CP qualification

Funding rules for aged care respite

Funding rules provide for 63 days aged care respite in a financial year, for people who have been assessed by an aged care assessment team as needing respite care in a residential facility. The below table shows the difference between respite rules under the SSAct and the Aged Care Act 1997.

Provisions Allowable number of days Period Legislation

A carer may continue to receive CP and/or CA when they take a break from caring.

Extensions to the temporary cessation of care provisions are assessed on a case by case basis.

63 days

Calendar year

1 January to 31 December

SSAct

A person needs to have been assessed by an aged care assessment team and considered as needing respite care in an approved residential facility.

Extensions of respite within an approved residential facility may be granted for periods of up to 21 days at a time, providing there is a significant and relevant need.

63 days

Financial year

1 July to 30 June

Aged Care Act 1997
Last reviewed: 11 November 2019