The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. Carer payment (CP) - description

Objective of CP

CP is a fortnightly income support payment for people who are unable to support themselves through substantial paid employment due to the demands of their caring role.

CP may be paid where a carer (1.1.C.40) provides constant care (1.1.C.310) for:

  • a person who has a physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability, OR
  • a disabled adult who has a dependent child in their care. If the dependent child is aged 6 years or over, a person must qualify for and receive CA for that child, OR
  • a child with severe disability (1.1.S.133) or a severe medical condition (1.1.S.130), OR
  • 2 or more children, with disability or medical condition, OR
  • a disabled adult and 1 or more children each with disability or medical condition, OR
  • a child with severe disability or severe medical condition on a short-term or episodic basis, OR
  • a profoundly disabled child or a disabled child (saved pre 1 July 2009).

CP may also be paid where parents are exchanging care of 2 or more children each with severe disability or severe medical condition or disability or medical condition, under a parenting plan.

The disability or medical condition for which the care receiver needs care must be either permanent or expected to last for at least 6 months (1.1.P.230) unless the condition is terminal or short term or episodic.

A person who receives CP for a child may automatically be entitled to CA.

CP recipients qualified through short term (1.1.S.172) or episodic care (1.1.E.132) provisions automatically qualify for a HCC. All other CP recipients automatically qualify for a PCC.

CP is income and assets tested and paid at the same rate as other social security pensions.

The eligibility criteria listed above does not apply to people receiving ex WP CP (

Act reference: SSAct section 197A Overview-circumstances in which person is qualified for CP

Policy reference: SS Guide Qualification for CP, Qualification for CA (child) - automatic qualification for CA (child) through qualification for CP (child), CP - current rates

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