1.1.C.310 Constant care (CP)
A carer is said to provide constant care if they personally provide care on a daily basis for a 'significant period' during each day. The care may be active, supervisory or monitoring. To provide care on a daily basis for a significant period, a carer should reasonably be expected to provide at least the equivalent of a normal working day in personal care, as the policy intent of providing CP is to recognise that the carer is not able to undertake substantial employment because of their caring responsibilities. This includes circumstances where the carer or care receiver are absent from the care situation for part of the day, but the intensity of the care required and provided during the remainder of any 24 hour period is such that it roughly equates to a normal working day.
Note: Where the care receivers are a lower ADAT score adult (1.1.L.130), and the adult's dependent child aged under 16 years, for the purposes of paragraph 198(2)(d), the carer must be directly involved in providing constant care for the adult but does not have to be directly involved in caring for the dependent child. The carer is said to provide constant care for both care receivers if the disabled adult is caring for the child and the carer is supervising the provision of that care.
Note: For the purposes of multiple care (1.1.M.155), where the care receivers are a lower ADAT score adult and one or 2 children with disability or a medical condition, the carer must be directly involved in providing constant care for the adult and the child/ren, regardless of whether the child/ren are the dependent child/ren of the lower ADAT score adult.
Note: It is reasonable to expect that a carer (particularly a carer caring for a high care needs individual) will need to have a break from the caring role. It is open to the carer to utilise the 63 days of the temporary cessation of care provisions (188.8.131.52) for such breaks, and such cessation should not preclude the carer from being eligible for CP.
Example: Where the care receiver is a higher ADAT score adult (1.1.C.20), the carer is personally providing care on a daily basis for a period of time that is generally the equivalent of a normal working day, notwithstanding any employment or training that they may be engaged in.
Example: Where the care receiver is a child aged under 16 years and 3 months with severe disability or severe medical condition and that child attends a special school, the carer is personally providing care on a daily basis for a period of time that is generally the equivalent of a normal working day. If the carer also undertakes employment or training of not more than 25 hours per week, consideration must be given to the carer's capacity to satisfy the constant care requirement. Aspects of the care situation that can be taken into account include whether the carer attends school with the care receiver, or whether the carer is 'on-call' while the care receiver is at school and is regularly required to attend the school to support and actively attend to the care of the child.
Example: Jane applies for CP. She is providing a high level of care each day including overnight. However, for her to sustain this level of caring, Jane has a scheduled break from 4pm on Friday until midday on Sunday, when other carers take over the caring role. Jane is utilising one day of temporary cessation of care each week on a Saturday. She is providing substantial care on both Fridays and Sundays, so these days do not count as temporary cessation of care. In this scenario, Jane is said to be providing constant care and utilising the temporary cessation of care provisions. If Jane were to exceed the temporary cessation of care provisions of 63 days in a calendar year, then she ceases to qualify for CP unless there are extenuating circumstances that allow an extension to the 63 days temporary of cessation provisions.
Where more than one carer provides care to the care receiver, each carer must meet the constant care provisions. That is, the carer is said to provide constant care if they personally provide care on a daily basis for a significant period, equivalent to a normal working day, during each day (unless they are utilising temporary cessation of care on particular day/s).
Example: Mrs Abbott and her adult children, Susan and John, each care for Mrs Abbott's partner, Sam. Sam has an ADAT score of 125 which means 2 or more carers can qualify for CP for care provided to him. Susan and John each take 10 hour shifts in caring for Sam. Susan cares for Sam from 5am to 3pm each day. John cares from 1pm to 11pm. Mrs Abbott provides care as needed over a 24 hour period. She cannot manage a lot of the care by herself and needs the adult children to lift and move Sam while she changes bedding, washes or massages Sam or changes his clothes. Both Susan and John meet the constant care provisions as well as Mrs Abbott, and because Sam's ADAT score is over 80, (of which 32 is attributable to the HPA) all qualify for CP. They are all providing care at least equivalent to a working day each day even when caring at the same time.
Act reference: SSAct section 197B Qualification—child with a severe disability or severe medical condition, section 197C Qualification—2 or more children each with a disability or medical condition, section 197D Qualification—disabled adult and one or more children each with a disability or medical condition, section 197E Qualification—child who has a terminal condition, section 197G Qualification—short term or episodic care of children, section 198 Qualification—disabled adult or disabled adult and dependent child
Constant care - exchanged care
For the purposes of exchanged care (1.1.E.162), a parent (1.1.P.10) claiming/receiving CP personally provides constant care to at least one child with severe disability or severe medical condition (or combination of children with disability or medical condition and/or a disabled adult) at all times. However, the constant care is not provided continuously to the same child, due to the nature of the exchanged care arrangement. The parent personally provides constant care to the child who is living with, or spending time with, the parent.