3.6.7.50 Qualification for CA during Temporary Cessation of Care

Temporary cessation of care - up to 63 days

A carer (1.1.C.40) remains qualified for CA where they temporarily cease to provide the care receiver (1.1.C.21) with care and attention on a daily basis, for up to 63 days in a calendar year.

Example: The carer may cease to provide care while the 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 has specified another period), 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: Care and attention does not have to be provided in the private home of the carer or 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, CA is not payable.

Exception: The carer may have a temporary absence from caring to travel overseas without the care receiver for up to 6 weeks under the CA portability provisions. Temporary cessation of care days will be used.

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

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.6.7.70 Qualification for CA during Overseas Travel, 7.1.2.20 Application of Portability Rules (Portability Table), 7.2 Arrangements for payment outside Australia

Calculating temporary cessation of care

When calculating the number of days used for temporary cessation of care, do not include any periods where the carer was not in receipt of CA.

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 organisation, will not preclude receipt of CA, even if this occurs regularly. These periods do not count toward 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 each Wednesday afternoon. This does not jeopardise the carer's qualification for CA and does not count as temporary cessation of care.

A carer may lose qualification for CA and subsequently reclaim and be granted CA 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 CA, 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 CA do not count towards the 63 days temporary cessation of care provisions.

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

Relationship between temporary cessation of care provisions & qualification for CA for non co-resident carers

Non co-residing carers can qualify for CA (adult) if they provide a minimum of 20 hours personal care per week with some care provided each day. Any midnight to midnight absence that they do not provide care is a temporary cessation of care day, up to a maximum of 63 days per calendar year.

Act reference: SSAct section 954(2) Qualification for CA-caring for a disabled adult…, section 957 Effect of cessation of care etc. on CA, section 954(1)(d) …because of the disability from which the care receiver is suffering…

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

Relationship between CA & CP temporary cessation of care provisions

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

Example: A carer qualifies for CA and CP 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 CA and CP 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: A carer qualifies for CA on 1 March and uses 20 days of temporary cessation of care by the end of May. On 1 June of the same year, the carer qualifies for CP and receives an entitlement of 63 days of temporary cessation of care for that calendar year. In July, the carer uses 23 days of temporary cessation of care. The carer now has 20 temporary cessation days left under CA and 40 days under CP. In October the carer uses a further 20 temporary cessation days. The carer now has 0 temporary cessation days under CA and 20 temporary cessation days left under CP. In November the carer uses 7 temporary cessation days. The carer loses eligibility for CA but can reclaim CA using an abridged claim form when they resume caring. However, CP continues to be paid. The carer has 13 temporary cessation days left under CP until the end of the calendar year, but no CA temporary cessation of care entitlement. On 1 January of the following year, the carer receives a new allocation of 63 days of temporary cessation of care for CA and CP.

When there is more than one carer or care receiver

A carer is allowed 63 days for each care receiver who attracts CA in their own right. However, only ONE period of 63 days in a calendar year is allowed where the carer qualifies on the basis of the combined scores of 2 children (1.1.C.200).

In shared care situations, where 2 carers each receive a percentage of CA (child) or (adult), each carer is entitled to 63 days temporary cessation of care. Temporary cessation of care provisions apply equally to both carers when the care receiver is not in the care of either carer.

Example: Carol and Robyn share care for their mother Pam. Carol provides care on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday while Robyn provides care the rest of the week. Carol wants to take a holiday with her family and organises respite care for her mother. Because neither Carol or Robyn are providing care while Pam is in respite care, temporary cessation of care is applied to both carers. The individual temporary cessation of care balances available to Carol and Robyn are both reduced for the period Pam was in respite care.

When 63 days provision cannot be used

A person who lodges a claim during a temporary cessation of care period (not hospitalisation) will not qualify for CA until the care receiver returns to the private home.

Example: A parent who has cared for a child with a disability, places the child in 30 day respite care on 1 August, and then claims CA. They cannot qualify until the child returns to their care on 1 September.

Absences exceeding 63 days

A delegate of the Secretary has the discretion to extend the period of temporary cessation of care in special circumstances. If a special reason exists, a carer can cease to provide the care receiver with daily care and attention for more than 63 days in a calendar year, and still retain qualification for CA.

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 single parent has used 55 days of temporary absence for respite care during the year. They then unexpectedly require hospitalisation themselves, for 2 weeks. It would be appropriate in this case to extend the 63 day limit.

Example 2: A care receiver uses overnight formal care on a regular basis. By September the carer has used 60 days of respite during the calendar year, and wishes to use a further 10 days. It would not be appropriate to extend the 63 day temporary cessation of care limit to allow them to continue to have regular days off.

Note: If CA has been cancelled because the carer has used more than 63 days temporary cessation of care, they may reapply for CA 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

A carer may qualify for CA while the care receiver is hospitalised (3.6.7.60) if some personal care is provided to the care receiver each day. If the care receiver is an adult a 63 day limit applies. Once the carer has exhausted all of their 63 hospitalisation days the carers can utilise the temporary cessation of care provisions.

If the care receiver is a child who is hospitalised the carer does not lose qualification for CA if the carer continues to participate in the care of the child in hospital.

Note: There is no limit on the number of days a child care receiver may be hospitalised.

Act reference: SSAct section 955 Qualification for CA-hospitalisation

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.6.7.60 Qualification during Temporary Absence from the Private Home - Hospitalisation (CA)

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 aged care assessment teams as needing respite care in a residential facility.

Differences between respite rules under the SSAct and 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 ACAT 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.

Policy reference: SS Guide 8.3 Start Days

Last reviewed: 4 January 2016